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Spotlight: Morgueanne DiMonica

Spotlight - Morgueanne DiMonica.jpg

In the fourth OKMA Spotlight, we visit with Morgan DiMonica, the brains behind the electronic project Morgueanne DiMonica.

Morgueanne.jpg


Spotlight[edit]

I did my homework for this, as any good journalist does going into the interview process. But let me tell you how overjoyed I was to find that Morgueanne DiMonica's Morgan delivers exactly the message they stand for while also packing a delicate and charming touch!

Morgan is a real life example of humble beginnings, perseverance, and triumph. Using the pronouns "they/them", Morgan is an open and active member of the LGBTQ community. The embodiment of androgyny, they have a delicate voice, elegant but bold makeup, and tastefully placed facial piercings. Morgueanne has a style and presence that I would refer to as a blend of scene, gothic, and pastel pixie king.

"Come to your own conclusions sure, but don’t come crying to me when they’re fucking wrong." — Morgan

Musical Beginnings[edit]

Beginning their roots in music in 2015, their sound has evolved since their beginning project, an EP titled Over the Rainbow. However, there has always clearly been a strong message with every song, touching on real life experiences and pounding out taboo or controversial topics with a fiery, real touch. The alternative sound grows on you like a fungus.

"What if I’m not real? What if I don't exist and just don't want to accept it?" — Morgan

"Heat" single artwork.

With some of their earliest endeavors, Over the Rainbow and the single "Heat", they started out with literally no equipment, minimal editing software, and producer and recorded the vocals, keyboard, and programming alone to make their vision into reality. Clearly they made it work. It’s catching not just my attention, but the music scene as well!

Cicada[edit]

I dove right in with their newest studio album “Cicada”, currently available on Spotify and Bandcamp. Their first collaborative endeavor, the album was produced by Norman artist Janeee (Jane Elizabeth).

"Cicada" album cover.

As I listened, the tracks “Daddy Issues,” “Diagnose Me”, and “The Sigil” became personal instant favorites. The album as a whole has a well rounded sound, mixing Alternative lyrics with a blend of Hardcore Techno, Electronic, Darkwave, and EBM along with a twang inspired from Visual Kei.

Cicada touches on the controversial, but very real, topics of depression, disability, abuse, fetishes, and the psychological effect each of these have. The album also speaks on sex work, sex crime, religious persecutions, and personal traumas.

The album has some very real, and very valid, content that I don’t believe as a society we discuss enough. It is their goal, and mine, to help educate people on such topics.

Sex work isn't inherently dangerous. Bad people make it dangerous." — Morgan

I had all kinds of questions and the album and Morgan is an open book. Our conversation was deep and intense, but they had a great way of being casual and coming across as very put together and loving.

Attention[edit]

Morgan:
Jane sent it to me and she told me to pick it as intro or interlude. I thought, what do I want people to know about me? I figured, demanding the audience be captive was the way to go! This is who I am.

I associate strongly with the song 'Primadonna' from The Phantom of The Opera.”

Possessed[edit]

There was a pause before they answered…

Morgan:
“I had just watched a movie recently that was going through my head. I don't remember what movie. That song was kinda my theory of what it would be like to be gradually possessed. I also have a big struggle with imposter syndrome.”

We went on to discuss mental illness and personality disorders such as schizophrenia, paraphrenia and D.I.D. as we both have loved ones who have these conditions.

Morgan themself deals with mental illness, such as Bipolar 2 and Schizotypal Personality disorder, and takes medication. They also state that they are “very prescription positive”.

One By One[edit]

Morgan:
"I recorded one version. Then I hated it! Started over nearly completely, only the chorus stayed from the first version.

The first version was about insects crawling out of the ground and molting, but I wasn't satisfied with it. The verses weren’t what I wanted. So we went a little more vague on some things and made it a little more understandable or relatable.

This was one of the first tracks Jane produced for me, about a year before I commissioned the rest.”

