Morgan Page talks the key to long term success in the ever-changing dance music industry [Interview] – Dancing Astronaut
It’s 2008, and the remix “The Longest Road” has just been nominated for a Grammy. Legends like , and are leading the European fervor for Trance, but the dance scene in the United States is still very much a niche interest. isn’t a three day festival yet, and the US music tastes are at a crossroads.
Britney Spears is being awarded “Best Dance Track” nominations, and rap, pop, and punk rock are all at a stand still with no clear vector to the forefront the millennial generation’s ever multiplying interests. Meanwhile, a 27 year old from Vermont named is navigating a hit single that will be the beginning a long, career—hard won through persistence, talent, and the impending explosion electronic music in the US.
If you ask Morgan Page when his career started, he would tell you that it was in the back room the University Vermont’s student run radio station, all the way back in ’96.
At 16, he’d discovered the channel thumbing through the jam bands, classic rock, and hip hop that cluttered the FM dial in his hometown, a suburb Burlington, Vermont. Before long, Page was filling in as a host and DJ for students too hungover to make their shifts. After a stint managing a channel in Boston, Page scored a summer internship at a hot New York record label where his job duties included taking out executives’ garbage.
It wasn’t until Page released “” in 2008 that Page had his ‘breakthrough moment’ as an artist. After years effort behind getting a club residency, he enlisted to do a remix for his new single, hiring the superstar producer outright. This decision would earn Deadmau5’s first Grammy nomination, and produced the song that could be heard in every club and radio station nationwide.
But the world in which Page first became a household name in the electronic community is so starkly different than the landscape electronic music in the US now. Ultra has careened into a 3-day two weekend event, superstar DJs are filling arenas on the merit their own productions, and the electronic music industry was . It’s an evolution that hasn’t escaped Page’s scrutiny.
Unlike other artists in the industry, Page has found a way to experiment with his sound as electronic has turned commercial without compromising the core what makes him unique as a producer. He has not caved to the trends, pivoting to pop/rap collaborations that are sure fire radio hits. Instead, he’s has managed to stay not only relevant, but popular, despite a staunch disinterest in infusing hip hop into his music.
Another dynamic the evolving music industry that has affected Page’s decision making not stylistically, but strategically, is the evolution how to successfully release music to fans. Page has shifted his focus from album releases to singles, with the acknowledgement that singles can be missed when stand alone. Contrastingly, releasing a full album all at once puts the songs at risk for having one hit single on the album overshadow other great releases that may have made more an impact if not released alongside other songs.
Despite changing his release strategy, Page has remained consistent in his approach to making his music. He discusses at length how he has managed to diversify his production process through collaborations as well as what goes into making a hit in the world modern day dance music.
Page was unique in that he remained on a smaller label for years before joining electronic giant in November 2016. Armada was not his first run in with big record labels, however. Page and his team had a slight mishap with Atlantic when the label created electronic imprint Big Beat Records and tried to get him on board as the first artist to join.
As Morgan has navigated record labels, an evolving production and release process, and staying popular amidst changing fan desires and genre popularity, he attributes his success to a variety factors. He also has definitive opinions on his place in the electronic community. He wraps up our conversation by talking about the challenges that many artists don’t publicly confront, along with how he has been able to not only survive, but thrive in the ever-changing journey being an electronic producer in this day and age.
Photos courtesy Morgan Page.