RnB Magazine had the pleasure of chatting with award-winning Canadian artist Carlos Morgan. Morgan has had a notable career having been a recipient of the 2014 Black Canadian Awards for “Best RnB Artist” and “Role Model,” for his second album and has even received major recognition from the legendary Luther Vandross.
Read below for our exclusive interview where he discusses his upcoming album, recognition from Luther Vandross, his hometown Canada, and more.
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The first time I picked up a microphone was when I was 7 seven years old. It was at an evening church service. The song I sang was the classic, Gospel hymn, “Rock Of Ages”. All the older people and elders of the church were shocked that I can sing. I was so scared but I took the chance and did it anyway. The response I received was overwhelming.
– What inspired you to begin recording?
What inspired to begin recording is my love and passion for music. I loved, and still, love singing, writing, recording and performing. Also, with the life experiences I’ve had, I found writing and recording to be cathartic and healing for me. For me, it’s the best outlet for me to release a lot of my feelings.
– What was your very first career choice before deciding to pursue music?
My first career choice before deciding to pursue music was to study medicine and science. I don’t know why I thought I’d want to study medicine and science and pursue it as a career. I hated science in junior and high school. I was also horrible in science.
– Many of today’s artist hail from Canada such as Justin Bieber and Drake. Do you feel your hometown has shaped you into the artist/person you are today? If so, how?
Toronto, where Drake is also from, has played a big role in who I am as a person and an artist. I was born in Toronto to Jamaican parents. There’s a very strong West Indian/Caribbean community, as well as, a very strong, prominent, multicultural community in Toronto. Being amongst the many diverse and eclectic cultures and ethnicity’s in Toronto, has helped shaped me into being open and accepting to diverse people, cultures, customs and artistic outlets which includes food, clothes, visuals arts and music.
-Luther Vandross quoted, “Morgan reminds me of myself, when I was beginning my career. Morgan will go far in this business.”
What does that mean to you as a person and an artist?
To hear the legendary, late and GREAT Luther Vandross say that I reminded him of when he was beginning his career in music and that I’ll go far in this business means an enormous amount to me. Luther Vandross has been one of my biggest vocal inspiration and continues to be to this very day. Getting the recognition and approval from Mr. Vandross has also shaped, encouraged, inspired me to strive to be the best vocalist I can be. In my humble opinion, Luther Vandross is one of the GREATEST vocalists music history.
– What is your favorite song you’ve recorded and why?
My favorite song that I’ve recorded and released to date is called “What I’ve Done To You”. Its on my first album, “Feelin’ Alright”. The reason why Its my favorite song is because its a biographical song explaining all the hurt and pain I’ve caused the women I’ve loved and where the pain, hurt and anger comes from that I’ve subjected them to and through. I opened up my heart and soul to expose the hurt, shame and lack of self love that I felt towards myself and in feeling the way I felt, and sometimes still feel about myself, I end up hurting the women I’ve loved. Initially, the song was written for a specific person but over the years, and through the many relationships I’ve had, the song can be to all of the women I’ve loved and eventually, end up hurting. It’s my way of admitting my mistakes, taking responsibility, accountability and asking for forgiveness.
– Are there any upcoming collaboration we can look forward to?
I’m excited to be collaborating with some incredibly, gifted singers and songwriters in and from Toronto. I’ve co-written an inspirational and uplifting song with a songwriting team, “RBTNE”; Rosanne Baker Thornley and North Easton (www.rbtne.com), called “Have A Little Faith”. Also, I’m writing and recording a song with two brothers, who are also incredibly gifted singers and songwriters. Their names are Joseph and David Neale. I’m a huge fan of these new and upcoming artists. I’m blessed to be working and collaborating with them. Also, I’m featuring a new and upcoming, female MC who spits FYAH, who is also from Toronto. Her name is “Haviah Mighty”.
– Finish this sentence. My main focus as an artist is to…
My main focus as an artist is to write and record music that will touch the hearts and souls of human beings on deeply, spiritual and transcendent levels. I don’t drink, smoke or partake in drugs. I never have. For me, music is a drug and my drug. I understand that there are many people around the world who like to use drugs and alcohol as a way escaping reality. I want the music that I write and record, even if its about going to the club, falling in love, heartache, tragic life experiences and/or overcoming life’s trials, tribulations and obstacles, to be a way a “source of escape”, to touch and affect the heart, soul and spirit in ways that’ll create, cause and trigger profound change for the best in all of us. For me, artists such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, John Lennon, Public Enemy, Earth Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Sting and Joni Mitchell, to name a few, inspire me musically, with their messages of love, peace, forgiveness, pride, humility, pain and acceptance. I aspire to write songs like these artists, who in my opinion write songs that inspire change, courage and the pursuit of truth. These artists write and record classic, timeless music.
