May 25, 2017
Morgan Page's Exclusive Mix
Morgan Page is one of the most talented and respected producers in dance music and we are excited to present his Exclusive Mix and Story showcasing his production mindset and vision. Read on and enjoy an insightful look at the original and acoustic productions of “Other Girl,” as well as detailed thoughts on how he brings his more vocal, pop-oriented music into his DJ sets.
How did you approach your Exclusive Mix and how does it compare to your live sets?
With this mix I wanted to explore a little more of the deeper funkier tracks that I can't usually include live, so it spans quite a range, from deeper swingy tracks to peak time bangers. My live shows are all about energy, big vocals, and unexpected surprises.
Can you highlight three tracks included in your mix and why they stand out to you?
1. Morgan Page & Steve James - “Candles” (Carta Remix). This is a brand new unreleased remix of “Candles,” which gives a unique spin on the original. We were really blown away with the reaction to “Candles,” and are excited to see how people react to the remix.
2. Tiësto & Sevenn - “Boom.” I love this track because it has these unexpected silent moments – crowds love these little surprises.
3. Armin van Buuren & Garibay feat. Olaf Blackwood - “I Need You” (DubVision Remix). This is a beautiful and refreshing piece of music that's been stuck in my head and even in my dreams.
Now the Rain Man remix of your track “Other Girl” is coming out soon, right?
Yes and I’m very excited for people to hear it. The original “Other Girl” mix went through several variations – a few pop mixes, then a more tropical mix that added a nice swing groove to it.
What was your involvement in the songwriting process for “Other Girl,” and how did the track come together once you had the vocal?
Rayla, the singer, is 16 and she had done a rough demo with some other producers, but it was missing that melancholy vibe I'm known for, so I reworked the chord voicings and made my own pop mix with a more urban vibe. I added a new instrumental lead hook and new synths, and then re-tracked the vocal in my studio and did those airy vocal whisper layers. I like tracking the vocalist without a booth – they sing over my shoulder in the same room. I really liked the pop mix, but felt that we needed a more dance focused framework, so we reworked it one more time for the release version.
Did you road test the track at all in any form? How do you find a way to fit an unknown vocal into your sets?
“Other Girl” is tricky because of the tempo. It's the wild west these days and I'm doing everything from 90-128 BPM, but it can make it challenging to include in my sets, so I always have to make a live “banger” version that does tempo automation and dips down to the original tempo for the breakdown, or just stretches the vocal to 128, and mashes it up into an instrumental drop in the same key. With every song it's always a little nerve wracking to play a vocal that hasn't become familiar yet, but it just takes time. I find it most difficult to play unknown vocals by other artists – there isn't much payoff for that, unless it's absolutely undeniable. To keep the crowd energy going I just make a hit sandwich and put the unknown song between two familiar ones.
In April you released an acoustic version of “Other Girl” – what did you like about working on that version and showcasing another side of your production talent?
I loved stripping down the song to the essentials and seeing how it holds up. It's like tearing down a house to the studs. It's also refreshing because you're focusing on just a few layers, and you can really push those louder in the mix. There's no recognizable synth presets, and there's an organic timeless feel to the song.
Are there any artists out there right now who you are feeling particularly inspired by?
I'm always inspired by what Calvin Harris and Kygo are doing in the pop realm. I love the new Axwell & Ingrosso single “Renegade.”
Of all your tracks, which do you enjoy playing the most live?
“In The Air” still gets the biggest reaction, but my current favorite is the mashup of The Chainsmokers & Tiesto - “Split” and my song “Don't Give Up.” It's the first time I've given myself goosebumps with a mashup – always a good sign! The crowd always goes nuts when I play this.
What has you most excited for the upcoming summer?!
Right now the excitement is just about falling in love with the music process and staying in that mindset. Eating, sleeping, and breathing music, and not getting distracted by everything else in life. Really excited for the next single “Fight My Way” and wrapping up the next batch of singles!
Head over to http://www.morgan-page.com/
shows to see when Morgan Page is playing a show near you!
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