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LI's Morgan Saint talks her bold new EP, more

Morgan Saint attends the Guggenheim International Gala Pre-Party

Morgan Saint attends the Guggenheim International Gala Pre-Party at Manhattan's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on Nov. 13, 2019. Credit: Getty Images for Dior / Astrid Stawiarz

Morgan Saint was born a blonde but that aesthetic has since changed.

“My hair is a different color every week, honestly,” she says. “Right now it’s light pink with a pink stripe. Last week the stripe was red.”

The 26-year-old pop singer, who grew up in Mattituck, recently dropped her third release, “Help.” The six-song electronic EP is a strong personal statement from an evolving artist exploring her own emotional confessions. Even the cover, designed by her cousin Tanya Rast of Riverhead, shows an animated version of Saint with an explosion bursting out of her pink hair spelling out the title track.

Saint, whose original last name is Gildersleeve, spoke with Newsday’s David J. Criblez from her Manhattan apartment about releasing music during a pandemic, changing musical direction and exposing herself through lyrics.

There’s been a real back and forth with artists whether or not to release music during this time. Did you struggle with doing that?

It’s been a long time since I put out music so it was kind of a no-brainer for me. People have more free time and they are seeking out things to get them through this cycle that we are all in. It gives them something to be excited about. From that side I think it’s a great time to release music. But obviously I love touring, performing live and meeting people. I miss having that face-to-face interaction. I’m a little bummed about that but it will come. I just didn’t want to wait any longer.

Your new EP is very bold. Do you view this as a new beginning?

The last couple of years have been a transformative period in both my personal and professional life. I’ve taken a step back and reevaluated a lot of relationships in my life. I’ve sort of stepped away from the ones that were a little bit toxic or holding me back. I’m really coming into my own. Something that I’ve struggled with my whole life is that I’m very different from societal norms. Growing up in a small town, there’s a lot of different pressures because everybody knows each other. Being young there’s this desire to fit in and keep your loved ones happy. It’s been a big period of rejecting all that and I feel very settled in my own soul. It’s special to put music out after going through all that, working on myself and taking down those walls.

What caused you to break through to this new level?

When I got into this whole music thing, especially on a professional level, I was surrounded by people that had a lot of opinions that I felt pressure from. I’m not saying that music wasn’t me, it was, but the new music separated me from some of the people who were maybe holding me back creatively a little bit. This body of work is 100% me, there was no other opinion in the way. This EP is an honest representation of exactly where I was at. I really found myself.

Were you concerned about going in a different musical direction?

I follow the desire of being who I am in that moment. Of course there are some thoughts in the back of my head that are concerned. As much as this music is a bit different, it still comes from the same place of honesty. This is just a more blunt way of saying things. My personality is very shy when you meet me. I’m very reserved and I don’t let people in that easily. As you get to know me, you realize I’m crazy and very fiery. It’s cool to be able to share that other side of me.

What’s the significance behind titling the EP, “Help”?

The last two years have been quite a journey in my romantic life. During that time I was definitely feeling like I needed some help in some situations. In short, I got into a relationship for a few years. The beginning was very heartbreaking in a sense because I was in love with this person and they were connected and tangled with their previous partner. I stayed in the relationship and half way through I developed feelings for my best friend. I ended up really hurting my partner in the same way she hurt me. It was an interesting flip of the same situation. It gave me a lot of perspective.

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