You Just Wanna Look[edit]

Morgan:
"Janeee featured on this one! She wrote the first version. She didn’t like the chorus, and I paid her extra to let me keep it. Eventually she ended up taking the lyrics from a separate version of the same song and adding them later on. That’s why there’s an album version and a single version. In the feature track, she wrote her two verses and the chorus. I wrote every part I sang.

"You Just Wanna Look" single artwork.

This song is about being a trans person and getting clocked! Being in public and people giving you those eyes. Like, I know you view me as fetish. But there’s more to me than that. I’m a person with needs! I’m real too. I have been subject to the strict binary and I’ve never wanted to pick one or the other. Come to your own conclusions sure, but don’t come crying to me when they’re fucking wrong."

Noble:
"I can personally relate to this song so strongly. Being young and naturally androgrynous, these are the real life issues that we face."

Cicada[edit]

Morgan:
“I sort of twisted the interpretation of the cicada which is supposed to represent resurrection. It comforts me to think that my late brother's spirit is still with me in the form of other people. So I made it into reincarnation with familiar people instead. I personally felt that it was the weakest track on the album, but I don’t wanna bash on it."


Noble:
"This one for me personally is the anthem! It deserves the title, in my opinion, as it encompasses a lot of the conceptual material of the album. This song buzzes like a Cicada."

Daddy Issues[edit]

Morgan:
“Daddy Issues is the first track I completed for Cicada. It's about intrusive thoughts. All of the gross, awful thoughts that everybody gets. What kind of person would you be like if you weren't self aware or didn't have any sort of restraint? What caused this sort of impulse to be so frequent? Everybody has beef with their parents. Intergenerational trauma is a good place to start.”

Nosebleed[edit]

Morgan:
“This was a fun one. Janeee was experimenting with sirens and helicopter sounds. Sirencopter.wav was the name of the original sound file. Lyrically, it’s about authority figures and people who think they know what’s best for you. Anyone who wants you under their thumb, really.”

Best Friends Forever[edit]

"Best Friends Forever" single artwork.

Morgan:
“Oh my god!” followed by laughter, “this is the shitstormiest one.

For 1-2 years I allowed a man to live with me and my family. We got him a job cleaning my godparents' house when they were dying. He said he would never hurt me or betray me, and then he stole a substantial amount of money from my dying godparents, told all my deep dark mental illness secrets to people he had just met, and tried to steal my cat when he ditched me to live with someone else. It really left me feeling cheated and jaded.”

Anaïs[edit]

Noble:
"Let's talk about Anus!"

Morgan:
"Sorry?"

Noble:
"Anus! Your track Anus!"

Morgan:
Morgan laughs and replies "ANAÏS (ah-nah-EES)! For this track, I asked Janeee to make me a track like [Australian rapper] Zheani, and I sent her [the song] "The Question" as a reference. Janeee came back to me within a week with a similar, and equally hard song, with a nod to Zheani. I was very excited and knew what it would be about.

My ex-groomer from France was named Anaïs. She went by Nana. I was abused by her from around the age of 15-16. She was extremely controlling, always asking who I was with. I was thinking about killing myself and I had a panic attack, so I called the cops. On the way to the children's psych ward, I texted her, 'Baby I’m gonna be okay, I’m gonna get help, but I can't use my phone for a week.' The only response I got from her was, 'I’m going to drink bleach.' It took me a decade to recover from that. And that is just one of the things she did.

Anaïs was 23, she's the only person I ever cheated on. But it wasn’t really cheating, because it was me actively being abused by a sexual predator while trying to date someone my age. The 'teenage accomplice' referred to in the song was Anaïs' best friend, and the girl who outed me for 'cheating' on my predator. I hope she knows now that she was an accomplice to my abuse. I hope she knows now what she did."

Noble:
"This is a lot for anyone to go through."

Morgan:
“I’m not grieving over it anymore. I mean, obviously I wrote a song about it, but I’m dealing with it through a creative outlet. It took me so long to realize that anything was wrong with what happened. And when I did, I made my ultimatums and cut off anyone who wouldn't cut her off.”

