Morgan Saint’s debut single is hard not to love. “You,” a poignant and austere track that perfectly exemplifies the ever-growing genre of “moody pop,” is reminiscent of Banks or Lorde but with a DIY flair. Her vocals, while stunning, are unintimidating and feel both casual and relatable. Same with her lyrics, which often address topics of identity or love. We find these two themes repeatedly on her EP 17 Hero, a promising body of work for the New York-based singer-songwriter. Moreover, the 23-year-old Parsons grad, originally from Mattituck, New York, has already a stunning aesthetic to accompany her music — one filled with androgyny and modestly refined beauty.
We spoke to the rising artist about making it in New York, amassing a following, and creating art without boundaries.
Do you feel that New York is conducive to being an artist?
Yes, absolutely. New York embodies such a specific vivacious energy that makes me feel liberated and infinitely inspired.
How do you approach the visuals that accompany your music?
Both facets of creative expression are equally important to me. In my head, one does not take precedence over the other — rather, they rely heavily on one and another. Ultimately, my goal is to create visuals that are unique, thought provoking, and boundary breaking.
Can you describe your creative process? What parts of this do you do completely on your own?
My creative process is very intimate and personal. Both musically and visually, I am very involved. In the majority of cases, all of my music is written at home by myself. I have never collaborated lyrically or melodically with anyone yet, but I have collaborated instrumentally on a few songs with my good friend and talented producer, Cass Dillon. The stories that I tell through my music are extremely honest and personal, so I don’t feel that anyone else could ever write these for me. As far as visuals go, I create all graphics including tour posters, album art, merch, etc. completely on my own. I often collaborate photographically with my creative counterpart, Sofia Colvin. However, I retouch and color all of my own photos. I think that collaboration is so important, and I feel grateful to be able to create work closely with people that I share an equally special personal relationship with.
Since you write your own lyrics, do you ever feel vulnerable sharing them with audiences, especially now that you've amassed a following?
I don’t think I’ve even fully processed the fact that people around the world are listening to my music and stories. But with that being said, I’ve only had positive feelings in regards to that notion.
How would you define success for yourself?
That’s a loaded question! I strive to be the most fearless, pure version of myself every day, and with that comes a sense of self-fulfillment that makes me feel successful. In regards to my career, I feel most successful when I am able to create without boundaries. It is a plus when people are able to find their own little homes in the art that I make.
What has it been like seeing so many people take note of your music?
I don’t even think a lot of this feels like reality to me. I am so hyper focused on making the best art that I possibly can, that I often wish that I could appreciate and celebrate the little moments and milestone accomplishments more easily. When I try to put it into perspective in my mind though, I feel nothing but grateful and excited.
How do you feel about the differentiation between time spent in the studio and time spent on stage? Do you have a preference as an artist?
I don’t feel like I’ve had enough experience to have a preference. So far, both make me feel equally alive.
How have you used social media with your art thus far?
I use social media as a platform to present myself through my art. My Instagram is a peek into my mind and what appeals to me.
If you weren't making music, what do you think you'd be doing with your life?
If I weren’t making music, I think I’d still be making art, just using a different medium as a platform to create.
Photographs by Sofia Colvin