Morgxn: A Melting Pot Carnival
interviewed & shot by Carianne Older
We caught up with rising alt-pop star Morgxn at a carnival in Santa Monica
to talk style, influence, inspiration, and his newest release, A New Way.
Who is your biggest influence in the music industry?
Can I say the people who listen to my music? I can almost feel them when I’m writing. I get a lot of inspiration from pain (mine and the collective) and music is really my way of connecting the dots.
The line in “A New Way” that says ‘I don’t want to feel anxious anymore’ is so vulnerable. What did you want people to feel when listening to this song?
I wanted them to feel that as a mantra. It’s something I keep coming back to myself a lot these days. I almost don’t know how to not feel anxious. But I also know that admitting that and embracing that gives it less power over me.
“I almost don’t know how to not feel anxious.”
You’re heading out on your first tour as a headliner, what city and venue are you most excited about playing?
I want to say I'm excited for all of them because i’m excited to play these songs in real time for people. I get really excited for LA because the Troubadour is iconic and it’s my first time playing there.
Tell me the story of what’s happening in the acoustic video. Does it come from a real life experience?
There are many storylines within a single storyline. The main one is two kids playing in a make believe fort in their backyard. Which, when they are inside of it - it is a whole castle in their minds. My brother and I used to play with cardboard boxes and make mazes when we were really young. That was maybe the most magical time in my life. There’s also a moment when the kid (resembling me) discovers a crown and heals and owns the wearing of both of those things. I grew up in a different time when gender expression was more rigid. One time I came out of my mom’s bedroom wearing her bathing suit and heals. She took a picture and it was joyful (i’m grateful I had a mom that supported my becoming).... but when I saw the print of that picture I panicked. I felt so embarrassed and tore up the picture and the film so that no one would see it. This video gave me a chance to heal that storyline. To know that it is all a part of the beautiful whole. that, to me, is the new way.
Why did you decide to release A New Way as acoustic?
I am a Gemini rising and I think there are two sides to every song - the record version and the acoustic version.
Your style is colorful, very much like your music. Do you pull style inspiration from a person, or do you wear what you’re feeling?
I pull inspiration from getting to play with it. I think I never got the chance to really play with it growing up and it’s nice to expand on that. Color and structure are just constructs. And sure, there are trends but expression is about more than just that - it’s about play and freedom and uniform to me. Some days i’d like to just wear the same thing every day and that feels nice because I don’t have to judge myself for it. Some schools argue that the school uniform is good because people don’t have to worry about the pressure of having designer labels, etc. I would say that is fine as long as each kid can create their own uniform - that it’s not one look for boys and one look for girls. Some days having a “look” is just about having clothing that feels uniform to me. And I don’t have to worry about whether or not it fits. Fashion as an extension of me. Other days i want to reject the uniform and see what I'm feeling. Both are valid, and both are fun to play with.
A New Way talks about your youth, which we channeled using the carnival atmosphere as the backdrop of our shoot. If you were to create a carnival based on your music, what would that look like?
Carnivals are the best. It’s a melting pop of people and experiences. I think my dream carnival would be a ride based on each of my songs with a sound isolation chamber where you would go in one at a time and write a sentence in a collective journal. You could hear everything in that room - the sound of your own heartbeat, your breath, and the sound a pencil makes as it touches fresh paper.