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Morgan Bain band photo 4

WAM INTERVIEW: Morgan Bain on lambingtons, launches and Prince

2 Jul

Just home from his shows as part of the most recent Wheatbelt Touring Circuit, WAM spoke to Morgan Bain about his experience (including the invention of “the lambington”), upcoming shows at Perth Blues Club and Mojo’s single launch next month, as well as the best gig he’s ever played.

A history in brief:
I wrote my first song at 10 and started playing at open mic nights in pubs when I was 15. I entered song writing competitions early and I won West Australian Music Industry (WAM) Song of the Year awards in 2011, 2012 and 2014. I also won a WAMi for “2013 Blues and Roots Act of the Year” and reached final status in the International Songwriting Competition (US) in 2012 and 2014 and Unsigned Only (US) as well as being nationally selected as 1 of 3 songwriters in the Telstra Road to Discovery. I was a winner of the SingerUniverse 2014 “Best Vocalist of the Month” in California (US) and made it to Finals in the 2014 John Lennon Songwriting Competition (US). My first EP release was when I was 16 so my music has evolved quite a lot since then. I’ve released 3 Ep’s so far and each one of them has an award winning track on them and I’m really proud of that.

Your sound?
Soul, RnB, Trip Hop, Blues, Alternative Rock and Funk with influences from Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Prince, D’Angelo, Donna Hathaway and many more.

Most surreal/random/funny thing that’s ever happened during your gig?
Once I had a few undies thrown at me while I was on stage and they were male pairs haha…that was random!

You’ve just come back from a Wheatbelt Touring Circuit run – how was the experience and what did you observe, learn etc of interest along the way?
The band and I had the best time on that run, we made new friends with Lauren Arthur who’s a great artist (amazing voice) and we learned quite a bit about country life and the country lingo! So first stop was Beverley which was a beautiful little town with a really friendly audience who really got into the show. The Grass Valley was a great success with an extremely attentive audience who were hanging off every word. We stayed at the farm stay in Meckering with a kangaroo and a lamb that night that we named “lambington”, so that was an awesome experience! Thanks to Ian and Holly for having us for that one. Quindanning was the next stop which is always a favourite. it’s just amazing how all these little country towns have the really old the buildings and architecture which I love. I just really dig the chilled out country vibes.

You’re soon playing the Perth Blues Club for their Next Gen Blues night – how important a place has the blues been in your music?
The blues stems into so many other forms of music. I started out in my earlier years being right into Blues and Roots, moved into Blues Rock/ Soul and now my music is more alternative Soul based, so the Blues have always been very important in all of that.

How important a role do you think the Perth Blues Club has been in showcasing Perth’s blues scene?
The Perth Blues Club is very important here and they are always really supportive of all styles of Blues music and artists which is great. They organise great showcases at the Club and have a big following.

What are the perfect ingredients for your song writing process?
Hmm… a hook, a great groove and something to say.

Who would you most love to share the stage with one day and why?
I think probably Stevie Wonder or Prince. I think they’re THE MOST talented people on the face of the planet!

Best set you’ve ever played in WA and why?
I’m not sure that I really have a best set because I’m highly critical of myself, but a recent one was a late night improvisational jam that my friend Ben Vanderwal organised at the Ellington Jazz Club. That was the most fun I’ve had in years. We rehearsed I think 4 songs and the rest was all made up on the spot. Two of the guys I hadn’t even met before and were amazing jazz players and we played for around 2 hours!

What was the hardest part of starting up in the music industry for you, and how did you get over that hurdle?
I think it’s only a hurdle if you see it that way… it’s important to stay positive and focused. I’ve just been working hard since I started and you just keep plugging away at it.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given or can give to get ahead in the music industry?
If you want it just grab it with both hands and continue to work hard no matter what age or situation you’re in.

How has WAM helped your career?
WAM has been a huge believer in me since I was very young and have been really supportive with lots of good advice along the way.

What’s happening for you in the near future?
After the Perth Blues Club show on Tuesday 7 July I’m playing Unwind at Mojo’s (to raise awareness for Mental Health) on 9th July and then we’re off to play in Broome that weekend. The following weekend we head to Arnhem Land (yes I know how awesome is that!) to play two shows up there and I can’t wait for that, it will really be an amazing experience! We have a couple of local shows coming up back in Perth then and I’ll be releasing my new single at Mojo’s on Friday 28 August!

More info here.


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WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.