Noble's Note:
This really hit home for me personally, as I was groomed by an older man at the age of 14-17. It’s not something you necessarily are aware of as it’s happening and others around you don’t have enough control over the situation in many instances to protect you. Growing up we all have this mentality that we can handle ourselves from a young age. Some of us had to grow up that way. But these laws about minors are there for a reason. This is something Morgan and I agreed upon.

Diagnose Me[edit]

Morgan:
“The background music was [a] Christmas gift [from] Janeee. When I was a kid, I was like, 'What if I’m not real? What if I don't exist and just don't want to accept it?' It was something that scared me, but I was never determined to prove to myself that I was fake or real.

Morgueanne - Laying.jpg

When I listened to the new track from Jane, I started thinking about computers and machines, and that dark fantasy that I might be built from mechanical parts came back to me."

I also thought of 'Detroit: Become Human,' a game that is about androids experiencing humanity. It’s a great game! Highly recommended! I was raised on movies like 'Bicentennial Man', so this was right up my alley.

The song does have parts relating to my life, but it is a story. I did do a bit of self harm, but was not a cutter. I was more of a scratcher. In addition, the line saying, 'I’m a machine and I have no mother' isn't actually referring to my mother. My mom and I are tight. That line refers more to feeling detached from humanity.

Noble:
"In these mental states, I believe the most healthy approach is having some type of creative outlet such as writing or music therapy."

Victim[edit]

Morgan
“It’s about when my brother was alive, how he was very protective of me and my interactions with men especially. He safeguarded my interactions with boys my age.

He dealt with mental illness as well. He was schizophrenic. Even though he's dead, his expectations still have a grip on me. My relationship with my brother was complicated.

When it was good it was good, when it was bad it was bad.”

Noble:
"In life, we have all been the victim. It’s important that we recognize that in one another and have support groups or friends around us that can lift us up."

The Sigil[edit]

Noble:
"One of my personal favorites. What was the inspiration? Are you into the craft?"

Morgan:
“At first it came from total garbage. I was writing a song about nightmares I have and it just wasn’t flowing right. Didn’t feel good. Then I heard about Memphis Rap Sigils, an urban legend about recording a song over a murder scene to set your intentions in a spell. I thought, 'What if someone did something like that, but it was more positive and innocent people didn't die?'

As for the craft, I dabble here and there.”

Noble:
"I think this concept is brilliant, and honestly something that can be uniquely used in each person's life. We all go through 'death' and 'rebirth'. It’s called metamorphosis or dare I say the way we as humans 'evolve'."

Crossroads[edit]

Robert Johnson.

Morgan:
“Crossroads was inspired by the blues guitarist, Robert Johnson, who is said to have sold his soul at the crossroads in exchange for the ability to play. He wrote songs about how he was ‘chased by the hounds of hell.’

I wanted to give that vibe. He was a part of the 27 club. This song was really about what exactly you would give to be successful. Where do you draw the line?”

Noble:
"The 27 Club is something we always hear about, but never really put much credence into. Taking a look at the lives of those believed to be in it, you begin to question its validity."

Destiny[edit]

Morgan:
“I had nothing but positive and empowering vibes from what Jane had sent me. ‘'It’s my Destiny came to me fairly quickly. I knew from the beginning that I wanted Crossroads and Destiny as the last tracks. My wife supported me with that idea throughout the entire process.”

We went on to talk about their wife, and I can tell you they are blessed to have one another.

Future Plans[edit]

Noble:
"Let’s talk about what’s coming next. At first you were solo, then along came Jane. Elaborate on that. Are you a solo artist? Are you forming a crew?"

Morgan:
“Always wanted to have a band, but it feels weird making people perform under my name. I’m just out here and like to make collaborations along the way. I think those random connections are more authentic.”

Noble:
"Who are you going to be working with next?"

Morgan:
Tyler Gray on [a] Metalcore EP. He works with Gray Matter Productions.”

When I asked for spoilers, they responded “lots of SCREAMING!” and I for one am all ears!

I then got the scoop on a new single with Georgian rapper Lucious Coldstone titled ”Special”, released on April 7th.

