Saturday Night Session 023: Morgan Page discusses drawing inspiration through collaboration and gives fans insight into his forthcoming release
Few moments are more sacred than the reprieve Saturday night provides from the daily grind of school and work. Its importance is meant to be emphasized, and thus, a feature dedicated to “doing the night right” was born. Saturday Night Sessions are set around energizing mixes meant to get the party started. New or old, each episode has one cornerstone thing in similarity: they serve as the perfect backdrop for the weekend pregame.
Grammy Award nominated Morgan Page has kept the momentum high in his career for over ten years, and that’s almost certainly thanks to his ability to produce music that stands the test of time and appeals to listeners regardless of what the ‘popular’ sound is. Page is the first to admit that maintaining success for over a decade is a rarity, and it requires his production abilities to evolve and to continue to get better despite his success. A new focus of his has been diving into sound design, synthesis, and experimenting with distortion and treatments to create incredibly distinctive sounds. As he continues to push his creative boundaries, his fans reap the benefit of a diverse collection of work that is all tied together by Page’s ability to identify a polarizing vocal line and a sonic warmth that leaves a listener feeling good despite the genre of his production.
An important component to Page’s ability to stand the test of time has been his ability to read current musical trends and adapt. The producer elaborates on how the bar gets increasingly higher for those who want to thrive as a music producer in 2019, stating, “Records these days are so loud and punchy that the bar is set really high, and they really need to cut through in a live environment. Every element needs to shine.”
2019 has seen a continuation of Page’s dance-inducing creations thanks to his recent release of “Gone My Way” with Pex L, and he will be releasing a new track on Armada titled “Fire and Gold,” which includes Page himself playing guitar on the release. He discusses how this release will be different than what fans have heard from him in the past, stating, “The new single is ‘Fire & Gold’ with Vivid feat. Allé and Damon Sharpe. I really like the way this one turned out. We experimented with a lot of different frameworks, but felt we needed a dancefloor-focused mix that had some edge to it. It’s a very songwriter vibe kind of song, almost with an Of Monsters and Men sound, and I wanted that contrast to work well with a big room progressive sound. I even played the guitar on parts of the song to add some extra hooks. I’m a much better piano player, but writing melodies on a different instrument helps to create something special and original.”
In addition to producing music, Page has more recently taken to mentoring up and coming producers, which in part he is able to do through his own website that features quick tips in addition to his own interests. His quick tips have been such a success that he has even launched the top 20 quick tips into a card deck. Page elaborates, saying, “I’ve taken 20 of my best quick tips and turned them into a professionally illustrated and printed card deck that will be distributed with special orders from OWC. They make amazing Thunderbolt drives, docks, and Mac upgrades.”
Page’s sets, just like his music, are notorious for keeping the energy high and the mood uplifting, and his Saturday Night Session doesn’t disappoint in this regard. He explains what listeners can expect from the mix, unsurprisingly noting that it will have “lots of energy, unique sound design, and vocals that stick in your head.” In addition to lots of energy, those who want a first listen of “Fire and Gold” will finally get one.
In the past, you’ve explained that working with up and coming producers in the studio has been a good creative exercise for you. Is there anyone you’ve worked with as of late that has really made an impact on your creative process?
In the last year, there’s been a lot of great collaborations – some in the studio, some with strangers and now friends across the globe. I love how fluid the process can be. With “Gone My Way,” PEXL, a producer from the Canary Islands in Spain, sent me a song he had in progress with a Splice vocal sample, and I went in and added more progressive flavors and chopped up some more bassline samples to give it a hybrid future house / progressive house feel. It came together really quickly and naturally, which isn’t always the case! With songs that are more lead vocal focused, it can take months or back and forth production work. With this collab, it was just us swapping stems back and forth, which felt very natural.
Are you doing anything new as of late to continue to push the boundaries and creativity of your sound?
I’m really diving more into sound design, synthesis, and experimenting with more distortion and treatments to really dial indistinct sounds. Records these days are so loud and punchy that the bar is set really high, and they really need to cut through in a live environment. Every element needs to shine.
You do a lot outside of producing and making music. Can you tell our readers more about your different hobbies and interests outside of working in the studio?
Right now my #1 non-studio project is my baby. She’s almost a year old and it’s been the most insane, beautiful experience. It forces you to be more deliberate with your time because your life and schedule will never be the same again. I’ve also created a site for music producers and creative types called http://mpquicktips.com and @mpquicktips on Twitter. It features over 800-bit sized tips on creativity and workflow methods for the studio. In my spare time to stay sane, I do a lot of trail running here in LA, which is my form of meditation
You have a new single coming out on June 21st on Armada- can you tell us more about this release?
The new single is “Fire & Gold” with Vivid feat. Allé and Damon Sharpe. I really like the way this one turned out. We experimented with a lot of different frameworks, but felt we needed a dancefloor-focused mix that had some edge to it. It’s a very songwriter vibe kind of song, almost with an “Of Monsters and Men” sound, and I wanted that contrast to work well with a big room progressive sound. I even played the guitar on parts of the song to add some extra hooks. I’m a much better piano player, but writing melodies on a different instrument helps to create something special and original.
Do you have any other upcoming projects or singles in the near future you can tell us about?
We are about to launch a card deck for my http://mpquicktips.com project – which is exciting to finally see in physical form! I’ve taken 20 of my best quick tips and turned them into a professionally illustrated and printed card deck that will be distributed with special orders from OWC. They make amazing Thunderbolt drives, docks, and Mac upgrades.
Can you tell us about your ideal Saturday Night if you aren’t playing a show?
A lot of high-end boutique wine with friends, a great dinner, then bed. I really like the inverted schedule of the DJ life though. I’ll go out mid-week, so Tuesday or Wednesday is Saturday night, then I work Friday through Sunday.
What kind of a Saturday Night is your Saturday Night Session going to get listeners ready for?
Lots of energy, unique sound design, and vocals that stick in your head.