By: Kevin Rolfe
Morgxn is heading out on his first headlining tour and is playing Kilber Court in Salt Lake City on September 9 after opening up for several acts on tour including Dreamers, X Ambassadors, Robert Delong, ARIZONA and more. His current single “A New Way” is climbing the charts at HOT AC radio, after a top 10 hit called “home” ft Walk The Moon. He also recently performed “A New Way” on Good Morning America!
I had a great time talking with Morgxn as he drove the streets of Hollywood before he set out on this tour. I think his show at Kilby Court is going to be a great time. Here is our conversation. Enjoy!
Utah Concert Review: Hi Morgxn! Am I catching you on the road? Or are you still in prep mode, getting ready to head out?
Morgxn: Well technically you are catching me on the road as in, I’m driving in L.A. before I head out on tour. So, yes.
Utah Concert Review: So, quite literally, you’re on the road. Well, we’re looking forward to having you here in Utah on Monday (September 9).
Morgxn: I’m not kidding, Salt Lake City has become one of my favorite tour stops because the shows there have truly been legendary.
Utah Concert Review: I loved hearing that. I have always believed (And those who have read past reviews can attest.) that Utah has some of the best crowds in the country. So it makes me happy to hear someone who has toured through and played here say that.
Morgxn: I was just showing somebody a video today from my last concert in Salt Lake City and I think it was just the first song of my set and it was nuts! It was just nuts!
Utah Concert Review: And this will be your first headlining tour stop here, right?
Utah Concert Review: So I imagine it will be an even more exciting experience. What is that feeling like? I know you’ve played a lot of shows and opened for some other great artists and I’m sure been in front of some amazing crowds, but what does it feel like to be headlining your own show where you get to kind of decide what you want to do, what you want to play, and really, how long you want to play?
Morgxn: I’ve opened for some really awesome people and had some really incredible experiences. Part of being an opener is you have a very short amount of time to get in there and play. So everything just kind of comes out like this is the highest energy at all times. Truthfully what I’m the most excited about is creating a show that has crazy highs where we’re just having a wild time at a dance party. Then having some really intimate moments like you’re just sitting with me in my living room. Those are my favorite moments about live music where it’s both euphoria while also having an emotional connection.
Utah Concert Review: One of the things I enjoy about getting to do these interviews is learning about new music. Truth be told, I wasn’t familiar with your work. But to prepare myself for this interview and upcoming coverage I listened to your music and I really liked it. I think it’s the best when I have this opportunity and I find the music of the artist I’m interviewing enjoyable and interesting.
Morgxn: You give me hope. I have a great story about Salt Lake City, about Kilby Court where I’ll be playing. My first concert ever in Salt Lake City was at Kilby Court. My drummer at the time as we were pulling into Salt Lake City said “Ugh, man. ‘Kill Me Court’.” And I was like, “What do you mean?”. And he was like, “Dude, I had a bad experience…”. He painted this awful picture. But I showed up and it was the most fun room/vibe ever. I fell in love with Salt Lake City that night. And to top it off, my first song that I put out was called “Love You With the Lights On”, and the song turned one while I was playing that show at Kilby Court. And the audience saying “Happy Birthday” to “ Love You With the Lights On”. Those are the moments that I live for. That’s what live music is to me.
Utah Concert Review: And that’s just it. You’ve been to Kilby Court, you know what it looks like. I think the thing that makes Kilby Court so great and so memorable is those crowds. So many bands have toured this year and they’ll say, “Our first show here was at Kilby Court! Who was there?” And way too many people cheer that they were there. There’s no way. It’s a really memorable, odd, and different place.
Morgxn: I get chills. There was a girl who was working the door that night. I used to travel with this journal that people would sign in every city as a way to connect us all. This girl ended up drawing a picture. I was at a show in L.A. a couple of years later and she walked up to me and said: “I don’t know if you remember me”. And I said immediately, “You were the girl working the door at Kilby Court in Utah!”. It’s moments like that that make life better.
Utah Concert Review: I’m going to backtrack a little in your career. Is it true that your initial background was in theater? Or at least pursuing a career in theater?
Morgxn: I thought I didn’t know what I wanted. To me, I was just always a kid who loved to sing. I just didn’t really know what shape that would take. I ended up doing a show on Broadway call Spring Awakening. It won Tony’s and Grammy’s and stuff and was this really cool experience. I remember standing on that stage and just not really knowing who I was. You can sing other people’s songs your whole life but at some point, I wanted to discover who I was and what I wanted to say. Again, I didn’t know exactly what shape I was going to take. I just knew I wanted to create my own story and my own sense of who I am. There’s a Bob Dylan book called Chronicles Vol 1. He says that when you’re a singer you can sing a lot of songs and that’s fine but at some point, you want to peel back the curtain and see what’s there. And that’s really what I felt like. I had spent so much time telling other people’s stories that I began to lose my own. And that was the journey that sent me out to L.A. I didn’t know anybody I was really just focused on making music.
Utah Concert Review: Do you feel like your experience in Spring Awakening and other theater affects your live performance now?
Morgxn: What’s interesting about the experience with Spring Awakening, if you see my video for the song “Translucent” there’s a scene at the beginning of the video where I’m in this audition and this guy is like “I like it but can you be more masculine?” That’s actually something that happened to me when I was on Broadway. I had a note after the show that’s said: “We love everything that you’re doing but is it possible for you to lower your voice an octave?” That was sort of what I ran into. But my voice is my voice. But when you’re trying to shape your voice around other people’s songs you end up sort of losing your voice. So when I think of this journey of Morgxn, it’s really about embracing all the colors of myself even some of the colors that I think are confusing. And realizing that we’re all a bit messy and needing of a lot of different things.
Utah Concert Review: Absolutely. Before we go I wanted to ask you about your latest single “Omm”.
Morgxn: It’s “Out of My Mind”. When I wrote the song that was how it came out. I just liked how Omm is the sound that people making meditation and is supposed to be this sort of relaxing thing. But truthfully out of my mind is how I feel a lot of days. One of the things I find funny about all this talk about New Age spirituality is you can’t be happy all the time. You can’t be all rainbows and unicorns although I love rainbows and unicorns. You have to experience the gamut of human expression. So when I wrote that song I had the producer lose the drums and I was just like” I’m just going to sing until I find where I am in this” and I was creating on the spot. It was a very wild way to create. And that was what I wanted to explore with this new music because I really wanted to push myself as an artist. I just wanted to explore different sides of my personality.
Utah Concert Review: Last question. Did you choose the style of music you were going to perform or write? Or did it find you somehow?
Morgxn: Hmm, Love that question! Making music is not “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”. It’s far more about losing yourself in order to find yourself. For me, the music did not come from the external in, it truly came from the internal to external. You can call it whatever you want but for me, the music is my expression. It found me more than I found it.
You can see Morgxn at Kilby Court on Monday, September 9. Click here for tickets!