Jess Morgan interview
Jess Morgan entrances us on MusicRiot Presents… podcast episode 6, and so we thought it was a good idea to find a bit more about the woman behind the voice.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Now let me see… I was born and grew up in Norfolk. I’m a huge fan of the countryside and the coast which Is why i suppose, things didnt work out so well for me in London this year. I moved to the big city after graduating to try to gig as much as possible and make a name for myself.
I did play a lot of gigs and think it came to about 60 gigs from October to October. I’m a hard worker and I’m always writing wherever I go. I’ve moved back to Norwich now and intend to try to build a solid following of likeminded people whilst still keeping links with London and other regions.
How long have you been making music?
I began playing and singing at uni in York. There was a cool little open-mic night every other Thursday and eventually i did pluck up the courage to go and play a song. The support i found while I was at university was tremendous and i couldn’t imagine a better start or more supportive people to be around.
How did you start as a solo artist and when?
From that open-mic night a guy offered me a gig in a local pub and it just went from there. I’ve always gigged under the name Jess Morgan and i suppose things just started to take off for me. I lived in halls a few doors down from another student called Nick who helped me make my first recording.
I do listen back and cringe at those songs now for sure but i remember thinking at that time that for once in my life something really did fit and i’d found something that I was, or had the potential to be good at.
What/Who are your influences for your music?
I was brought up listening to some great music. My mum and dad love their music and have pretty eclectic tastes which was an advantage for me growing up. They introduced me to some of the greatest vocalists around like Tina Turner, Paul Rodgers, Seal, Canned Heat, Stevie Nicks, Annie Lennox and so many more. When I decided I was interested in lyrics, I found there was plenty in their collection to pinch and I was particularly taken with bands like Del Amitri, Deacon Blue, The Robert Cray Band, Fleetwod Mac, Thin Lizzie, Cream, Dexys Midnight Runners and loads more… These days I tend to make a bee line for singer songwriters which seems a bit lazy and i’m always telling myself to broaden my horizons!
You’ve got some great tracks – how come you haven’t been signed yet?
Its a competative industry and it isn’t the same as it used to be. I’ve done a lot of sending out demos to the labels and even met with a few. I think its hard if you happen to lack resources. If the industry was all about the songs and little else then i think it would be a lot different and there would be a lot more scope for singer songwriters such as myself.
Image and potential to be commercial seem like they’re higher up the priorities list as far as the big labels are concerned. I’m talking with a small label in Norwich about trying out a release with them and seeing what kind of a response we get.
How long have you been gigging?