Friday, 8 December 2017

Acoustic Superboy Fraser Morgan!

Hi Friends,

This weeks blog is a little early Christmas present for you all and the stocking filler is Fraser Morgan. I first met Fraser when I watched him perform at The Redrock Jam open mic night. As soon as Fraser got up on the stage you could see he was a cheeky chappy with a big smile for the audience and amazing stage presence. His set made the crowd laugh, dance and singalong just the right mixture for a gig. Fraser has a very clever songwriting style, he is a story teller and uses lyrics people can relate to. He touches on a wide range of issues in his songs from romance, loss and being a superhero in a Tesco's carrier bag ha.
Another thing that made Fraser stand out to me was the continued hard work he put in after his performance. He made sure he had  time to go around around and talk to everyone after the gig getting feedback and promoting his music. Fraser is someone I would love people to get behind and he is exactly what my blog is about! A talented unsigned musician working hard in London to make it and get his music out there. London is a great place for a musician to be, but it comes with hard times too particularly cost of living and funding yourself as an unsigned artist. However with determination, hardwork and bit of support  I believe London is still a city an artist can come and make it. I have included an interview with Fraser in this blog and I hope after reading it some of you will support Fraser on his journey and check out his music for yourselves.

Hey Fraser so I seen you perform at the Dublin Castle , You were great, very confident and had incredible stage presence. How long have you been doing open mic nights for?

Oh, thank you so much! Yeah I'm really comfortable with playing live, its my favourite aspect of being a musician. So, my first open mic I ever did, which was also my first ever gig, was on January 22nd 2014, in a rough, shabby little pub in my hometown Braintree Essex.

What age have you been playing guitar since?

I actually didn't pick up a guitar until I was 15 years old! I didn't actually mean to get into music, but after my first gig I discovered this whole new level of euphoria, and from then I was addicted to gigging.

Gigging is pretty addictive. So when did you write your first song ? and what was it about ?

So, I've always written poetry, I remember writing and loving it from around 7/8 years old, it was nothing major, but i knew it made me happy. The first song i wrote myself was a few months after i picked up a guitar. My uncle had passed away about 2 years beforehand but he was my role model, so his passing really shook the ground beneath me , so the first song i wrote was actually about him. I still have the piece of paper i wrote it on till this day.

So Who are your influences? What made you want to pick up that guitar and sing?

So before 15 years old, I never really listened to music, I'd listen to what ever my mum would play and then i listen to the radio, but the first time i heard guitar was by the man himself ; Ed Sheeran. But what drew me in to him wasn't the usual "I want to be him" it was " I have a lot to say, if he can do it with just a guitar,then so can I. " Before that, I though you had to be in bands to express yourself, so hearing someone with just a guitar, expressing themselves, really appealed to me, and even more so really inspired me.
I'd say what really expires me musically these days would be predominately Jamie T and The 1975; it's all very honest music. However when it comes to my rap side , it's Eminem. He was actually the first artist i listened to off my own back. I was 8 years old when my mum brought me Curtain Call for Christmas. Mockingbird was the first song i ever learnt all the words to.

Can you remember that moment when you thought, That's it I want to be a musician?

So going on from my point in my second answer, I remember the exact moment I wanted to be a musician. So the first gig I played was in a pub, to a small (disinterested) crowd. But after I finished my set, they actually asked for more! And I thought "man... this feels pretty good you know". Then came the next day. It was 9am, I was sat in my Philosophy lesson just feeling unfulfilled and empty, and I couldn't work out what it was... and then it clicked; I wanted to be a musician. I knew for a fact that that would be the only thing in life that would ever bring me true happiness ever again. So I did just that.

Do you have a certain routine when it comes to writing songs ?

Asking someone if they have a song writing routine is like asking someone to predict British weather; it's unpredictable. For me at least. I mean, sometimes I'll just be having a bash on my guitar strings and I'll just start writing words over the top, but 85-90% of the time I'll either 1) Have an idea for a song 2) Something inspired me or 3) I'll just have a random like or 2 come into my head. However, no matter where the idea/song started, it'll always start with me writing this idea into my notes on my phone, and then slowly progressing and working at it. Some songs take a month or two of coming back to it and adding a little bit every time, and then others will be written and finished in under an hour.

Are you doing gigs as well as open mic nights?

 I'm doing the whole shebang! From open mics, to busking, parties, pubs, restaurants and even weddings. I don't care what it is or where it is, give me my guitar and I'll perform; I just really, really love performing.

What made you want to come and live in London ?

So, I was going to go to Brighton BIMM so I could pursue my music in Brighton, however I was speaking to my friend who was the A & R  guy for the High Time (he discovered and signed The Hunna and Coasts, so i trust his word) and he told me that if I wanna go somewhere to and pursue my music, London is the place. It's where all the big guys from companies go and there's always something going on! I didn't actually come to BIMM for the degree, I've told them this. I never panned to go to uni, and I accidentally passed college, but I wanted to live in London, so I thought I'd apply for uni and use my student loan to live and gig in London. Despite a degree not being my aim, that doesn't mean I'm not going to try, I mean, I'm lucky I have the opportunity to go to uni. But I'm here for music; I'm here for business. I'm here to show people why they need my music in their life, and if I get a degree then that's just a bonus.

