Progressive house and electro DJ Morgan Page has something special planned for his headlining set at the Cayman Islands Winter Music Festival on Saturday, 2 April.
“I’ll play a mix of progressive and electro house and some of my own new mixes. The fun thing is that because I do all the production on my own, I have all this music that I play, tweak and keep exclusive. You can’t download a torrent to hear it – you have to come to the show. I have kept a lot of these tracks secret; I’ve not even given them to any of the top DJs. That’ll be an exclusive part of the performance.”
That’s recommendation in itself from someone who, although he has travelled the Caribbean a fair amount, is looking forward to his debut Cayman Islands visit.
“I’ve never been down to Cayman, so I’m really excited to play somewhere exotic. It’s been so cold here in LA – I used to always think it’d be 80 degrees year-round, but we are finishing up our winter, so I’m looking forward to bringing my girlfriend and making a vacation out of it.
“All I know is that Cayman is known for snorkelling and bank accounts, but we’re staying for three or four days and people are saying I need to check out Stingray City,” he laughs.
Merely being out in the fresh air is certainly going to be a novelty for the producer, who freely admits he’s been holed up “working on his studio tan” of late.
“I just did a remix for Daft Punk for the Tron movie, that was big. I just finished a big album for Network Records, which will be out in the summer. Just pumping out new mixes. I have a weekly podcast every week, which is free too.”
Similar to how he approaches his podcast, Morgan tells Weekender that his mix of progressive and electro house varies depending on crowd reaction.
“Some guys like to play more of a flatline set, which is one sound for three hours, but I programme it more in waves: peaks and valleys, you know?”
To construct a set, the DJ listens – as you might expect – to a whole bunch of music. But whether it comes in as promotional material or something that just grabs his attention, it gets treated equally.
“I end up buying pretty much all the music I play – I am very picky, obviously you have to be a filter. If something grabs me, I will really champion it and hammer it live and on the podcast.”
As befits a DJ and producer at the top of his game, Morgan’s monitoring the current scenes with great interest.
“We’ve seen dubstep really blow up in the States with people like Scrillex; it’s really good in small doses but after a while it gets a little exhausting. To me, it’s all about good melodies, good progressions and obviously a good beat.
“I think Deadmau5 brought melody back. It’s cool because so much good music has stemmed from his work and been inspired by him.”
Indeed, one of Morgan’s own most recognisable successes, the 2008 track The Longest Road, was remixed by Deadmau5 and nominated for a Grammy.
“It was the launching point for my touring career; I was doing a lot of music before that came out, but you need that tipping point to really push you forward.”
Building a reputation
Over the last year Morgan says he’s been hitting North America hard to build up his reputation – previously he toured the world, including South America, Australia and Asia. Europe will come next year, he adds.
“It’s funny, you wouldn’t expect there to be an amazing club scene in Canada, but they are very loyal, very educated about the music. It’s been good.
“The next step is more festivals like this. I like that because you get more of a crossover into people who haven’t heard your music, in addition to the fans out there.”
Of course, one of the products of success is that you are in demand. And being in demand means a whole lot of travelling, taking you out of the studio. Luckily, says Morgan, there’s always an opportunity to work in transit, such as creating mixes on his laptop while whizzing around the world at 600mph, 40,000 feet above ground.
“I am trying to teach myself to get original tracks done on a plane, which is hard; there’s a lot of noise and distractions and you don’t have those blocks of time like six or eight hours to get in the zone. You have two or three hours and have to make it fit into that tight little window.”
And, of course, on Saturday night Morgan Page will be inviting the crowd to come on a sonic journey with him. See you at the front.