Mad About Morgan Munroe: “Elvira is a mixture of good stuff and that’s kinda like me”

Lauren Gordon

By Lauren Gordon

Lauren Gordon

29 Jun 2022

Morgan Munroe has a star quality that you only see in films and TV. As we chat on zoom, she exudes a sense of passion and professionalism about her art and talks with such professionalism that you’d think she’s been in the industry for years. 

Having erupted on the scene back in 2019, Morgan has been all about building her identity, her brand, her style, her sound; everything that makes the Morgan Munroe I’m talking to now.

Each move she’s made to get to the success she’s reached has been carefully planned out; “Every single piece of the puzzle, I’ve thought about”, she says as we chat about the making of her latest EP, Elvira.

Named after 1983’s Scarface leading lady, the EP follows Morgan’s odyssey of a toxic love, her navigation of her femininity whilst breaking down stereotypes and her battles with self-reflection.

There’s a tale for everyone across the 9-track project, whether you’re undecided on a failing relationship or ready for the thrills of a situationship, Morgan Munroe is speaking to the masses.

As the positive reviews and reception around the EP rise, I caught up with Morgan Munroe in the midst of her success, about the project, its deeper meanings and what more to expect from the Leicester-raised star.

Congratulations on the EP, it’s an amazing body of work telling the story of a toxic relationship, the exploration of your femininity and is named after Scarface’s leading lady, Elvira.

What inspires you about her?

Scarface is my favourite film, we used a lot of the imagery and aesthetic for the videos. The toxicity of Tony and Elvira’s relationship mirrored the themes of the EP.

Their relationship goes from good and cheeky but quickly changes for the worst, and it’s Elvira who comes out on top. We don’t see the rest of her story but she puts on her big girl boots and refuses to put up with it, becoming a better person in my opinion.

That’s what I’m trying to say through the EP.

Have your personal experiences influenced the EP and more particularly, the stories you’ve told? 

Every single song is personal. My songs are like my diary, my therapy, they’re based on my life and my story.

I’m very vulnerable on this project, I’m giving my real experiences and how I got through my relationships.

Were there some things that were too personal to share? 

I did have second thoughts about Don’t Roll With Me. It’s quite an empowering song for a female, it has that role reversal in there, that kind of ‘I don’t want anymore from you and you’re pressing me for a relationship’ narrative.

On the track, I’m being a bit brazy, a bit forward but to be honest that’s been the favourite song.

The two most vulnerable songs on the EP are Fake News and Don’t Roll With Me and those are the two that have been responded to in the best way. It’s a good thing for me to know that people are appreciating my vulnerability.

So, now I definitely feel more confident when I’m writing, I no longer think ‘this is too personal’ anymore.

You sample some latin classics throughout the EP, some that have been famously used, for example Que Te Pedí by La Lupe.

What drew you to these samples in particular?

My producer TJ and I went through some sounds I liked as a reference to influence the tracks we were making.

The ones that inspired the hispanic vibe were mainly from Kali Uchis’ recent album Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) which was where I first heard Que Te Pedí. TJ was loving the Latin vibe so he suggested something similar for Havana Skit and Don’t Roll with Me. 

How does this EP differ from your previous projects? 

I took a lot of time with this project. I didn’t want to put a collection of songs together, I wanted to tell a story, to make a piece of artwork rather than just a bunch of songs. 

As well as that, I put a lot of effort into things outside of the music and the campaign. The looks, photoshoots, videos, every single piece of the puzzle I’ve thought about.

What is your favourite song on the EP and why? Which track was the most fun to make? 

It changes everyday but I’d say Don’t Roll With Me. Every song has its own vibe so depending on how I feel that day is what my favourite song would be. 

For a very long time it was Look What You Done because that’s closest to my daily attitude, the way I’m talking and being cheeky, it’s also beautiful to listen to, it’s a love song but not cheesy, it has all of these musical elements and genres, it’s a whole mixture of good stuff and that’s kinda like me. 

Who have you worked with on the EP that really inspired you? 

On Don’t Roll With Me I worked with Lowpass Luke who’s also from Leicester. I’ve known Luke since I was 15 but this beat was nothing like he had ever sent me in his life, it stuck out to me like a sore thumb.

It was too good for me not to use. I’ve also never worked with a producer like TJ before, it was really special to find someone with a shared vision and amazing abilities. 

I actually produced Voldermort myself – but I’m definitely not a producer, it was really bad but I knew the vibe I wanted, so once I wrote to it I felt like I had the song.

I took it to my band, asked them to make this sound a lot better and they did – thank God – they’re amazing and we took it to the studio to record. That track is my baby.

You’ve dabbled in production?

Yeah it’s something I’m down to experiment with when I’m in a rut or not feeling any beats that I’ve received.

If I’m not feeling the beat then I can’t write any music so, for me, doing bits of production here and there is the best way to get what I want out of my music.

Who would you like to work with next – any dream collaborations?

If you know me then you know Frank Ocean is my top artist of all time, so 100% it would be Frank. Next year, I’m going to America and I’ll get a session in with him, I’m putting it into existence.

Being acknowledged by the likes of DJ Target and Rebecca Judd must have felt amazing and is definitely the recognition you deserve.

What more do you think can be done in the industry to better support upcoming artists? 

In my world of RnB I can say there’s no real platform. You’ve got COLORS and stuff like that but there’s nothing in the UK that focuses on upcoming RnB artists and trying to elevate those people – that’s a big factor for us, the general support, it’s lacking.

It would be great to perform and get paid properly and get exclusives and interviews with publications and channels without it being so hard.

Has your come up been easy?

No, it’s been a slow burner but I’m not mad at that. I wasn’t as confident in my brand, my music, my style, who I was as a person, but as I’ve continued slow progression and got to know myself more and built my confidence, I think I’ve started to progress at a faster pace.

But honestly, I believe I’m at the pinnacle of Morgan Munroe and who she is as an artist and as a brand, making it inevitable for everything to fall into place.

Can we expect any more visuals for tracks on the EP? Any shows coming up?

I’m thinking of doing a couple of visualisers for the songs that have had a good reception, it’s looking like it might be Fake News.

This is an exclusive but I’m due to be dropping something around September and that’s going to be a conceptual visual project. Nothing’s set in stone but I’m excited for it.

I’ll be collaborating with HQ recording studios in Leicester which is a patriotic move for me. I’m proud to say that everyone who’s working on the project, from the stylists to the directors, are from Leicester.

What’s in the future for Morgan Munroe, what moves are you planning to make if you can say?

I’ve got a headline planned for September that I’m excited for. I’d love for it to be at the Omeera in London, it’s a venue that suits the Elvira vibe and I’ve been wanting to perform at for a while so I’m glad to be there.

For music next year, I plan on doing a lot of features. Everything this year, Elvira and my project in the autumn, has been about getting myself and my brand out there but next year I want to play around and make music with other artists.

Listen to the Elvira EP here and be sure to catch Morgan Munroe at the Jazz Cafe for the Global Soul Showcase on July 3rd.