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INTERVIEW: MORGAN COLE BROWN



Boston born and raised Morgan Cole Brown has released his brilliant new album 'Watching Your Friends Get Famous", and it's a record full of surprises and DIY quirks that make this a compelling listen from start to finish.


From the onset, Brown captures listeners' attention with his infectious melodies and profound lyricism. Each track on the album resonates with authenticity, inviting listeners on a journey through themes of introspection, longing, and the complexities of modern life. As a listener, it's impossible not to feel privileged to have encountered such a profound work of art. We had the opportunity to sit down with Morgan to learn more about the process of making the record, the challenges of it and so much more, exclusively for FLEX!


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Hey Morgan! How are you doing?


Hey! I'm honestly doing really well for the first time in a long time. Happy that the record is finally out and super grateful to be chatting with FLEX! 


How has your move from Boston to NYC influenced your music?


I think that the move from Boston to NYC was a huge change for me and it really has influenced my music and how I go about creating. I moved to NYC for college in 2015, and since then I have been able to meet so many amazing people who have introduced me to so much different art that I would have never expected. I love New York, and it's truly where I feel I am able to create, but Boston is my home. 


Who are some of your biggest musical influences?


I'm such a music nerd and grew up on The Beatles, Nirvana, Blink 182, Green Day and all of the bands you liked when you first started creating music. I was lucky enough to really get a large mix of influence from working at a record store (brand) Newbury Comics. I got really into Rilo Kiley, The National, Converge, Death Grips, and Modern Baseball. For this record, I told my producers, when they asked how I wanted the record to sound, I said I wanted it to sound like Dave Bazan, wrote a musical, where I was the lead and Title Fight was the orchestra. 


Why did you decide to pursue a solo project instead of forming a band?


This was super hard for me. Since I have been playing in bands and different projects for so long, I really didn't know what I wanted when I started writing these songs for this album. I really tried to start another band, where I was the lead singer and I wrote all the songs. But these tracks were so specific and through the encouragement of my band Infinite Weekend, I released this project under my full legal name. 


What inspired the themes explored in your latest album, "Watching Your Friends Get Famous"?


When I started writing songs at the end of my senior year (2019), I was working two jobs in the music industry, City Winery and Columbia Records. I was the happiest I had ever been, I was starting my career, and not to be cliche, but covid hit, I lost both of the jobs I had, the future job I was offered, and then spent the entire covid time alone. I was isolated by myself, and just looking at the world through the media, seeing my friends do well, seeing some of them give up. I was just so stuck on comparison culture through social media and navigating my own mental health, which really inspired me to write about what I was going through.  


How do you blend elements of musical theatre and emo into your music?


Well, it's tough and fun! I grew up in a very "broadway" household. We would constantly spend weekends in New York seeing shows, so I was indoctrinated into the musical theatre at a very young age, and then doing theatre from high school to now, it gave me the courage to be myself and the best performer I can be. I love musical theatre just as much as punk, hardcore, emo, so when I'm writing, to make references to Dear Evan Hanson, Newsies or Pippin, it's just natural, write what you know. 


Congratulations on your new album 'Watching Your Friends Get Famous'! How does it feel to have this out in the world?


It feels absolutely incredible. It's insane that we are even having this interview. It's nuts I'm even alive to tell you the honest truth. I've been working on these songs for 3 years trying to put out the best thing I can and the fact that we are talking about it and people have listened, let alone said they liked it. 



Listen to 'Watching Your Friends Get Famous' here:




What was it like working with producers Andy Altadonna and Brett Romnes?


A literal dream come true. Andy and Brett are two of the smartest, and sweet people I've met through all of music. Brett, is a certified legend in his own right, and I knew that I always wanted to work with him, he literally works with all of my favorite bands. I met Andy through the drummer on this record, and my college roommate Dante Fotino, who is legally the best drummer in the world. They have been working with Brett since they were really young, and knowing that they were all down to work on my album just elevated everything. Andy is an absolute dream producer, someone who listens and improves on what you are looking to do. Working with Andy, Brett and Shane Furst (my engineer) is the absolute best decision I've made, and I recommend anyone to work with them. 


How did you cope with the emotional challenges of creating this record?


Not well to be honest. All of these songs were written in extremely emotional states. It was almost like therapy where I was saying a lot of how I felt out for the first time, so it brought an extra level of emotion when I was in the recording studio. I think how I was able to handle the emotional challenge of creating this record, was a lot of talking out loud to myself alone during covid, watching horror movies, musicals and having thoughts, analysing them, writing everything out line by line. Really facing what I wanted to do


How do you navigate the pressures of being a songwriter and content creator?


I literally hate it. I feel that we have created a system where all music is under appreciated because of simply how much music and media is out there. It's so hard for me to "create content" because I don't really look at the world that way. I want to make real art, which granted is just content, but long form mediums that I don't think grab people's attention. I made seven music videos over the course of a year, and I love it. I love film, I love working on insane short films and want to put out a feature. That being said, I'm horrendous when it comes to short form content on social media. I was raised without any social media and texting till I got to college in 2015. I showed up on campus with a razor cell phone. 

I know it's "what we need to be doing" but I so desperately want a world where artist managers are actually managing, and not just telling artists to make tiktoks. 


What are your future plans and aspirations in music?


Currently, I'm just so happy the album is out and will keep promoting it as much as I can, while putting out my next record (currently in production). I will be touring and playing as many shows as possible throughout the summer, putting out an album with my band "Infinite Weekend" and just working on the next project! 

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