The multi-talented artist Megan Morrison just released a single “Heart on Fire” with her new solo project Morrison. The epic and hauntingly beautiful video for the song (shown below) was just released too! The official party will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 at 9:00 PM at Ricky’s South Beach (see flyer below).
I got the chance to talk to Megan about this new direction in her musical career and her journey through recovery from alcohol abuse, amongst other things. Check out the interview with this inspiring local favorite, her awesome new song, and the beautiful video (below)!
Miami Chronicles: You’ve been very open about your journey through recovery from alcohol abuse. What made you want to change? What helped you through it?
Megan Morrison: I lost my dad in 2010 from liver cirrhosis caused by alcoholism. He was a very loving man but struggled with a lot of the same things I did years later. I found myself sick, in the hospital, my liver was failing, I was destroying my life and relationships, not because I wanted to, because I was powerless and couldn’t stop drinking. I wanted to be happy and I didn’t want to die so I was left with no choice. The best decision I ever made was to agree to get help and I couldn’t have done it without my family. My mom was my rock through it all. When I first got sober my music really saved me. It gave me something to be excited and happy about. I really dove right into it. Music has continued to be the core of my recovery.
MC: Is your journey expressed in your music? In “Heart of Fire”?
MM: It definitely is. I write about personal experiences and struggles. Now I’m writing a lot about my personal freedom from burdens I had in the past. I’m constantly growing and you can definitely hear that in my new music.
MC: (If yes) How does “Heart on Fire” reflect your personal struggles?
MM: Heart on Fire is a song about heartbreak. I had never really written about it before and it’s something we all experience in life. I didn’t write it about a personal breakup. I am happily married. I guess it’s kind of my break up song with alcohol. I wrote it shortly after I got sober.
MC: What are your musical influences?
MM: I have influences from all genres. Muse is my favorite band and has been for about twenty years now. I grew up listening to a lot of classic rock, Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, The Doors, the list goes on. I also had a lot of influence from soul singers like Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. Jazz music is also something that’s been very present in my life. I love Ella Fitzgerald. I’ve been singing along to her since I was really young. When I’m driving in the car I’m either listening to jazz or some heavy rock. I studied classical music in college, and you can definitely hear that in my voice. I tried to hide any evidence of that training for a while, but now I’m trying to embrace it.
MC: Your previous projects were more rock based. How do you feel about exploring new genres like pop and electronic music?
MM: It’s definitely been interesting exploring new genres. I’ve been teaming up with some great djs, writing some pretty cool tracks, learning a lot. I’m always trying to step outside of my comfort zone. Heart on Fire is the closest thing I’ve ever come to pop. Not to worry though. My upcoming EP, Appetite for Freedom, will be pure rock and roll!
MC: Much of your earlier projects involved working with men in bands. How does it feel to come out on your own? It comes across as very powerful. Are you making a statement?
MM: It’s definitely empowering coming out on my own for this solo project. Now is the perfect time in my life for this to happen. I’m finally very confident in my own skin and I’m ready to show the world. I’m not doing this completely on my own, however. I have an amazing new band to back me up. They are all seasoned musicians who are bringing something to the table. And yes, they are all men. It’s not that I choose men as musicians on purpose. I find people by recommendations and that’s what I’m given. There seems to be a lack of badass female musicians in Miami and the ones that I know out there are already in successful projects.
MC: What has been your experience as a beautiful woman in the music industry, which is often ageist and sexist? What have been the perks and the obstacles, if any? What has helped you to overcome with them?
MM: Over the years I’ve been told that I’m too old, too thin, too fat, too aggressive, not aggressive enough, the list goes on. When I was younger, living in New York, I was presented with some opportunities that could have led me on the road to stardom, had I agreed to do certain things…which I was not willing to do. So here I am, in Miami, doing things my way. It’s definitely been a challenge and exhausting, feeling like I always have to look a certain way. I’ve always been pretty confident about myself though, in certain aspects of my life. When I used to go out with the ‘in crowd’ in NYC there would be models in stilettos and me in my doc martens and all black. I never really bought into all of that. I’ve always kind of done my own thing.
MC: What do you hope fans take out of “Heart of Fire”?
MM: I want my fans to interpret the song however it best fits into their life story. It doesn’t even have to be about a breakup. It’s really about finding power in something that once knocked you down, and feeling triumphant when you overcome it. We all feel grief at some point and we all suffer. There’s nothing wrong with letting yourself feel sad or heartbroken. It’s a healthy process we have to let ourselves go through. When you have let all that pain out, it’s how you react to make a positive change in your life that makes the difference. Find your power in pain. I want my fans to be able to take that away with them. Even if they don’t remember the song, if they feel better about themselves after listening to it then my job is done.
MC: Can you tell us a little about the anticipated video?
MM: I’m really excited about this music video! Something a lot of people don’t know about me is that I’m a professional fire dancer. I’ve been in a number of music videos for other artists and always dreamed about doing it for my own video. This song was the perfect opportunity. The title says it all. I’m a very visual person and usually come up with a music video concept as soon as I write a track. I wanted to portray both the dark and light sides of heartbreak. Location was key for this video. The darker shots we did in a studio and at night. The lighter, more uplifting shots were filmed on a beautiful property that my dear friend and old bandmate’s parents own. They graciously let me shoot there for the day. It turned out gorgeous.
MC: What can we look forward to from you in the future?
MM: I’ll be releasing another single early next year, followed by another music video that’s already in the works. I’m working to complete my EP, Appetite for Freedom, and hope to release it this spring. It will be a collection of songs I’ve written about my life and experiences since I’ve gotten sober. I’m trying to tell my story and share my hope for this world.