MORGAN PAGE|REAL DETROIT WEEKLY|FEATURE 12.02.11
Thursday, December 01 2011
UP IN THE AIR|MORGAN PAGE|REAL DETROIT WEEKLY FEATURED ARTIST
Morgan Page’s Jet-Setting Journey Leads Him to Bleu Detroit
When the top three jobs in your home state are manufacturing, construction and health care, your career seems predetermined. But when your home state is Vermont, it's damn near guaranteed. For Morgan Page, those things just wouldn't do. And how does one escape from a predestined fate when music runs through your veins? Simply experiment. Now, Page is a world famous DJ/producer/remixer who has been nominated for two Grammys and three International Dance Music awards. These days, he's kind of a big deal. But while extensively traveling the globe, Page was able to answers some questions before he arrives to play Bleu Detroit's 10-year anniversary weekend.
People might not look at Vermont as a hub of EDM. What was the musical climate like growing up there?
I always jokingly tell people Vermont is the "dance music Mecca." Basically, if you listened to electronic music you were considered a tweaker. Hip-hop, classic rock and jam bands dominated the airwaves and minds of everyone growing up in Vermont. I liked hip-hop before house, then I got the bug for electronic music and everything changed. I think we are seeing a big shift in how people discover and enjoy music these days. People are listening to what they want, not just because it's cool and everyone else is doing it.
There's been a huge shift in EDM going from either underground or mainstream by electronic standards to blowing up on the radio and even being put on MTV. What do you attribute this shift to?
There are several distinct factors causing this – but mainly, it was way overdue. Hip-hop had its time, and now the next natural progression is electronic. Everything works in cycles, and the public needed something fresh and also uplifting during the recession. Look at guys like Avicii – beyond being an amazing producer and great guy in general, his music lifts your spirits. The other major factor is new media's role. People can discover music more quickly without a major label steering their choices. There are so many outlets that the majors cannot dominate them all. With MTV, it was easy for them – and essentially a money game. Outspend your competitor and you win. Now everyone is empowered, but you have to cut through the clutter – which is harder than ever.
A lot of electronic artists produce songs with just beats. Why do you oftentimes add the vocal element?
It doesn't feel like a song to me without a vocal or primary lead element. Even when it's just a lead synth – that's a voicing. So all my songs have lead elements, and almost every song I play does as well.
How is the album coming along?
It's done! Just waiting for it to come out! It's gonna be a crazy release. I gathered some great vocalists and songwriters: Tegan & Sara, Nadia Ali, Greg Laswell, Angela McCluskey. It's diverse and densely packed with vocal heavy songs.
People don't realize how much mainstream pop artists use samples from EDM artists and just take them as that artist's original work. Do you ever feel like the unsung hero?
I've always felt like the unsung hero, and it keeps me humble. I think it's important for electronic artists to get their proper credit. I have a lot of respect for Avicii and sticking to his guns with both the Leona Lewis and Flo–Rida incidents. We are not pop music's bitch. You shouldn't need a Pitbull verse to get on the radio, and your name shouldn't be buried in the credits.
I see you're a fan of Twitter. Has this made interacting with fans easier, and do you ever catch yourself over–sharing? (By the way, how was your hearing test?)
Is that a hint?! (laughs) – I don't know when it's too much. The interaction is fun. It stings when people give you bad feedback, but it toughens you up. Twitter has been a great tool for learning what my fans really feel, and also what strangers are saying! | RDW