Interview: Morgan Saint Talks ‘HELP’ EP & Her Evolving Sound
Since debuting with 17 HERO in 2017, Morgan Saint has carved out a niche as one of pop’s most interesting and original voices thanks to outrageously good projects like ALIEN and a smattering of stand-alone singles. The singer/songwriter was mysteriously absent from the music scene for most of 2019, but she’s back with a new EP called HELP. Which is bigger, bolder and blunter than anything that came before it. From the ferocious “DON’T BE SCARED” to the lovely “I DREAMT THAT I KNEW YOU,” this is all killer, no filler.
The NYC native was kind enough to answer some of my questions about the EP including the fate of “God Bless Our Souls” (AKA one of the best songs of 2019). Morgan revealed that the delay between projects was due to personal turmoil and professional upheaval, and opened up about releasing music in the age of Coronavirus. Other topics of conversation ranged from self-love to her relationship with Los Angeles. Catch up with the alt-pop star in our Q&A below and stream HELP in full at the bottom of the interview.
How are you coping with the insanity of 2020?
I’m hanging in there! Really just taking it one day at a time and doing my best to think optimistically and appreciate what I have.
What was it like being in NYC during the outbreak of Coronavirus?
It was pretty crazy. I was moving out of one apartment and into another, so that was a bit hectic. I was lucky enough to stay with my family outside of the city for a couple of the rough months though, so it was nice to have a bit of an escape.
What’s it like promoting music during lockdown?
It’s definitely weird and limiting, but I’m doing my best to utilize social media and the internet as much as possible.
Why was there a delay between projects? I’ve been gagging for new music.
UGH I know, me too! Honestly, the past couple of years have been some of the most challenging years of my life so far. I was making this music all along… like so many songs! But there were a lot of important changes transpiring and growth happening behind the scenes when it came to my team and my personal life that sort of held the process up a bit. I’m in such a better, happier place right now, though, and I feel really empowered after distancing myself from certain toxic relationships and really having the space to freely create this EP and stand on my own.
What happened to “God Bless Our Souls”? I love that song.
At one point, it was part of an album that never really came to fruition. I’m happy now that it sort of stands on its own as a bit of a stepping stone to this new music. I love that song and put a lot of energy into that video, so I’m sort of bummed it didn’t necessarily get the attention I feel it deserved over some of my other music… but that’s all a part of the dance I suppose.
How would you describe the shift in sound between ALIEN and HELP?
I think it’s a pretty big shift actually. I really completely rejected and broke down every box that I had put myself in creatively! Beyond that, I think it feels bolder, stronger and more honest and blunt than ever before. I haven’t held back on anything. This project was truly from my heart and brain directly to you. There was no one else’s opinion in the way this time.
HELP is definitely bolder in regard to sexuality (“DON’T BE SCARED” and “HELP”). What prompted that?
Good question. I mean, I feel like my soul has really finally settled into my body if that makes sense. I have definitely spent a lot of my life suppressing, molding and dulling parts of myself to make other people feel more comfortable. Well not anymore! So I think this music just reflects the honesty that comes from that sort of self-love and self-assurance that I’ve settled into.
There seems to be a common thread that runs through the EP. Are the songs all about the same person?
Yeah it’s pretty much all about the same situation, which involves a few people. Definitely a painful and turbulent experience for everyone involved, so there was a lot to write about. Writing this EP has been a really cathartic experience.
So… “THIS CITY.” What is so bad about LA?
HAH! I actually LOVE LA, and have been so sad I haven’t been able to be there the past 6 months or so. I spent months and months there making this music, living in a hotel room on Sunset Boulevard by myself. I remember feeling a little bit lonely, and definitely missed certain people back home in NYC so much. I was dealing with a lot in my personal life, so having that space to sit with myself and really dissect my life and certain relationships was truly a blessing in disguise.
At that time I felt sorry for myself and sort of lost. Ironically, now looking back, those are some of my favorite memories. That time and space in LA allowed me to grow and become a much strong and better version of myself, and for that I’m very grateful. Plus, LA has the best weather, food and shopping!
The EP is quite optimistic. Are you the one person having a good year?
Haha, maybe! Ironically, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life!
Is there an album on the horizon?
Gosh, I don’t even know. I would imagine. Definitely more music in some fashion, that’s a guarantee.
Will you be doing any virtual gigs to support the album?
I’m brainstorming. I wanna do something that feels special and grand, so stay tuned!