 What do you find the hardest part about being a musician?

Being a musician... is the hardest part about a musician. Especially if you're unsigned. Because you don't turn off. You do everything yourself. From arranging gigs, talking money, planning journeys, managing all your social medias, setting up campaigns, arrange promotion. Then that's not including the performing itself, writing the songs, practising, recording; there's just so many aspects to being a musician. And if you're like me, I never leave the mindset of "Fraser Morgan The Artist". Whether I'm at work, at uni, in the street or at the pub with my mates, I never turn off. I'm always thinking music and always carrying business cards, because you don't know who knows who, and I've heard many stories of an artist doing something bad to someone and it's been passed down like 10 friends and now those 10 friends have a stained image of that artist, all because they may have caught that artist on a bad day, so I also try to generally stay quite happy and open. I only really turn off when I'm sat at home, in my room, laying on my bed, binge watching Netflix for hours (lately it's been Spongebob.) I'd like to think of myself as a nice, approachable person, because I love people, I think they're awesome. So when I say "turn off" I don't mean I show my real colours and I'm a dick, I mean "turn off" as in I don't have to worry about anything or anyone around me, because I'm the only person who's in my company. So I'd say there's no "one" particularly hard part, it's all hard, but I'm not complaining, I love it, and if I ever obtain a degree of success one day, at least I know I've worked for it, which will help me appreciate it more.

On bit more of a positive note do you have a favourite open mic/gig night?

I have 2 favourite moments: the first one I'm playing a gig to a crowd of literally 2 people. I'm on stage and I'm like "why am I even plugged in and mic'ed up?" So I unplug, hop off the stage and I play "Chasing Cars" this this couple, I'm about 5 feet away from them, and I'm looking at them, they're looking at me, and we're all just singing, and then they just start looking into each others eyes and just hold each other whilst I sing this song to them acoustically, it was really special and really intimate. The second is I'm playing this gig, and there's a huge bunch of squaddies (army guys) in the crowd, so I bust out "The Real Slim Shady" by Eminem, and they're vibing to it, I'm vibing to it, and I'm feeling like a gangster right now, then out of no where this squaddie comes up to me whilst I'm on stage. And at this point I'm like "oh fuck here we go, I'm either gonna get abuse or he's gonna take the mic"... and then he just pulls this j├Ągerbomb out of nowhere and hands it to me, so I'm like “… yeah alright then", I stop playing, mid-song, on stage, shot this j├Ągerbomb, and continue playing again and everyone cheered and went mental. Honestly... I've never felt so cool in all my life.

What have been doing to try and promote yourself and get your music heard?

I'm pretty shit at social media and filming myself, so my best, and favourite, form of promotion for me is... gigging of course! Before and after every gig I go round, talk to loads of people, and just have a laugh, and if anyone wants a CD then awesome, if not then no worries because I've just made a bunch of  awesome friends. And then we get each other on Facebook, then that way I can keep up to date with what my new friends are doing, and being as they're music lovers, I can keep them updated on my music. I'm getting better at social media though, I'm gonna really push some stuff when I release my first single. My EPs sold well, but I didn't promote them really, so imagine what the results would be if I did next time.

Whats your favourite type of venue to play at?

At the minute my favourite type of venues are pubs. I'm a pub guy y'know. I don't drink, but I grew up in pubs literally since birth, my Mum always worked in pubs so I'm used to them. I love them. I love the atmosphere, I love the people, and pub people seem to love my music more than anyone else, so it's a win-win. But I also do love a good birthday/wedding, because, for me anyway, it usually ends with me being sat with some strangers' family at the end of a night, after I've played the gig, round a table, being given food by elderly people and having a drink and laugh with loads of people I don't know. They're always great.

What advice would you give to any other musicians thinking about making the move to London?

My advice to new artists moving to London would be "Get Stuck In." Do everything. Go to every open mic, talk to everyone you meet and play as often as possible. Feeling tired isn't an excuse. Fear isn't an excuse. No matter your mood, no matter your feeling, you go out there and you give it your all. Every. Single. Time. Get out of bed, get changed, and just go, you can sleep later, you can cry later, you can finish that episode later. 2 of my favourite quotes are from Arnold Schwarzenegger, the man who succeeds at everything, and he says 1) "You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." and 2) Whilst you're sleeping, there's always going to be someone else working harder than you, and getting better than you."

So whats the big plan? What does the future hold for Fraser Morgan?

Good question... i have no idea specifically. But what I do know is that I'm really stepping up my game now. I'm not playing about. I'm writing a lot of songs, a lot of which I'm actually impressed with, and I'm usually my worst critic. There's sad songs, happy songs, angry songs, rappy songs and grimey songs. I've been doing a lot of growing and changing and I've realised a lot. So, I'm just gonna release a bunch of singles, but they're all gonna be different. I'm also looking to put on my first headline show next year in London which is going to be awesome, definitely gonna get some BIMM students to support me because there's so much damn talent here, it's incredible. Other than that; it's just gonna be gigs, gigs, gigs, and a whole lot of happiness and laughter. Basically, just shits 'n' gigs really.


Spotify and itunes: Fraser Morgan

Hey so i seen you perform mic , u were great very confident and incredible stage presence. How long have you been performing at open mic for ?

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