Norwich singer songwriter Jess Morgan has today released her new single, ‘Whitby’. We asked Jess to answer Six Quick Questions for us.
EP: Hi Jess! We saw you perform in London as support for a-ha. How did that come about?
JM: Hi. Great that you could make the gig. It came about because Paul (a-ha)’s solo projects happen to work with the same label that I work with. So it was really just a helping hand that the band were willing to extend to some up and coming acts. It’s a rare thing and I feel very lucky that it played out so simply and organically. Usually a band or an artist would have to buy their way onto a tour like that. Sad but true.
EP: What have you been doing since then?
JM: Well, I’ve been back to Norway and done s little bit of recording in my favourite studio there. And I’ve been writing.
EP: You’ve got a new single, ‘Whitby’. It’s got more of an indie folk feel that your other releases, we can actually picture ourselves in Whitby…what’s your inspiration for it? It feels decidedly autobiographical? Talk us through it.
JM: Thanks yes, we’ve used a little bit of synth in there. I’ve also been playing more keys and electric guitar on stage lately, and that’s been something I’ve wanted to come out in the recordings too. I think it’s had to do with touring last year with a band and also the double-header shows I did last year too. I’m lucky to have had some of the most encouraging, positive influences I’ve ever had in my musical life around me just recently and I think it’s made me up my game.
So Whitby – yeah – It’s about those times when we feel a bit rotten – maybe work is driving us down, or we’d just had a bad day – and we come home and take it out on the people closest to us. I’ve done that. I do that. The Whitby idea just stuck with me because it’s a long way from home for me. It’s somewhere I’ve driven home from so many times, always with the best intentions – but those intentions have quickly dissolved on the doorstep into a bad mood and short temper.
EP: You’re known for your DIY approach to your music. Now you’re signed to Drabant Music, is this still as important for you? What are the pros and cons of being signed as opposed to unsigned? Do you still feel you have full creative control?
JM: Well, being ‘signed’ and ‘unsigned’ is a little bit of old model speak which I think isn’t really relevent in my story. Its really not a case, of kicking back and letting someone else run the show. I’m an independent artist. I’ve done a deal with a record label which means I get to use their channels to promote my music and we arrange finances accordingly. I own my masters. I make the calls. The person in control of my music is me.
That said, the label gives me the feeling of being a part of something bigger. Drabant is a very caring label. Actually because of this, I’m working harder than ever to produce my best work and to make interesting plans – because I want them to feel proud of their only British act.
EP: What advice do you have for anyone starting out in music right now? And if you could change anything and do it differently, what would that be and why?
JM: I’d do a billion things differently. Far too many to name!
I would say simply, make your mistakes. Don’t get hung up on there being an end game. Enjoy every step for what it is. It’s way more fun that way.
EP: What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview but nobody ever does?
JM: I suppose I just think – ask me the same things as you ask the men.
‘Whitby’ is out today through Drabant Music and is available on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. You can find out more about Jess Morgan online on her official website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Bandcamp.