– You’ve received countless awards and recognition, but tell me, what is the biggest accomplishment in your eyes you’ve received?
Although I’ve received countless awards and recognition, the biggest accomplishment in my eyes that I received, and continue to receive was, and is, when someone tells me that my music has positively affected and/or impacted their lives in deep, meaningful and profound ways. Those, to me, are and are the rewards. I deeply appreciate the accolades, recognition and awards I’ve received. To be recognized in those ways, speaks a lot. However, if my music reaches, touches and affects people’s hearts, minds, souls and spirits deeply, then to me, are the biggest accomplishment that I most appreciate and am grateful for everyday.
– How do you stay focused?
First, my love, passion and drive for music keeps me motivated and focused on what I have to do and love to do, everyday. I also stay focused by keeping my music projects first place in my daily schedule. I do almost everything on my own when it comes to my music. I work with a couple of people but the bulk and majority of the work in my music falls on my shoulders, both artistically and administratively, I am mainly and mostly responsible as to how my music and career moves. If it fails, it’s all on me. I’m also not the kind of person who accepts failure and mediocrity of myself in anyway shape or form.
– Who are some artists that are in your playlist right now? What’s your “go to” song or songs?
Some of the artists I’ve been listening to lately have been Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Blackstreet, Toni Braxton, Babyface and Michael Buble. I don’t have a “go to” song but there have been a few recent releases I’ve enjoyed. I like songs by Tory Lanez, DVSN and DNCE.
– What advice would you give another artist trying to pave their way in the industry?
The advice I’d give another artist trying to pave their way in the industry are a few. They include: becoming educated about the music business and industry, practice everyday and work at getting better with your voice and/or instrument(s), develop your own sound, collaborate with as many songwriters and producers as possible, stay hungry and humble, be in the music industry because you love it; not for the money and fame. If people come into the music industry for money and fame, then they’re going to be grossly disappointed and dismayed. Believe in yourself. Don’t personalize any negative comments or statements people may say. Work, develop and have a strong will to keep pushing and not allowing the negativity that may come your way. We as artists, have to deal with a lot of negativity and rejection…. however there are many people who will love and appreciate what you do. Stay focused on those who support you and if you can, even appreciate the negative comments that you may hear. Take it as a way of growth and learning.
– Do you have any touring plans? What are you currently working on?
I plan on performing home concert tours this fall. I’ll be doing “up close and personal home concerts”. I’m excited about that. This tour will be me and my keyboard player going into people’s homes and we performing an 1.5 concert of my music, talking about my music and the inspirations behind the songs I’ve written and/or co-written. This will be a great way and incentive for me promote my music directly to the people, connect with current fans and possibly make new ones, build my audience and support base organically and have a closer and intimate connection to my audience.
In regards to what I’m working on? I’m still writing, producing, co-writing and co-producing new music for my upcoming album, “C.A.R.L.O.S.” (Calling All Real Lovers Of Sound). The album will be released in the Spring of 2017. In the meantime, I’m promoting my current single; the classic hit song, “Sunglasses At Night”. The single can be heard at: https://soundcloud.com/carlos-morgan/sunglasses-at-night and if liked, it can purchased at: https://itunes.apple.com/album/id1136479711?ls=1&app=itunes. I also have two award winning albums that can be purchased on ITunes. They are: “Feelin; Alright”: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/feelin-alright/id606695468 and “The Compilation”: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-compilation/id600996070. My music videos can also be seen and/or heard on Youtube.
– Anything else you’d like to say/add?
I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who supports, and continues to like, purchase and support my music. I don’t any of the kindness and support I receive from fans, friends and supporters of my music for granted. I also want to welcome and thank new listeners, new fans and potential buyers of my music. I appreciate and am grateful to all of you.
-How can fans get hold of you?
Fans and supporters can reach me at: www.carlosmorganmusic.com (new website coming soon), www.facebook.com/carlos,morgan.562, www.twitter.com/carlosmorgan. www.instagram/carlosmorganmusic (just joined), www.soundcloud.com/carlos-morgan and http://www.youtube.com/https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLJjTMOZilm8fLsnITouIFg
I want to extend a BIG thank you to Sasha Stoltz of “Sasha Stoltz Publicity” and “RNB Magazine” for this wonderful opportunity to be covered.
All the best!!
Interviewed By: Simone Grant