You’re about to get your indie-pop fix this weekend, courtesy of a young musician named Morgan Mallory. Mallory just released his new single ”Bullet” at the end of January, the lead track from his forthcoming EP. The song is an introduction to a new sound for the artist, one that combines his knack for the funk, soul and rock n’ roll on which he was raised. The EP will expand on this sound, and lyrically explore a wide range of emotions and storylines, with ”Bullet¸ serving as the introduction to it all. Every track on the upcoming EP is self-produced, a testament to the versatility of Mallory’s talents.
As an artist, Mallory combines the sounds of his youth to create his own version of modern-day pop music that can’t be relegated to simply one category. What’s certain about it is that his music is diverse and feeds off the emotion that he brings to it. Mallory spent his youth in Portland before he made his way to Los Angeles to capitalize on better opportunities to expand and develop his career. To discover more of Mallory’s music, you can find it all both on Apple Music and Spotify.
We recently spoke to Mallory so that we could learn more about his rapidly developing musical career. Read on as Mallory discusses his roots, his current approach to releasing his new music, and the challenges of being an indie musician in the year 2020.
Released in at the end of 2019, check out the lyric video for ”Rise Up:”
Where are you from and what style of music do you create?
Morgan Mallory: “I was born and raised in beautiful, rainy Portland, Oregon. The music I make now is a cocktail of pop melody, rock/soul rhythm, and indie/electronic textures.”
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to stay the course?
Mallory: “Portland was a bit grittier when I was a kid, serving as an incubator for the fledgling avant-garde artist. Rent was cheap, and everyone I knew worked at a bar, coffee shop, restaurant, or a strip club. It created an environment where no one was really concerned with commercial success, therefore allowing very genuine artistic expression. However, as time went by, I hungered for something a bit more ‘polished.’
I was raised in a humble household that blasted everything from Motown/funk to classical, ‘70s prog rock to experimental jazz. I didn’t exactly understand everything I heard, but I felt the vibrations from the furniture-sized speakers in the living room and knew I needed to learn how to conjure up such magic, on my own. I still yearn for the unusual, but find my own ways of folding it into something a wider audience can connect with. At this point, 100 percent of my education has been geared toward building an artistic skillset, and I’ve committed myself to that calling.”
View the artwork for Mallory’s new single ”Bullet”:
How is your new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
Mallory: “One big difference is that I’m releasing this new batch of music one by one, as a series of singles. Each song gets to live and breathe as its own entity, building on each previous release. The songs are more vibe-y, designed to make you move, sing along, play along, and dissect. I’m also collaborating with visual artists to create a fictional world around the songs. I’m a huge sci-fi nerd, so I saw this as an opportunity to create more than just music. The music is a blend of old and new, so the world we’ve created is a cyberpunk Gotham, of sorts. Neon and marble. I wanted to see how far my imagination would go, creating characters, environments, and storylines to accompany the songs. Sure, it’s kind of a concept album, but I really just wanted to make sure there was always more for a fan to dig their teeth into. Art is supposed to give us somewhere to escape.”
Do you face any challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? On the flip side, how has technology helped you (if it has)?
Mallory: “I’m facing all the challenges of being an indie musician in the digital age! Aside from coming up with compelling work (the most important part), I have to be the producer, booking agent, promoter, artistic director, marketing director, manager, blah, blah, blah. The list goes on forever. That’s just the reality of it, these days. I don’t come from money and have had to build my team from the ground up. No matter how hard you work, there’s always so much more work to do.
Back in the day, artists could more or less just focus on the write, record, tour schedule, while the labels handled all the back-end. The trade-off was that the artists didn’t have much control over how the business was conducted, and a lot of people were taken advantage of. Nowadays, all the resources one would need are available through private parties, giving the artist ultimate control. This is good and bad. Artists are not well-known for their aptitude on the business side. The new technologies make our lives simultaneously easier AND harder, but it’s up to us to learn the new tools of the trade. That’s the price we now pay for creative freedom, and I am excited to see the continued rise of the creative class.”
Listen to the brand new single ”Bullet:”
Where can we follow you online and hear more music?
Mallory: “The most up-to-date source is my Instagram where everything is teased/released first. You can find all my previous releases on every streaming/discovery outlet there is; Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, and so on. Whatever service you use, I’m on it. Since there will be new music coming out every month, I invite you to follow/add me to your playlists. I wanna hear from you, too!”
Anything else before we sign off?
Mallory: “Just to remind everyone reading that YOU are the future of the creative landscape. YOU are the revolution, evolving in real-time. Be proud of what you’re adding to the conversation, and leave room for someone else’s magic to develop. I hope to do this until I physically can’t anymore, so let’s do it together.”
Upcoming Tour Dates:
02/15 - San Manuel Casino, Highland, CA
02/17 - Happy Hour Saloon, Corona, CA