Interview by Paul Salfen
Many DJs have a reputation of having a wild lifestyle and the backstage vibe can be a lot of fun, but a little hectic when trying to conduct an interview. This isn’t the case with Morgan Page. There’s no entourage, there’s no random guests hanging around, and the one bottle of liquor in sight hasn’t even been touched and Page is about to hit the stage. Instead, the GRAMMY-nominated DJ and producer, 36, is extremely warm and accommodating, extremely attentive and professional, and gives off a very positive vibe. When he hits the stage, Page carries that same feeling to the crowd. There’s no one on the side of the stage taking Snapchat selfies or texting, no tricks, no gimmicks – just Page playing the hits and giving the crowd everything he has all by himself.
Now upon the eve of his appearance at Lights All Night in Dallas, Page will continue to give the crowd the hits like “The Longest Road,” “In the Air,” and “Fight For You,” as well as other surprises in his set before NGHTMRE.
AMFM: There’s a lot of people excited for your set. With so much to choose from now over the years, what slice of that can we expect to hear?
MP: I think a lot of originals, a lot of new singles that have come out, “Fight My Way,” which is one of the most recent singles, “Other Girl,” and I’ll be doing a lot of bootleg remixes of some of the originals to make sure they have some of that live energy to them.
AMFM: It has been a busy year for you and you’ve put out several singles yet no album. You don’t have to put out an album now it seems.
MP: Right. It’s a totally different process now. It was very difficult to work on an album for two years, have it come out, and it’s old immediately. Now it’s nice you can just release singles every couple of months.
AMFM: You used to work for a label so you know they’re maybe not the right move. MP: Yeah. I mean, I think they’re good as an aggregator or collective. For some artists, it’s not as crucial. With Armada, they’ve been a great partner. It’s cool to be on a dance music label for once.
AMFM: There will be a lot of young kids out there watching. What advice would you give them?
MP: Pretty much I’ve collected everything I’ve learned over the years and put it into a site for free so check it out MPquicktips.com. I’ve told people that total immersion is the best way to learn. Don’t dabble with it and work on music for 30 minutes a night. After you do your day job or whatever, spend two hours, three hours – burn the candle at both ends for a little while and see if you really like it. Be immersed in it – that’s the only way to really get good at it.
AMFM: Who was that DJ for you that you looked up to?
MP: Man, I think a lot of the guys I idolized were like John Digweed – Sasha & Digweed. And after signing to John’s label after a few years when I was in college…that was crazy. It was so weird…we were faxing record charts back and forth to each other and stuff. Ah, it was so old school. But there were guys that you looked up to and you need that influence, you need that mentor. Even if you don’t have someone directly mentoring you, that inspiration is really helpful.
AMFM: Where do you think EDM is going?
MP: For me, I’ve never been good at guessing where the sound design is going to be like. I’ve definitely seen hip hop making a big resurgence, especially over in Europe – and I hope we’re not going backwards. It’s definitely a different kind of hip hop. I’m definitely seeing things go more open format in Vegas so people are playing a little bit of everything. You’ll hear a bit of that in my set. I’ll sprinkle some trap and pop in there just to keep people on their toes. And different tempos – from 90 to 128, not just the same 128 stuff.
AMFM: Well, you have to keep yourself entertained, too, right?
MP: Yeah! Well, it’s different to make a song at 100 BPM rather than 128. It’s like you’re starting all over again.
AMFM: Have you walked into a festival or venue and the crowd isn’t what you thought? What do you do?
MP: Yeah, it’s always challenging in Vegas because not everyone knows who you are and there are a lot of tourists so you have to play a bit more familiar stuff so you have to be able to react and move quickly out of something. It’s interesting to see what people to react to and what they’re familiar with. In some cities, they know some of these older songs better and there’s a different percentage of diehard fans at the shows.
AMFM: So what do you prefer: these festivals? Sweaty club shows? Pool parties? What’s the most fun for you?
MP: I really like festivals because I get to go hang out with the other artists. I love clubs, but you’re typically isolated and don’t get to see the other artists because you’re on tour and they’re usually supporting acts. They’re all so different. But I like having an hour and a half. I used to do two hours but that started to feel too long for me. I know some guys do four hours.
AMFM: So who do you think is doing it right?
MP: Man, I really think it’s interesting what Kygo has done as a performer and a DJ. He’s known more for his live performance than his sound now and that’s really smart because you’re setting yourself apart by playing to the kids rather than just hitting play. I might integrate something in my set like that later on but we’ll see what happens.
AMFM: Obviously you travel all over the world, but how do you keep yourself entertained? Do you ever still do touristy stuff?
MP: Sometimes I do. Today I got my workout in and did some running around the museum district. I have to do that to stay sane – and try and stay in shape. I like foodie stuff. Tonight we tried this thing called The Impossible Burger. It was great. We overdid it, though. We ordered a double stack. I gotta get some Red Bull to wake up tonight now.
AMFM: Well, the crowd keep you energized.
MP: Yeah! And the sound is so different in every venue and you’ve got that electricity coming from the crowd and the acoustics and everything is just a little different.
AMFM: Even though we just got some, will we hear even more new music from you soon?
MP: Yeah. Well, we’ve got some remixes now from “Fight My Way,” “Backroom,” and a new single after that. So lots on the way. It’s good to keep it regularly coming out these days.