by Alex Teitz
Morgan Saint is a steamy NY singer-songwriter who started making waves with her songs “Glass Houses” and “You.” She worked with producer Cass Dillon to make her debut EP 17 Hero. FEMMUSIC was able to e-mail her a few questions. She is on a headlining tour that includes Globe Hall on December 8. For info visit http://www.morgansaint.com/
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making 17 Hero?
MS: My biggest challenge was choosing which songs to include on this particular release! I wanted to make sure each song could stand on it’s own, yet worked in harmony with the others to create an overall auditory experience that felt whole, but left the listener wanting to hear more.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about Cass Dillon. How did you meet? What made you decide to work with him on 17 Hero? How is he to work with?
MS: Cass and I met about four years ago in my hometown of Mattituck, New York. It’s a small town on the eastern end of Long Island. Although I currently reside in Manhattan, my family still lives out there. Cass happened to be spending the summer on the North Fork to work on an EP of his own (which is amazing!) Long story short, our common love for music naturally brought us together, and we became friends. Shortly thereafter, Cass began shifting gears and opened a recording studio on Long Island. About three years later when I was graduating from Parsons, I had reached out to him with a song that I wanted to record and take beyond the confines of the equipment that I had in my apartment. We got in the studio, recorded this song that I had written, and I fell instantly in love with the process. The second song that I wrote with the intention of recording happens to be my debut single, “YOU.” Since then, we have made so much music together that I can’t wait to share with the world! Cass is incredibly talented, humble, kind, and a pleasure to work with. I’m hesitant to even call it “work,” because when we are making music, it doesn’t feel like a job at all. He is respectful of my craft and my ideas and vision without having any ego attached. I feel that our creative chemistry is really special, and I am so grateful to have him in my life!
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting techniques?
MS: My approach really varies from song to song. Sometimes I will be riding the subway, and a melody or line will come to me, and then I run from there. Other times, I will be messing around on my guitar or piano, and I will discover a particular chord progression that I love. I am constantly singing gibberish everywhere I go, and sometimes something will come out of my mouth and I’ll be like “oh shit, that was cool!” to myself. I see the music making process similarly to how I view and approach making a watercolor painting. The inspiration for the painting may come from anywhere, and the process of getting a painting to a place of completeness is always unique. However, the idea of layering paint on a piece of paper is the same as layering sounds. All of the little individual strokes in a painting are so important, as are all of the di6erent sounds in a song. However, they all must work together in unison to ultimately create a finished product that successfully translates the story or emotion that I am trying trying to express.
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about signing with Epic. What made you decide with a label?
MS: The minute I walked into Epic’s office in LA, I felt a certain warmth and energy that I hadn’t felt with any other labels that I had been in conversation with. They respect me as an artist, and are very hands o6 when it comes to the actual art that I make. I write all of my own music, direct my own videos and photoshoots, create all graphics–from my cover art and physical CD,s, to tour posters and social media ads, and Epic just sort of sits back and allows me the space to be creative! The whole Epic family is incredible. I couldn’t ask for a better label to call home.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest impact on you and why?
MS: Oh wow. There have been so many songs that have impacted me in such a huge way during different points in my life. I don’t think I could pick just one!
FEMMUSIC: As a woman in the music industry have you been discriminated against?
MS: There have certainly been occasions in which I’ve felt disrespected specifically based on my gender. I find it unfortunate that some men can’t handle strong minded, powerful women. Nothing infuriates me more than the undeniable double standards that exist in favor of men in our society. However, being the boss of my own “company” has certainly helped me become more vocal and unafraid.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to tour with, or collaborate with and why?
MS: At this stage in my career, I would be honored to open for any larger artist that would allow me the opportunity. When it comes to collaboration, I am not sure….there are so many artist who’s work I admire. I guess it’s just about meeting other creative minds, and organically finding a connection and chemistry that feels right!
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
MS: I feel like I really haven’t been exposed to the industry long enough to really answer this. I guess even just as a consumer though, I wish for more diversity and authenticity. So much of the content being released and rewarded right now feels so contrived and manufactured. I want to feel someone’s soul when I listen to their music and see their visuals! I don’t feel that very often.