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Moody Pop from Morgan Saint

From just completing her Illustration major at Parsons the New School for Design to taking interviews at Sony, she is in quite the enviable position. Having recently been signed by the major music label Epic, premiered a music video, 'You', directed by Nathan Crooker, and with an EP soon to follow— she has a shockingly humble, sensitive demeanor, and has mastered maintaining impressive morals when it comes to keeping her artistic identity intact. We interviewed the rapidly rising singer to hear more about how she intends on building her brand, while also being herself.

Are you from the city?


Originally from the end of Long Island, the North Fork, way out there, but I went to school here at Parsons... I just graduated last year, in Illustration.


Were you doing this while at Parsons?


I was writing but I wasn’t giving it my full energy at all. So right after I graduated was when it started to be full energy into music. Good timing, though.


So are you having a very different New York experience now? I can only imagine it being pretty wild going right from being a student, to this setting. 


It’s really just less structure. I didn’t spend a lot of time in school when I wasn’t in class, so it’s not a huge shift for me but it’s nice. I have been designing all of my visual art— all of the EP art, and we are doing a vinyl… All the graphics, and everything for that, I am involved in. I am still doing the work but it’s much more than a school project. So there is more of a purpose. And it’s cool being able to use the skills from school and use my visual sense to create a brand for myself.


What is your biggest form of inspiration, outside of music?


Photography is something I really love. 


Favorite photographer?


Harley Weir... I am just as into visual art as I am music, and I want this to be a strong part of my music. It’s been really hands on with this album.


It’s unique getting into the commercial level and being able to be so much a part of the art.


I feel very lucky they’ve trusted me with that.


Does it stress you out?


I think it would stress me out more knowing someone else was just going to handle it all. I just feel like for myself, as a visual person, when I listen to music— someone’s videos, album art, those are just as important as the sound. I just am super aware that I want it to be authentically me, I need design to be something I don’t give up control of, in order to keep everything cohesive and true to myself.


Could you put your music into a genre?


I don’t know we have tried to put it in a category, it’s definitely a little bit left of pop. Moody pop?


That’s a good oxymoron.


When I am writing I try to pull from what I look for in music. I love lyrics, and I pay attention to writing. Some people don’t listen to the words at all but that is always important to me. I listen for that, and I also like it being catchy. Combining those elements.


Interesting, though the ‘moody’ element in pop, because I feel like people often go to that genre for a boost? So is there an intention behind your songs to be relatable for the moody crowd or for the moody people to feel better?


As far as the EP, there is a little both. It tells a story of myself, with songs that are heart-wrenching and emotional, but by the end there are songs where I feel I am at a happier, more positive place... It takes you on a journey of what I was going through at the time, a reflection of how I have had those struggles in life, as we all had, and finding confidence in myself, as cliche as it sounds. There are songs that have sad lyrics but the sound is almost agressively energetic. All a mixture.


And the significance of the title?


It’s called 17 Hero, because 17 is my lucky number. I am really into numerology.


What is the power behind 17? I notice you have it as a tattoo, as well. 


The most important people that have passed away in my life, all of their birthdays are on the 17th. Different months, but it’s just a number that pops up everywhere I go. And all of the people who have really impacted me, their favorite numbers are always 17. It’s weird, really bizarre. And the hero part, that’s just those people that have really really impacted me. Whether it was negatively or positively, so it’s not your typical superhero. Just special people.

Directed by Nathan Crooker, Art Direction by Sofia Colvin and Morgan Saint, HMU by Caitlin Monahan

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