Morgan Elizabeth is an incredible up and coming Australian singer songwriter who will be going far. Her songs are real and have something to say and I Like what I heard, So I thought an interview was a must so read on.
1. How did you get into music?
That’s a really difficult question to answer without giving you the clichéd response of ‘I’ve always been into music’. My house when I was growing up – and even now – has always been filled with music. Not necessarily the playing-on-the-stereo kind. My earliest memories are of my mother singing me to sleep. I demanded it. My favourite was when she’d sing what was fondly known in our family as “The Choccie Song” (Wouldn’t It Be Loverly), from My Fair Lady. On our long distance car trips our sing-a-longs were epic. You could guarantee a rendition, in three part harmony, of Lean On Me for at least half the journey. It took us about that long to get it right.
My brother and sister and I had piano lessons as kids and then I moved onto guitar at about 12 years old. I was always scribbling poetry at first into books and on scraps of paper. I tried my hand at my first song when I was about eight… it was a classic!
In high school I really began to concentrate on guitar and song-writing. I never really “got into music”. It was just always there. I remember the first time I ever sang one of my original songs. I was thirteen and it was in front of my year at school. My music teacher bribed me into it and I was terrified of what people would say or think. The positive response I got from everyone was unbelievable. I’d gone from being the invisible kid to suddenly being seen. It changed how saw myself. I’ve never thought of doing anything else since.
2. How has the internet helped with your career?
Like everybody in the industry today, the internet is critical. For people just starting out like I am, it’s an invaluable asset. Social media is how a large portion of the world interacts these days and the globe is such a small place now. For instance, being able to produce an EP independently and get it onto iTunes as I did just recently from a home base, wouldn’t have been possible all that long ago. Marketing myself via Facebook, YouTube and Tuncore as examples, have been essential to kick-starting my long term goals. Before the internet and how it’s set up today, the only way to distribute an independent release was to do it at gigs or only reach a really small market. These days it doesn’t matter if someone lives next door or on the other side of the world, they can still download your music within a few minutes.
People also like to at least think they know who you are, and social media lets you connect with a potential audience. They like to see into your life, so you can give them that to a certain degree.
3. How was the recording of the new ep different to earlier recordings?
My first recordings were me in the school music room with a four-track. I’ve mainly done demos since then. The difference with this EP was having the chance to work with other people in the recording of my songs. Working with highly experienced people was fantastic. It turned the recording process into a learning environment and you should never stop learning.
4. What do you hope that will do for your career?
This is my first release. In the same way that vineyards hold wine tastings, this is a ‘taste’ of the artist I am. But it’s just a taste. It was so hard picking the tracks. I’d like to think that people will listen to it and become really engaged, and then want more. As far as my career goes, that’s a difficult question. In this business you have to work hard and be constantly producing quality product, so as my ‘entry’ release I hope it is a decent kickstarter that returns some solid and positive feedback.
5. What inspires you when writing music?
I’m a people-watcher, so inspiration is always on tap. Everyone has a story and you have to listen. I just like to tell the stories that other people haven’t told yet. Sometimes it takes me a long time to find something that I really want to write about, but when I get excited by an idea for a song then I just expect that other people will get excited by it as well!
6. What advice could you give to somebody who wants to make a music career a go?
It’s bloody hard work and you need a thick skin. You constantly hear “no”. In the beginning it might be from well meaning family and friends who think it’s just a phase and you’ll get a ‘real job’ one day, or later at auditions and competitions and from agents. The list goes on. People really don’t give you a career or a record deal on a platter. I hear a lot of people talk about how they’re going to write songs and do this, that and the other and actually do nothing. Back yourself and just do it. When you start to hear the “yeses” it’s all worth it.
7. What has been your favorite gig to date?
That’s easy. It was last year while I was still at uni. It was a gig at on-campus student accommodation for Semester 2 O-Week. One of my uni friends had used “Under My Skin” for a music video clip for an assessment task in his film production course. It featured some very poor acting by me. Anyway, it went viral on campus via his Facebook page, so by the time the gig came up, everyone knew the words to “Under My Skin” and were belting out my little soft ballad right back at me at the top ends of their drunken registers! I just lost it. Girls were singing to their friends – acting it out, changing the words. Boys were singing it into their beers. After that both the crowd and I was completely relaxed and it was just great fun. Definitely my favourite gig to date because of the comedy factor.
8. Any plans to do a video clip?
You mean apart from my poor performance already mentioned? Of course! I had a great time dabbling with student filmmakers, but I really want to do something where I have artistic control. It was just my song and I let them use it. They interpreted it for their project so it didn’t reflect me at all. Ideally I want to get a few great clips together in the next 12 months. I’ve got a head full of ideas that I want to unleash with a professional.
9. What is next for yourself?
I’ll be in Sydney in 2012 for the year at Brent Street Studios doing their professional performing arts course. I’m very excited about it. The whole year will be centred on individuals as performers. It’s the opportunity to refine skills I’ve already got and develop others that I don’t yet have. For me as a performer it’s seems so indulgent – to be just doing more of what I love five days a week, every week, all year. It’s better than chocolate. Moving to Sydney will be new for me too. I’m looking forward to it and the opportunity to gig while I’m there. New city, new audiences, new experiences.