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How a Man Yelling 'F*gg*t' at morgxn Inspired His Bravest Music Yet

How a Man Yelling 'F*gg*t' at morgxn Inspired His Bravest Music Yet

How a Man Yelling 'F*gg*t' at morgxn Inspired His Bravest Music Yet

The singer-songwriter opens up about his past and the vital : blue EP.

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Photo: Sam San Roman

Singer-songwriter morgxn can't help but bear his heart and soul in his music.

"I never intended to be political in any way," the Nashville native told PRIDE. "But the thing is, to have joy and to have hope in the face of despair is a political act."

It's easy to see how someone yelling an anti-gay slur was the catalyst for "carry the weight," one of morgxn's most powerful songs of resilience and reclamation.

"It was inspired by the Women's March, marching in it with my mom and this man yelled 'faggot' in my direction. All of sudden, I realized as a society we're not doing enough to lift each other up."

During the march, another woman's strength caught morgxn's eye.

"There was this woman chanting with the crowd...and I think about this all the time. In the second verse, I sing, 'Let them hear the break in your voices, you never know how much you can take.' This woman was screaming at the top of her lungs and even though her voice was literally going hoarse, she kept screaming and she kept standing up and I thought, 'If she can do it, we can all do it. Even if your voice is breaking.' "carry the weight" says that we can't be broken but we still feel pain."

Growing up in Tennessee, morgxn struggled with his identity and sexuality.

"The south, everything about growing up there is like, 'To be a man you must fit a specific mold.'" Now the 30-something-year-old identifies as part of the LGBTQ community but prefers to not to box himself in with a label. That sense of self and freedom bleeds over into his synthy, electro-pop sound and his reimagined, stripped EP, shining most brightly on morgxn's tracks with Nicholas Petricca (lead singer of WALK THE MOON). 

vital : blue opens with the duo singing piano ballad "blue," a desperately longing track about heartache. Two men singing so honestly and emotionally is still uncommon in pop music today. 

"Nick and I have known each other as friends in music for a few years," morgxn explained. "He was actually there for me after I lost my dad. I played him an early version of me without you and I remembered he cried and was like, 'This has to be on the album.'"

That collaboration eventually led to them redoing morgxn's breakthrough 2017 hit, "home," and a live performance at Lollapalooza. 

"In some ways I describe the old version being a boy singing about home and in many ways this one feels like a man singing about home and about finding his place in the world in spite of people who don't want you to feel like you can belong," morgxn says of the updated EP track. 

Throughout all his struggles with his sexuality and his father passing, music has helped morgxn find something he thought was stifled by his upbringing: his voice.

"The thing about my music is that for the first time, I never knew I had so much to say until I started saying it, until I started writing it in song."

He says each song feels like a snapshot, capturing a particular moment in his life. These tracks are a part of him and just like us, they grow up and evolve.

"If it didn't have music, I wouldn't be here today."

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Photo: MOSES

For the artist, vital : blue feels like a natural musical evolution.

"The stripped album just fell out of me wanting to explore. I know I presented one version of the songs, but I also think there's many versions of these songs that I will probably explore in my lifetime." 

Sharing who you are so openly and beautifully is a powerful political act, but it's also incredibly courageous. The identities of queer people all over the world are under attack by a society that tells us its wrong. We arm ourselves with courage every day we step out the door. In some ways, morgxn's gorgeously piercing falsetto feels like a part of the arsenal, empowering us to keep going. 

"My mom, whenever she speaks in front of large groups of people, her voice always trembles," he recalled. "She gets really embarrassed about it...but Mom, you're human. We all tremble. But it's the people that show up in spite of that, that end up being called brave.

Listen to morgxn's vital : blue EP below.

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!