There’s something innocent about MORLY.
Born Katy Morley, the singer, whose voice dances on the cusp of something perennial and star-like, is pop at it’s more pure and simple.
In her first interview since starting out with her musical project over six years ago, MORLY speaks with us over the phone to discuss the beginning of it all. An adventure in its own right, finding and keeping her voice has a been a challenge that she's slowly getting to grips with. Utilizing her innate ability to connect the dots both intellectually and artistically, MORLY creates music for those who want to close their eyes to see the stars.
Hey MORLY, where are you right now?
Morly: "I’m in Venice Beach actually."
When did you move to LA?
Morly: "I never really moved here, sometimes I still feel like I live in Minneapolis."
When did you start making music?
Morly: "At the very end of 2010 I bought Abelton and Machine as I wanted to learn how to produce music."
How is producing something for you different than making something from scratch?
Morly: "I don’t really know what that word means anymore… [laughs] it has so many different meanings now."
I’d say producing as a word now is just as easily thrown around as “DJ” was 10 years prior. What would production in that 2010 context mean to you?
Morly: "It’s almost a euphemism for “electronic artist” or even a composer. Because I know a lot of producers who then give their work to other producers, which is what the traditional role of a producer. I’ve only produced someone else’s work once, so I don’t even now if that qualifies me as a producer."
How was that process different for you?
Morly: "It was really fun. I like my work to be really good and I’m a bit of a perfectionist. With that in mind, it kind of takes task pressure off because you’re only doing one side of it. And it’s fun to work with another artist. I think that’s how it’s actually supposed to be done. For me, I guess I’m very introverted, and usually make music alone. Lately I’ve been working with other people and it’s much more fun."
Back in 2010 you would have been 22, what was it that propelled you to start making music?
Morly: "Oh my gosh, a hundred reasons. I’m trying to think of where to pick up the thread…I remember as a little girl buying Aretha Franklin. I bought something like a compilation CD and I listened to it on loop trying to sing like her, to the point where it’s kind of sad as I realised I was never going to sing like her. The idea of music being magic. In college I studied neuroscience. I studied everything because I’m a massive nerd. I love academia and I love learning. I graduated college really sick and went back home to my parents in Minneapolis while all my friends moved to New York. I was just the saddest person and I didn’t know why. I realized it was because I needed to do music. It was just this feeling and I was terrified to do it. Why do you right, you know? It’s like what Rilke says, “If you can not, you have to.”"
"I studied neuroscience. I studied everything because I’m a massive nerd. I love academia and I love learning." – Morly
What happened next?
Morly: "I went back to Minneapolis and somehow got roped into this band Gayngs and I only sang on one song. It was just a silly band that was around in 2010 that my friends made. So we preformed at First Avenue, which is Minneapolis’s club. When I finished singing my one song, which I had been terrified to sing so I ran backstage, and into Prince."
Morly: "He’d been backstage watching me. I jumped back- I’m 6’1 and he might be 5’1, he came up to my bellybutton. I backed up against the wall because it was a narrow corridor and he smiled, and nodded at me. I think of it kind of like a sign that I was meant to do this."