morgxn is human. On Saturday, February 16th, the alt-pop singer-songwriter played a show in Miami. Early on the 17th, he flew back up north to Philadelphia. After performing a new song called “Holy Water” that night, he’ll tell the crowd that it’s been a crazy day, but “I’m just so grateful that you’re here – I don’t even have words for it.” He’s tired from the constant travel and from adjusting to different climates, but – referencing a line in “carry the weight” (“let them hear the break in your voices / you’ll never know how much you can take”) – he wants you to hear the break in his voice.
“I am exhausted,” he shares, “because I wanna show up everywhere a hundred and nine thousand percent, but I’m also human.” Tired as he is, he’s also “so excited to be here, and nothing is going to stop me from that excitement, and I will give everything I have.”
He compares touring to riding a wave – it’s not so much about the up and down, but rather, “you want to ride the wave; you don’t want it to ride you. Part of touring is surrender and moving with it.” He notes that, “Everything is so watery to me, I write about water, I fucking love the water”, and adds that the past 24 hours have been “a bit of a tidal wave, but after the tidal wave there’s gonna be more waves, and just because it’s a tidal wave doesn’t mean that it’s taking you down forever. You find your peak, and then you ride it, and I think that’s what I love about it.”
Since morgxn released “love you with the lights on” at the end of 2016 and went on his first tour shortly after, it’s been a slow build, which has allowed him to learn how to take care of himself (he likes soup and tea and eating healthy; he works out and stretches; he uses essential oils to “set a vibe”). Right now, something magical is happening: a fan gave him crystals, and others have been creating art inspired by his music, like a necklace with a rainbow pendant that says “vital” (a nod to his 2018 debut album, vital) to give him. Art inspired by his art “honestly is kinetic; it keeps me going. I will let them hear the break in my voice because I have so much to say. It’s so human. Ultimately, that’s what we are.”
morgxn is vulnerable, and while being vulnerable is scary, it’s also important – it’s vital. In January, he released the vital: blue EP; opening track “blue” explores the vulnerability in telling someone just how much they mean to you. Accessing our true feelings allows us to access true depth, but “sometimes our feelings and our fears, they’re not necessarily ours; they’re things projected on to you. When you access your own vulnerability, I think you actually find your humanity and your strength, and ultimately that’s what the world needs.” When he plays “Holy Water,” as his high notes soar over a rumbling bass line, he’ll fall to his knees on stage. A few minutes later, during “me without you,” which was written about the loss of his father and understanding who he was in the midst of his grief, he’ll stop in the bridge, hand on his heart and eyes closed, to breathe in, before taking the final chorus.
Right now, “people are dying just because they’re trying to be themselves.” During “carry the weight,” morgxn will hop off the stage and lean forward over the barricade, telling the crowd that “there are people dying and I don’t stand for that.” Creating art that reflects his vulnerability and strength is important, and “if I, as an artist, can’t make something that reflects my own vulnerability – and my own strength, too – then what am I doing? Like – what’s the actual point? The point is not clicks or ticks or anything like that – the point is connection.”
Even if we look, sound, or love differently, we’re all flesh and bone inside, and at the end of the day, “we’re so much more connected than we think.” vital, for morgxn, is a starting point. Though “blue” opens the new EP, he chose to call the EP vital: blue instead of simply blue, because vital is the start of a conversation that’s extended beyond the album itself. “As strong as I felt when I wrote ‘carry the weight’ is sometimes as broken as I feel now, in the state of our world, and it’s why this version of ‘carry the weight’ exists.” Neither version of the song – the original, a rallying cry to show your strength, or the stripped-down and bare vital: blue version, backed by string sections from The Orchid Quartet- is truer than the other, and morgxn loves seeing artists “show duality and show depth. Those are my favorite works of art.”
morgxn is strong, and he’s comfortable with who he is now. It wasn’t always that way: he’s had a long journey in figuring out who he is and where he belongs. On “home,” he explores leaving behind where you’re from to create a place where you belong, and on “carry the weight,” he refuses to get knocked down. He gets emotional and begins to cry as he talks about being the kid in middle school who “was made fun of for just literally sounding and looking different.”
Now, morgxn feels “very comfortable in expressing myself through what I wear, what I say, what I do.” He has a creative, expressive fashion sense: in Philadelphia, he wears a red velvet jacket with embroidered flowers, black pants with decorative zippers all over, and pink glitter Doc Marten boots. While performing “home,” he’ll apologize to the crowd for being sick (“I want to give it my all, all the time, but I’m also human”), and ask for help singing the words. “I think if we’re not evolving, we’re dead,” he says reflecting on his growth and coming into his own. Hearing that he is a role model “validates the whole journey”: he knows what’s it like to feel like you’re on the outside looking in, though now he realizes “the outside is where I want to be.”
To form those deep connections, we must open up, and be vulnerable with one another. We have to share our hearts with others – to let them know what we feel and why they matter to us. Introducing “vital,” he’ll say, “There are people in this world that are so important, and if you don’t cherish those people, they’re gonna go too soon.” It’s a risk to open up, but taking that risk is what makes us human.
Visit www.morgxn.com for more info and to see upcoming tour dates.