July 29, 2014

Morgan Page's 220-Step Method to a Profitable DJ Career

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Maybe it’s the maple syrup in his Vermont hometown, but Morgan Page’s career track was only a few hundred phone-calls away. His DJ/remixing ambitions began percolating in high school, crafting rudimentary electronic tracks and sending them off to the DJs he heard on a local college radio station and then calling them. A lot.

No restraining orders were issued. Fast-forward to now, and he’s our cover story in this month’s magazine, offering plenty of career advice.

Norah Jones helped your career? My first remix was for Wax Poetic, which was Norah Jones’ original band. I remember seeing her play in Boston to empty clubs. They were totally unknown. This was right before she signed to Blue Note. I actually had her email address for a while because I wanted to work on some tracks with her. She was like, “I’m a little busy right now, but I appreciate the offer.” Everyone knew she was gonna blow up and she got this crazy deal and her first album came out. But they were doing some electronic stuff with Wax Poetic and she sang on a song called “Angel,” which I did a remix of. We got the band’s manager’s permission to put it out on vinyl and the label said they would look the other way and not sue us.

And that got the remixing ball rolling for you? Yeah. And that led to a few more offers and there were some underground remixes. But then I did the Cease and Desist [2005] record, which was an album of bootleg remixes. I wanted to do the first entirely white label album. It had Tegan & Sara, Imogen Heap, The Kills, Coldplay. I started passing that out and it was a big hit with people. They liked hearing these familiar songs in a new context. And it was really good training because I didn’t have the parts for the songs, so I had to slice everything up manually, which I still do a lot of that now in Pro Tools. I made up 1,000 copies on CD with a nice design theme with lawyers and briefcases.

You put that stuff out and you don’t know where it goes. But it got downloaded so many times that it crashed my server. But that was the goal—to get it on people’s iPods. I just wanted to give it out and spread it out online. I only found out later on that it’s how I got my remix agent. And now I’ve done my third remix for Tegan & Sara and it started from one bootleg remix. You catch the ear of one A&R at a big label and that leads to 20 remixes.

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