Interview by Joel Sumerling
Hi Glenn – welcome to DMCWORLD. Where are you right now?
Hi DMCWORLD, I’m currently in Toronto in the studio here doing emails before turning on the gear and writing work for the day.
How has the year been for you so far?
It’s been one of the best years of my life. From getting married a month ago, to having built a brand new mastering studio room to write / work in, setting up 2 new record labels of mine (Dying Light Records for the commercial and Fall From Grace for the underground), to getting out of my old USA record label deal and having my first single since leaving them currently be sitting at Number 24 on the Billboard Charts…it’s been a whirlwind year but all very positive.
Tell us about your new single ‘I’m The King’?
I’m very proud of this because it was the first single we put out to radio after leaving my old record deal. I didn’t have to listen to any A&R’s opinions, I didn’t have to wait in the major label timeline, I could hire my own team for the marketing / promotion / radio, and I have all the freedom to properly structure my release schedule now so I can focus on the growth of my career in a normal business way.
Is this a new sound direction for you?
I read a very inspiring article the other day about Rick Rubin and how he views your music as “chapters of your life”. If you are constantly in the studio writing/recording music, you are constantly evolving your sound based on your own life experiences/feelings. Growing up with new life experiences simply changes your writing and this new single is reflective of what I’m vibing off of these days. We have so much music ready for the market, it’s just a case now of strategizing to make sure we release it with the RIGHT team and approach. The whole artistic vision has to be there, from the record itself to the music video to the artwork sleeve etc.
How was the recording process?
Very strong and fast writing on this piece. The vocals are featuring Evalyn and my good friends in California, Peter & Taylor co-wrote this with me. I also really loved using the Bricaste reverb on her vocals, it really pops on the radio and also on soundsystems. Evalyn has such a beautiful airy texture to her vocals so it really works with the flashes of harpsichord / synth pads etc.
You are a classically trained musician, how did you get into making electronic dance music?
My friends and I in high school would all be DJing vinyl and all had parties at our friends houses where we would each have slot times…I would’ve been around 14 years old at that time, and I worked all year to save up for my own turntables / speakers etc. Allan & Heath Zone 62 was my mixer!!! I learned how to beatmatch in my parents basement listening to the mix tapes of Drumcode with Adam Beyer. So between learning my “new turntable instruments” I was still practicing piano for around 2 hours a day at that point. For me the harmonious relationship between electronic music and classical piano was always there. I saw electronic music as an extension of my piano playing at the time.
You have held down some amazing residencies at Ibiza super clubs and various others around the world but where is has your fav place to play/perform?
It’s really hard to say one particular place because every gig was always different, for better or for worse. I have certain memories that I will always remember until the day I die. Sirena in Maresias, Brazil afterparty in the jungle open air terrace from 2am-9am during Carnival with my agent at the time David Lewis…Amnesia Ibiza gigs where I was live recorded with Ibiza Sonica to the whole island…Dubai with 7000 people in Nokia Stadium – I almost cried after that gig it was so unreal. Playing piano for the MUZ Awards in Khazakstan for 40,000 people, broadcast to 14 million people, with one of my past hit records ‘Goodbye’…Ageha in Japan with like 6-7000 people still there at 7am going crazy…I am very, very blessed and grateful to live this life and there are hundreds more experiences like this.
Tell us about your first trip to Ibiza?
Very surreal, I couldn’t believe I was not only on the island but PLAYING on the island. The food was unbelievable, the people were so kind and relaxed, and it truly felt like the island echoed my own personal values and views on life.
Do you have any favourite beaches or restaurants on the island?
I really loved going to Formentera to see the big turtles and have very nice seafood lunches. I was always touring heavily so when I was on the island I was always with my agents, fellow DJs and half the time I just hopped in a car with my crew to go to the restaurants in the mountains to eat. I have no clue where it is or was called but definitely was the best dinner I’ve ever had in my life with champagne sangria and spiny lobster. As for the beaches, I used to swim near the Ocean Drive Hotel where I stayed quite a bit (wonderful owner and I used to meet Frankie Knuckles there a lot at the coffee bar).
What do you think about the current situation at Space what with this being the last ever year?
For me it is beyond upsetting because the Space terrace was one of the few places in the world that had a perfect sound system, and an educated audience which would allow me to start the night very very warm and relaxed. Basically the audience let me be completely free and open, and I still believe to this day that I played some of my best sets there. I wish I had a piece of the back wall of the terrace so I could frame it in my house.
Do you prefer being in a club DJing or in the studio Producing?
They are very different types of emotions and feelings for me. My nature is more reserved typically so producing world is great for me as it’s very reclusive. Djing though is magical when you have the right gig and the right audience. I haven’t had agents in the electronic world for a long time now and I really miss Djing/performing, but I feel like when the universe is ready for me to get back into live shows, opportunities will present itself.
And what are you most proud of so far, what have been your finest moments do you think?
This is a great question. Recently I had this conversation with my wife and family, and I truly believe that this new Alpine Mastering studio I created is the best accomplishment so far in my life. From Terry at Group One Acoustics and Dennis Benoit / Alan Matson at Home Editions, we had over 350 hours of finished carpentry, bookmatching, all custom cut and made. Materials from Germany, England, USA all flown in for that truly unique experience and sound in the room. For me this is the great accomplishment, but perhaps to fans of my music they may be able to point out a certain record that grabbed them emotionally. I feel like now I’m in a new chapter of my life that is exciting and I hope that my music resonates with as many people as possible.
What is next from Glenn Morrison music wise?
We have my debut artist album in the commercial world being released in the spring/summer of 2017, and a steady stream of single releases throughout 2016. I also love to give out free downloads of tracks and you can go to www.soundcloud.com/glennmorrison for tons of free music there, in all genres from classical piano recordings to underground house records to commercial pop music.
Glenn Morrison ‘I’m The King’ is out now