Morgan Saint is the Real Deal


Calkie Fisseha, General Manager

Still taken by in-studio shot by Brian Harrington

Morgan Saint is awesome. She‰’s talented, stylish, and dedicated. Although she‰’s quiet, she knows what she wants. Her debut EP, 17 Hero, dropped in mid-October and she‰’s ready to show the world what she‰’s about. Before her first stop on tour, Morgan Saint stopped by our studio for an acoustic session and interview.

Calkie: “You‰” is the lead single on your EP. What does that song mean to you? I read in your Pigeons and Planes interview that you wrote it over a year ago, how have you changed since then?

Morgan Saint: It was one of the very first songs that I wrote with the intention of recording. That was where it started. To me, it feels like the beginning of this journey that I am exploring on the EP. It is essentially me looking for myself, but trying to find it in another person. After searching for it, I realize that it was in me. It sounds clichÌ© but that‰’s the gist of it. There‰’s a lot of personal little things thrown in there- but that‰’s what it is about overall.

I‰’ve changed so much. I think I found what I was looking for in myself, which is very important for my own happiness. As far as my sound, every artist naturally evolves. I feel like I‰’m always growing and expanding on what I want my music to sound like. If anything, I‰’ve grown a lot since then. It‰’s been a big year of growth for me in my personal life. Musically, I‰’ve been able to hone in on my sound and get it to match the stories that I am trying to tell and the emotions that I am trying to get after.

Calkie: I know you went to Parsons and are really involved in the creative end of your music- how does that freedom influence your approach to music?

Morgan Saint: I‰’ve been really lucky. Everyone has heard horror stories of artists being signed to labels that control who they are as a person. Epic has given me full creative freedom, visually and musically. I write all my own music, so lyrically it is very personal for me. With everything I do, I want to approach it in a really intimate, authentic way. I want to make art with meaning. I went to school for visual art. Music is cool because I can use my visual mind to direct videos and come up with album artwork and design tour posters. The little things that I love to do. Me being so hands on makes it as personal as possible, that‰’s really important to me.

Calkie: The video for “You‰” was really cool! It kind of reminded me of Solange‰’s videos.

Morgan Saint: Thank you! I‰’m glad you can relate to it and appreciate it. I wonder how many people feel similarly. It‰’s not a traditional music video, so I have gotten mixed responses about it, but I like to take risks. I don‰’t want to put anything out that feels like it‰’s been already done before.

I do a lot of photography, so I think even in my framing for my music videos, I like to approach it in a very photographic way. I like to create a moving photograph.

Calkie: Yeah, I‰’m a film major and I was watching the video for “You‰” again last night and I thought ‰wow, my professors would really like this‰’. It‰’s telling a story, more through emotion, than anything else.

Morgan Saint: Wow. Thank you I really appreciate that.

Calkie: That leads into our next question- How does music and fashion intersect?

Morgan Saint: I don‰’t like to limit myself to a musical artist. I think it is just one spoke on the wheel of my creativity. For me, it all is one thing. When I get dressed in the morning, I dress to how I am feeling that day. I dress for myself, I really don‰’t care if somebody else doesn‰’t like what I‰’m wearing. When you‰’re performing, you want to dress in a way to make yourself feel the most confident. It all correlates. If you‰’re a musical artist and you‰’re promoting yourself in the public eye. It‰’s funny because I never really planned for this. I was making music because I just wanted to make art. This [career] sort of just happened, randomly. For a lot of my songs, even on my EP, I was literally writing for myself. I didn‰’t have the mindset that anybody else would hear it.

Calkie: Oh, that makes sense why all your songs on 17 Hero are deeply personal.

Morgan Saint: Yep! But I‰’ve written a lot since then. I don‰’t feel like it‰’s changed my approach in anyway.

Calkie: What does 17 Hero mean?

Morgan Saint: 17 is my all-time lucky number. I have it tattooed on me. It [the number] pops up in my life every day. I‰’m very into numerology. A few years ago, two people that passed away in my life that have been really special to me, both of their birthdays fall on the 17th of different months. It started there. Since then, I have met so many people that have influenced my life. It turns out, 17 is their lucky number too. My drummer, John, jokes that he‰’s from the 17th century because he has a very old-world look. Also, Cass, who plays the guitar, his lucky number is 17 too. There are a lot of weird coincidences.

On my EP, I write a lot about people who have impacted my life, whether it be in a negative way, a positive way, and helped me grow. I consider them all my personal heroes. Maybe not in your typical “super hero‰” sense but they all made an impact on me. I put those things together and came up with it [the EP name].

Calkie: I know that New York City is also a source of inspiration for you. What does NYC mean to you?

Morgan Saint: It is where I was born. It‰’s my home. I don‰’t think there is any city that compares to it. There‰’s a very specific energy- a creative, liberal, free spirit, that you feel when you‰’re there. I find that I am most inspired when I am in that environment. It‰’s not for everybody, but it means the world to me. My family is there and it‰’s a special place.

Check out 17 Hero on your favorite streaming platform or the iTunes store.

Recorded by Brian Harrington