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Interview & Podcast: Morgan Page

Not everyone can say they've even come close to being Grammy nominated. Well, Morgan Page can, as he talks LA, DJ idols and the art of remixing.


Ibiza Spotlight: Hey Morgan, where are you in the world right now?

Morgan Page: Right now I'm at my studio in Los Angeles - getting ready to start my North American album tour in a few weeks.

Tell us how your 2009 was and what plans you have for 2010?

2009 was my busiest year yet - I finished my 13 song original album, completed dozens of remixes, and played everywhere from Australia to Brazil. "The Longest Road (Deadmau5 Remix)" got nominated for a Grammy, and I was also nominated for two IDMA awards at the Winter Music Conference in Miami. As for 2010 - I'm incredibly excited to see what the world thinks about the new album. It took 1 1/2 years to make and I think these songs will stand the test of time.

Being based in LA, what's different about the scene/music there, and in the States, compared with other parts of the world?

I feel like the scene here is mainly other cultures bringing their own nightlife scene to the states, especially in LA. You have a really interesting mix of people that are passionate about dance music. But your "average" American that's been here for several generations is not used to the club lifestyle, and doesn't quite understand it because it's not as accessible as pop & urban music. Thankfully now that radio has been embracing this house/hip-hop/pop hybrid, it's getting more attention. To me Europe has taken dance music to a whole other level, and the quality of the material from European producers is amazing. My favorite music is from the UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, and Australia.

You've remixed some really interesting artists (Yoko Ono, Madonna, La Roux), do you have a formula for how you approach each remix?

Each remix calls for something different. I switch it up every time and just experiment - but I always try to take the song to a new level and give it new life. With every mix I usually mute everything except the vocals and start building new chords and arpeggios around that lead line. On several remixes I'll add new hooks by chopping up the vocals and re-ordering the notes, or I'll change the arrangement to improve it or just make it more appropriate for the dancefloor. Most of my remixers these days are very club-focused, but occasionally I like to do a downtempo or midtempo mix.

In future, do you see yourself spending more time on one thing in particular (DJing, remixing or your own productions)?

I'll probably be DJ'ing more to support the album and possibly constructing a live show to play at festivals. I've played all over the world, but there are several countries in Europe I've never had a chance to play. As far as producing, I love remixes, but I will be focusing more on original albums in the next few years.

What interests you about dance music culture at the moment? And what don’t you like?

I like that guys like Deadmau5 are defying convention and really doing their own thing. They are making it a true live experience, as opposed to the same old DJ set. I don't like how dance music typically has a limited shelf life, and everyone is so focused on the sound of the moment. I care more about songs that last for decades.

Morgan and Deadmau5

Who is your DJ idol?

Pete Tong probably. Just the fact that he can champion an artist and break records so quickly. There are a number of strictly club DJs that I really enjoy: Axwell, Dirty South, Mark Knight.

As we've just entered a new decade, tell us where you were 10 years ago?

10 years ago I produced my first vinyl record called the "Maple Grooves EP" on Fiji Recordings. I was interning in NYC during the summer and they gave me my first break after playing them my demo tape for months.

What achievement are you most proud of from the last decade?

The Grammy nomination for The Longest Road Deadmau5 remix, the IDMA nominations, and remixes for Madonna and others are great - but I think it's really just the songs I've written and the reactions I get from people I meet on the road..

Finally, Ibiza Spotlight viewers will be able to listen to an exclusive podcast that you've done for us, how would you describe your sound to someone who'd never heard you play before?

My style is very progressive, techy, and melodic - with lots of vocals.


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