“I wanted it to be something that you could have a broken hearts’ dance party to”
NYC based pop artist Morgan Keller released her new single “Still Talk to You” in February. In a month full of love songs, the cheeky anti-Valentine anthem chronicles navigating a toxic relationship.
“Sometimes Valentine’s Day sucks when you’re single because it can be a reminder of heartbreak,” Keller says. “So, I wanted to put something out into the world on that day for those people (myself included) that could make them feel a little less alone in what they’re going through or went through… and give them a reason to laugh and realize their self-worth!”
Keller explains that she wanted the song to reflect that same lighthearted and cheeky nature.
“I actually started the track late one night, after I was a few seconds into a YouTube video on how to produce a track like Lauv,” she says. “The guy said something about staying on the one chord and adding four on the floor and I pulled up a Logic session and just ran with it. I produced a demo myself and then brought it to my producer and he just brought the track to life!”
“I wanted it to be something that you could have a broken hearts’ dance party to,” she says. “Music that made you want to get up and dance and lyrics that you could scream out loud at the top of your lungs with your friends in your bedroom, pretending the person who broke your heart could hear.”
Keller explains that she began writing the single in the summer of 2019 when she was fed up with a toxic person at the time.
“But more importantly, I was fed up with myself because I continued to keep him in my life, when I knew I should just cut him out,” she says. “One night I was sitting at home and began writing down lyrical ideas… just sort of venting and processing my emotions from a super raw place.”
Her instinct was originally to write a sad song. But, after being fed up of heartbreak Keller says that she wanted to create something she could laugh about.
“I also wanted to figure out a way to take the power back in a situation that I had felt so powerless in,” she says. “As I started writing the first verse, I just remember thinking you can complain about this guy all you want, but in reality you’re the one who has the power to walk away and cut him out of your life… and you don’t. So that’s kind of where the concept for “Still Talk to You” came from.”
“Still Talk to You” follows the release of her 2019 single “Who’s There?” However, Keller shares that this time around was her first time producing the track separate from the lyrics.
“I’d written the lyrics without any melodies and then separately started producing an instrumental track,” she explains. “I didn’t even know those few lyrics of me venting would turn into a song… I just thought, okay I have these lyrics here, let’s try and sing them over the first few bars of the track I just made and see what happens. After that, I just ran with it and would make a little more of the track and then write a few more lyrics and melodies over it and so on… then I brought the demo to the producer for the pizazz!”
Keller says that she wants to use her tongue-in-cheek lyricism to blend the gap between pop/rock and soul.
“Growing up, my friends listened to a lot of rock music (as did I, but I also loved to listen to pop) and they kind of looked down on pop music, saying that it was garbage and wasn’t meaningful,” she says. “I’d grown up listening to examples of artists like Adele and Paramore that proved that theory wrong 10 times over.”
“I didn’t really want to lean in the singer-songwriter/soul direction, because I loved being able to perform on stage without being locked behind a piano,” she says. “Don’t get me wrong I love a good mellow, ballad—but I wanted to make music that made me and other people want to dance. This is why I like to incorporate and blend elements of rock into my music because of the way rock music makes you feel: it makes you feel free and makes you want to get up and move. I am also in love with the aesthetic that electric guitar adds to a pop track—it can really bring it to life.”
Keller says that when she began writing pop music she wanted it to be clever but still have an authentic, emotional theme. In all of her music, she says that she wants to convey that the way you are is enough.
“I don’t think people believe that enough, but self-love is so important,” she says.
“I learned that the hard way and am still learning, but I hope people can learn from my stories and past experiences,” she explains. “Self-love is a journey. I also want my fans to understand that in life, situations may present themselves as something horrible, but I believe there’s always a silver lining to them (or at least I try to on my good days, no one’s perfect).”
Keller’s promotion of self-love is clear in her Spotify artist playlist.
“Most importantly, you are never alone in what you’re going through,” she says. “I think my favorite part about putting my work out into the world is I’m able to connect with so many people and hear their stories and learn how similar we really are.”
Keller says that she will have two more singles coming out in the future, and possibly an EP. Dates are unsure yet due to COVID-19.