Get to know new Sydney-based indie-pop songstress Morgan Houston, who last week dropped her debut single ‘Not Quite Yet’.
The track deals with trying to emancipate oneself from a caustic relationship and each and every lyric drips with feeling. It’s a gorgeous piece.
But who IS Morgan? And how did she get to here, her debut single? Find out below in our latest Get To Know feature!
01. Name : Morgan Houston.
02. Where are you based? Sydney.
03. How did you get your start in music? I am a classically trained pianist and violist but my first real venture into performance was when I joined a university big band as the lead vocalist. I was singing to myself at a string quartet rehearsal and one of the guys in the band at the time came up to me and asked me if I wanted to join.
I went from singing in the shower to singing at bars and different public and private events. The joy I felt performing and the way I could connect to an audience of strangers made me realise that this was something I wanted to pursue.
Then, after a series of unfortunate events, the band dissolved and I was stuck at home and immobile for three months with a broken leg. I felt compelled to write an album and here we are!
04. Give us five words to best describe you as an artist. Versatile, honest, vulnerable, raw, hopeful.
05. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. I think my sound is really influenced by what I listen to and my musical background. Piano has always been an integral part of my music-making and I think that in all my songs, the piano is an important character in the layers of sound. Even when I want a dance beat, I love incorporating this with the rhythmic and melodic elements of the piano.
I think my music is also a hybrid result of the varied music I listen to. I like combining the soft earnestness of artists such as The Paper Kites, Dustin Tebbutt and Bon Iver with the addictive ear candy energy of artists such as Ariana Grande, Tinashe, SG Lewis and BENEE.
06. What’s your earliest musical memory? Singing the solo in a ‘High School Musical’ song for Australian Girls Choir in the Opera House when I was 11 (it was a big deal at the time).
07. Who have been your musical influences? Ariana Grande’s vocal production and layering, Lennon Stella, Julia Michaels, Tinashe, and the exquisite yet subtle beauty of Lizzy McAlpine’s debut album.
08. What are your favourite songs of all time? ‘Words’ – The Kite String Tangle (gets me everytime). ‘Save My Soul’ – JoJo (belt it in the car, hair blowing in the wind).
09. Where’s your favourite place to listen to music? The car (especially at nighttime).
10. Who are your go-to artists when you’re feeling :
Happy : SG Lewis, Harry Styles, Chris Brown, SZA.
Sad : Bon Iver, Kodaline, Novo Amor.
Introspective : Julia Michaels, Charlotte Lawrence, Carlie Hanson.
Exhausted : Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Olafur Arnalds.
11. What was the first album you ever bought? ‘Innocent Eyes’ – Delta Goodrem.
12. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. I love to surf!
13. What would your chosen career be if music wasn’t an option? Lawyer (I’ve done four years of a law degree!!)
14. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? Keep working hard and don’t compare yourself to other people.
15. What’s been the highlight of your musical journey so far? Singing as a featured guest at The Monday Jam night at The Vanguard in Newtown. It was so amazing to be surrounded by so much talent and inspiration.
16. What’s been the strangest experience you’ve had in the business? The influx of creepy messages on social media by people purporting to be part of the music industry haha.
17. If you could trade places with any artist in the world right now, who would it be? Oh that’s easy – Ariana Grande (good to aim low 😉).
18. Tell us about your debut release. I wrote ‘Not Quite Yet’ on my guitar in the garden when my leg and heart were broken!! It was just to help me express my feelings and find some peace in the healing process – I definitely did not ever envisage releasing it. But when I was writing the album and playing my closest friends some different tracks, ‘Not Quite Yet’ was consistently the favourite and it’s been stuck in my best friend’s head ever since I first showed it to her!!
‘Not Quite Yet’ is such a personal and vulnerable thing for me to put out into the world. It is essentially a diary entry about how I knew I had to end a toxic relationship with a narcissist for good but I was so subconsciously addicted to the cycle of trauma that I always felt like I had to hold on a little bit longer.
It is interesting that sonically it sounds quite cheerful and hopeful. But I think this contrast is reflective in the title itself as ‘Not Quite Yet’ does imply that, even at that point, I could envisage a brighter future once I let go.
19. What do your future plans involve? I will be releasing my second single with a music video in June and the EP in July!! I’m already working on the second album as I have been feeling very creatively inspired lately – I hope to release that maybe at the end of the year or early 2022. I also hope to play a lot more live shows around Sydney – and then I don’t know… maybe Madison Square Gardens. 😉
20. Where can our audience catch you live? I’ll next be playing at the Vanguard on June 22 or at Civic Underground July 8. I also have a couple shows in August around Marrickville.
INSTAGRAM : https://www.instagram.com/morganhoustonmusic
FACEBOOK : http://www.facebook.com/morganhoustonmusic
TIKTOK : http://www.tiktok.com/morganhoustonmusic
TWITTER : http://www.twitter.com/morganhousmusic
SOUNDCLOUD : https://soundcloud.com/morgan-houston-531579279
YOUTUBE : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBKS4maGgJt-kZD5SZrvyiA