We had the good fortune of connecting with Morgan Taylor Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Morgan, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
There have been many times within my career that I’ve thought about giving up. Pursuing a career as an artist is not an easy one. There’s no roadmap nor blueprint, and often no exact footsteps to follow. However, so many things continuously happen both to me and for me, each reminding me to never give up.
First, the thoughts of music and singing consistently swim around in my head, day in and day out. I think in song. I hear in harmony. And am always imagining myself performing.
Next, whenever I’ve tried to deviate from this path, nothing comes close to fulfilling me and fueling me the way music does.
Thirdly, the support I receive from family, friends, strangers, and many others also encourages me to keep going. Any time someone says they enjoy my song or that the lyrics I wrote resonated with them in some way, I know I’m on the right track and am supposed to keep going.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Though I’ve always known it, I’ve recently declared that I’m an artist and creative first, always. Music is literally the reason I exist (my parents met in a band), so this desire of pursuing a career as a singer has been within me for many, many years. It hasn’t been easy but I’m proud of myself for sticking with it, no matter what.
I believe one of the biggest challenges I’ve overcome is myself – getting out of my own way and self doubt. Once I began to fully believe in who I am, my talents and gifts, and started walking confidently in them, so many things began to open up for me.
Artist wise, I’ve done a lot over the years, from performing on BET to stages such as the legendary Apollo Theater. Recently, I released a new single that’s actually titled, RELEASE, and it’s so fitting for this current chapter I’m in. The song reflects on shedding the weight of expectations from others and learning to live my life for me. When people hear it, I hope they too feel inspired to further discover themselves and release anything that may be standing in their way.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ve lived in LA for about 3 years, so there’s still so many things I need to explore. However, if a friend was coming to town, we’d get coffee and breakfast at either (or both) of my favorite local, Black owned coffee shops – Sip & Sonder or Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen. We’d hop around town exploring who has the best tacos. For dinner, we’d find somewhere with nice cocktails and a good view.
In the midst of all that eating, I’d ensure we get a workout in with a local run club and community I’m part of – Keep It Runhundred.
Also, as a native east coaster, I often take full advantage of living close to the ocean now, so I’d be sure we spent an afternoon at the beach. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I come from a really supportive family, so I have to shout them out – especially my parents and my siblings. Honorary mention goes to many extended family members and some of my closest friends. You all know who you are.
RELEASE photography: Brian Galdamez, makeup: Camara Aunique, hair: Precious of The Braid Bar. SOBs, hair: Adiaida, makeup: Nickia Williams