Seminal American producer and remixer Morgan Page has been creating all sorts of magic the last few years with his special blend of western influenced dance music and euphoric beats and has remixed everyone from Madonna, Katy Perry, Nelly Furtado, Stevie Nicks, The B-52s, Tegan & Sara, Coldplay and even EQ faves Temposhark.
But there must come a time when the remixer steps out from behind the mixing desk and pours his ideas into a beautiful long player of his own and that is exactly what Morgan Page has done in way of new album "Believe" - which is most definitely one of the most unexpected surprises of this year for me. It's right up there in quality amongst Morgan's colleagues and pals Tiesto and Armin van Buuren – and what we are seeing here is a new breed of male pop stars being created. Pure genius in the recording studio which transcends onto the album and stage with a pop sensibility and sexiness that isn't so obvsious and isn't "showboating" if you get what I mean – and that dear EQ readers is something that I can apprecaiate.
I caught up with a busy busy Morgan Page amongst his current US tour and a new studio build to talk about his album, unique sound, some of his current aspirations and dreams and his thoughts on the current state of the music industry. Enjoy.
EQ: Well hello Morgan – how are you today sir?
Morgan Page: Good! Just getting settle into my new studio here in LA.
You must be pretty excited that your new album "Believe" is out now – how does it feel to finally get the long player out to the public?
It's been a long road – and I'm thrilled to finally have the record out. It took 1.5 years to make and I'm really proud of the songs.
What I like about your dance music is that you have this real "rustic" feel infused in it- it's even reflected on your artwork and some of the songs feel a bit "western" – Is that intentional?
I've always liked merging folk and dance music, so maybe this rustic edge comes from that. I grew up on the edge of the country and the suburbs, so that sort of contrast has always been compelling to me. Keep the edge of the city, with the allure and lonely mystique of the country.
You are quite obviously on the rise as an up-and-coming remixer and producer. What's it like being in-demand these days? Do you get much sleep?
Sleeping is mainly reserved for airplanes at the moment. It's been an especially hectic month as I've been touring to promote the album, building a new studio, and training for my first marathon!
Wow – a marathon – you really don't sleep do you! Tell me, "Fight For You" is such an amazing track, what is the meaning behind it
"Fight For You" is about two jealous lovers fighting over their territory. It's a classic lover's quarrel, but with a bit of melancholy. The vocalist wrote about a situation she experienced and I threw in some lines – so it's a combined experience of several relationships. Everybody always asks about the meaning of the lyrics – but even though it's fairly straightforward on this one, it's important to leave some things up to the imagination.
You did work with some amazing vocalists on this album – if you could have your pick of dream vocalists to work with on your next album, who would it be and why?
Imogen Heap, Meiko, Florence Welch (Florence & The Machines), and Ray Lamontagne are at the top of my list…also Rachel Foster from Weekend Players, but I can't track her down anywhere!
Which songs on the album are the most personal for you and why?
"In The Dark", by far – since that's me singing. I co-wrote it with Molly Bancroft (Gabriel & Dresden). It talks about your usual relationship dilemmas – hopes and expectations.
Are you comfortable with Lady Gaga rapidly becoming the new queen of pop? Would you ever want to work with her?
I wouldn't say no…she’s good at what she does and I actually like her music better than this urban stuff that was dominating the airwaves before. Her songs are cleverly crafted. I remember meeting her at the Winter Music Conference in Miami a few years ago before anyone knew who she was.
You're one of those people who I would really want to snoop through their CD collection. If you were to recommend three of your favourite CDs to me right now – which ones would you give the Morgan Page seal of approval to?
On my airplane iphone playlist right now are Florence & The Machine, Fink, Empire of The Sun, and A Fine Frenzy.
Peter Gabriel recently said "The music industry is a dead corpse, but there are lots of interesting things crawling out of it" – would you agree with that statement?
Yes…album sales are done, singles are selling well, the live event is the money maker, and the fan is now king. Gatekeepers are still important but it's way more about the fans now.
Do you care if people illegally download your album or not?
I do…I want them to get their downloads from me! I'm happy with giving away my music, but not happy with people selling ad space from my pirated music.
Tell me about the next single "Strangest Condition" – what's it all about?
"Strange Condition" is a cover of a Pete Yorn folk-rock song. A friend of mine was randomly beat-matching the original with a house track, and it was just like – of course! That works.
Well that's it – thanks Morgan and I really wish you continued success with album and I love your remixes – any parting words for our EQ readers?
Stay tuned for more remixes and fun activities for fans. Lots more on the way! Thank you!
Let's watch the music video to "Fight For You" again shall we…