From radio to the dance floor, Morgan Page is ‘in the air’
Published: Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 8, 2012 14:03
Like most DJs, Morgan Page's career began with producing. From a young age, he was composing electronic music and garnering attention from local disc jockeys in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont. By the time he was in high school, the young music enthusiast was hosting a radio show at The University of Vermont and went on to work as a DJ and station manager at an Emerson College radio station.
It was during his stint in radio that Page was exposed to the vastness the electronic music realm possessed and when, he said, he realized he yearned to explore it further.
"Initially I just wanted to produce music," Page said. "But then after working radio and just being part of the background, I realized that I wanted to see the audience. I wanted to see those faces and see their immediate reaction. That's the best part of DJ-ing, getting to meet the fans and see their reaction when you play a song."
Page started making records when he was about18 years old in a make-shift studio in his college dorm room. By 1999, Page signed his first record deal. The release of his bootleg remix album, Cease and Desist, in 2005 generated a great deal of online buzz. The album, which remixed the likes of David Bowie, Coldplay and The Kills, was well received by music blogs and magazines worldwide and became an instant underground success.
The success of Cease and Desist led to a lot of legitimate remix work for Page and a new record deal with current imprint, Nettwerk Music Group. Although Cease and Desist put Page on track to become one of the most sought after remix producers, his 2008 debut album Elevate gave him credibility as an original artist. His hit single "The Longest Road (Deadmau5 remix)" featuring folk singer Lissie was nominated for a Grammy the following year.
"The Grammy nomination was pretty surprising," Page said. "I think things got kind of crazy when I asked Deadmua5 to do a remix of it and that's just when things kind of exploded."
The nomination was the tipping point for the DJ's career. From that point on, Page's music could be heard in clubs and on every major dance floor. Page is currently on the road promoting his upcoming album, In the Air, which drops April 3.
The first single, "In the Air" has already achieved a great level of success, becoming a mainstay on the iTunes and Beatport charts and reaching the No. 9 spot on the Billboard Dance Radio Chart. In the newly released second single, "Body Work," Page collaborated with indie duo Tegan and Sara to create a bouncy electro house and indie-pop blend.
Page's repertoire includes a pretty substantial collection of vocal-heavy remixes and original works that showcase voices like Stevie Nicks, Regina Spektor and Nadia Ali. In a world where electronic music is dominated by booming bass and heavy synth sounds, this is how his music stands apart.
"I like working with vocalists that aren't used to doing electronic stuff," he said. "You get something really interesting when you combine those two worlds."
Page will stop by Axis/Radius in Scottsdale as part of the last leg of his tour before heading off to Miami for the 27th Annual International Dance Music Awards where he is nominated for Best American DJ and Best Progressive Track ("In the Air") alongside the work of Sebastian Ingrosso, Deadmau5, Skrillex and Steve Aoki.
"You can really measure an award by who the nominees are," Page said. "You can really see how valid it is. There are some really good competitors in there, and it would be amazing if I win, but I'm not holding my breath."
Morgan Page, Axis/Radius, 7340 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, 480.970.1112, Saturday, March 10, 9 p.m. , $10-$25