Morgan Page Shares Upcoming Plans for MPQuickTips and the Importance of Sustainability in Exclusive iEDM Interview
On the now infamous first day of what has been christened as Mudrise (we still love you Moonrise, don't worry), Morgan Page took the stage at Pimlico Race Course and played an energetic and versatile set for a huge crowd.
Before torrential rain, lightning and thunder, iEDM had a chance to sit down with Morgan Page himself. While the festival did get shut down and attendees were evacuated for several hours (it was downright eerie to hear the sound suddenly cut out completely), we managed to have a quick chat with Morgan about vocalists, changes in the EDM industry and a little bit about Morgan's side projects and personal interests.
iEDM: I was listening to some of your tracks when I was coming over to the venue, and a lot of your tracks feature the best vocals, I love them.
Morgan Page: Thanks! That's what takes hours and hours and years and years to make. It's the hardest part.
iEDM: So what is it that you like so much about vocals on tracks? I know that some producers prefer beats, but vocals are special. What drew you to them?
Morgan Page: I agree, I think vocals are nice because that's the core of the song. You can re-purpose the track and wrap different chords around it and make it more modern, or make it more vintage. So my songs like "In the Air" and "Longest Road," even though they've been out for awhile, I can wrap them and present them in a festival setting or streaming, vocals are the framework.
iEDM: Some of the best tracks have absolutely beautiful vocalists and I wish that they had more recognition in EDM. Everyone knows the producer but when you say names like Christina Novelli, or Emily Warren, they're like who?
Morgan Page: Yeah it's weird, it's a branding thing. It says "featuring" the vocalists even though crediting is proper. It's a weird sort of power struggle I guess. But the vocalists get a big chunk of the money now, and the credit, and that's the way it should be. That's how you're supposed to do it.
iEDM: You have your side project MPQuickTips that offers free tips for producers. What got you to go in that direction? What inspired you to start it?
Morgan Page: It's funny, I keep talking to book publishers, and we keep talking about putting out a version, but it keeps getting better. So, the more I wait for it, the better it seems to get. It's gonna be an app soon, I did a little pivot. For years I've been planning on releasing it, but I kept sitting on it, so now we're gonna do an app and then a creative card deck based off of that. It basically started because selfishly I wanted to write everything down so I didn't forget anything. And then I was thinking that if I were a 12 or 14 year old just starting to produce music, what would I have wanted to know, what would have saved me like ten years? And there's nothing that can save you from doing the work, but there're things you can do to grease that resistance. So some of the tips are funny, some are more useful than others, five a day on Twitter. There's over 600 tips now. The app will probably be like 64 tips, the best ones. But it's built a nice little community. And it's hard because I have to juggle my time, it's a full time job DJ-ing and just producing, but I like having this. It's my little banzai project on the side, my little banzai baby.
iEDM: I'm sure a lot of aspiring producers really appreciate having those nuggets of wisdom from people who've gone through this. They have the little shortcut.
Morgan Page: And it's tricky, getting everything. It all started when the guy who was doing artist relations for Pioneer came up to me and he was like "you should start putting tips out there and putting them on Twitter." And then the challenge became fitting the tips into 140 characters and that's why they became quick tips.
iEDM: Oh okay, that makes sense. With social media, it's a lot easier to get your voice out there. That's true.
Morgan Page: And now there's a longform version of them online at mpquicktips.com. So those are like deep dives.
iEDM: And you started in EDM really young, and you're still one of the bets names in house. How have you seen the industry change from when you started to where you are now?
Morgan Page: It's become a much bigger business, and it became really competitive. I could tell you the negatives and the positives.
Morgan Page: I love it, I'm super grateful everyday that I get to do this for my job. But the hard part isn't blowing up, it's staying and keeping that slow burn going. The biggest change I've seen is a lot more people got into it, some with different motives than others. Some just want to make money and be famous, some are genuine artists and make great songs, and I think the genuine artists will stand the test of time. But some guys are just great entrepreneurs, and they have great ghost producers and make great songs...so that's just a different method. It's nothing new, but sometimes it frustrates me. And apart from the sounds changing, the other big thing I've seen was all the waves.
I've been in it so long that I've seen different genres come and go. Speed garage was a big thing 15 years ago and then fidget was a big thing too. I love what's happening now in trap, it's almost progressive trap. And I'm dabbling a bit in folk trap and if you take organic guitars and there's serious bass under that, there's so much you can do that's untapped. So maybe that's where it's headed, you can never predict where it's headed, you can make a good guess. For me, I had to adapt my sound. Big room became a big thing, then it went more progressive, a little more relaxed and then you have to adapt again. The set today was kind of a roller-coaster.
iEDM: It was! I went in, expecting it to be feelsy and then I was like whoa.
Morgan Page: Yeah and it's a tough balance, you don't want to be all over the place, but you want to keep the energy going and keep people on their toes and keep them surprised.
iEDM: You definitely did that. What are some of your biggest passions outside of music production?
Morgan Page: My biggest thing... well I've been hanging out with the Tesla guys lately and I love what they're doing. The mission is super inspiring, it's a bigger mission than music. So it's cool to sometimes just focus on your craft, and sometimes just focus on bigger issues of energy and sustainability. Real issues that have real impacts. I love electric cars, I was never a car guy but I started to find that I have a bunch of fans in Tesla so I bought a Tesla, my entire studio is solar powered, I try to keep it pretty green.
iEDM: That's awesome, a great way to bring music and sustainability together.
Morgan Page: In a way it's fun and interesting and not a way to think about the planet dying. People are kind of tired of hearing about that.
iEDM: Lastly, do you have any final thoughts on your Moonrise set from tonight? (Apart from the fact that it might be over...?)
Morgan Page: Yeah, it was fun and it was a challenge actually. Strictly speaking, I like to play at night when it's dark, there's a mood about it and today it was so bright and so hot, but I did my thing and played a good diversity of stuff, some new mashups. There's so much new music on the way, I don't usually tease new music at festivals, that's more for the clubs. Festivals it's all about familiarity so sometimes I'll drop a new one, but right now there's about a year's worth of new music that hasn't dropped yet, so I'm trying to space it out.