Influences[edit]

As far as current influences, Russian electronic duo “IC3PEAK,” and YouTube star and solo artist “Poppy” came to mind. I can see the similarities. We agreed that, if you haven’t heard of Poppy, you are missing out.

Poppy

Morgan:
“I was drawn to the bold makeup and clothing choices, as well as the sound”.

Also, “Zheani has been another huge influence.”

Other Work[edit]

Being that Morgan puts it all out there in their lyrics, I wanted to use this as an opportunity to spotlight things they haven’t said before.

Morgan:
“I’m an open sex worker.”

Something we agreed should be more openly accepted as a form of real work, as it is a valuable, and obviously in demand, part of the world as we know it. Sex work should be more excepted. The good the bad and the ugly.

Noble:
"In that line of work is there a lack of acceptance, respect, or dogma attached socially?"

Morgan:

Morgueanne - Morgan Horns.jpg

“People don't give me a lot of flack. Back when I used to do 'Where You Sleep' and Burnout,' before the pandemic, in my seven inch heels [and] giant horns, I was the tallest person in the room and I would get more compliments than ever! As you know from the first track on Cicada, I love attention!”

Noble:
"Honestly though, who doesn’t? Sex work, what is that like as a profession?"

Morgan:
“Normal. It used to be kind of embarrassing, but I’ve learned over time that if someone wants something, they have gotta show me with dollars and that works for me. There are days where I don’t love it. But at the end of the day, I get to order things online, eat what I want, and do what I want."

Noble:
'What was the worst of it?"

Morgan:
“When I was 18-19 and a cam model with no VPN. Someone said ‘look at your stream’ and then my screen went to someone else's desktop running a program. It was hacked and could have been giving away my location. I shut down the browser, unplugged my computer and my wifi, and contemplated calling the cops. I never logged back in and did not receive my final check. Nothing ever came from it and I have since moved. People want what they want and they are willing to go to any length to get it. It’s disgusting.”

Morgan went on to add, "Sex work isn't inherently dangerous. Bad people make it dangerous."

We went on to discuss how sex work has always been an active part of society.

Calamity Jane: Gender Defier, Prostitute, and Legend of the Wild West

It's an age-old profession! In the Old West, the cities formed around brothels. It brought people to the city. Not justifying literally anything else in the Old West, but go prostitutes!”

Noble:
"How have these topics affected your overall work and life?"

Morgan:
“I can conveniently get clients to send links for new promotions."

They went on to say the “controversy is a good thing. I am not worried about people finding out what I do. I am a colorful person!”

Vibrant and extraordinary to say the least.

Closing Questions[edit]

Wrapping things up, I asked what advice they would give fans or other individuals in general.

Morgan:
“Keep creating! It doesn’t matter if it’s bad. Keep going. Sometimes some of your best work comes from just putting yourself out there even when you hate it. You will always have your worst track in a set of tracks.”

Noble:
"I wondered if there are any accomplishments you’d like to shed light on thus far?"

Morgan:
“I wasn’t expecting any listeners.”

Clearly every stream, share, and like is appreciated. In Morgan’s world, it is obvious every voice and opinion counts, especially those of the loner.

Morgan also wanted to give a special shout out to NAMI, The National Alliance on Mental Illness. I asked them, "What impact do they have on you and your music?"

Morgan:
“My parents told me that they learned a lot from NAMI about mental illness and the challenges presented. They learned a lot about how to handle it. When my brother committed suicide, we donated to NAMI. I love my brother, and he made an impact on me. His influence, and going through losing him, is a pillar of who I am.”

I’d like to say that I left this interview with a feeling of empowerment and compassionate understanding I do not feel very often in the world around me.

I had one final question.

So then what is your life like aside from music?

Morgan:
“It's pretty normal. Well, it's a little spicy! Mild pacante salsa. Pretty boring, lots of weed, three cats, sex worker, you know!”

All in all, I would say this is just the beginning for Morgueanne DiMonica: a musical monster that can’t be tamed!

Credits[edit]

Interview conducted by: Noble Kaiser
Editing by: Matthew Wallace

External Links[edit]