The Witch of the White Sea: Up Close with M83’s Morgan Kibby

By Cort Olsen

 

Morgan Kibby during M83’s Coachella 2012 performance. Photo by David Andrako

 

Many of you may have heard of Morgan Kibby from her time as the keyboardist for the French electronic band M84.  Now she has decided to branch off and do her own solo act as White Sea.  Kibby will be coming to Richmond to perform with The Naked and Famous at The National Sunday, June 8.  Before her performance she was kind enough to do a phone interview with us to let us know a little bit about her, the music, and how the tour has been going so far.

INK: Hello Morgan thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us.  How has the tour been going so far?

Morgan Kibby: Sure no problem.  The tour has been going great.  The shows have all been amazing and the road has been rough, but it comes with the territory.

IM: That is good to hear.  Where does the name “White Sea” come from?

MK: I am not really good with coming up with band names, but one day I decided to look up what my name means in a baby name dictionary and it mentioned white sea so I just decided to go with that.

IM: How would you classify your music?

MK: I would have to say electronic pop and orchestral.  I really like traditional pop music, but I have a lot of orchestral sounds in my songs.

IM: What are some of the differences going on tour with M83 and going on tour as a solo act?

MK: I would say the scale of the shows, and I am still unsure who exactly my audience is so each show is a different experience.

IM: What inspires your music?

MK: Well for this album the inspiration was a break up that I went through.  I was hurt by the experience so I didn’t know how else to cope but to write about it and that is how I came up with this new album [In Cold Blood].  Usually I am inspired by films and other forms of art.

IM: I have noticed many artists making “break up albums” do you think this is kind of a trend?

MK: I would hope not.  Break ups can be a traumatic experience, but they are also a life rite of passage because people have to go through them at some point.

IM: If we were to look at your iPod right now what three musicians or bands would we find as the most played?

MK: Neil Strauss, Salem and Son Lux.

IM: How did you manage to get on tour with The Naked and Famous?

MK: We did a remix exchange a while ago and they really liked and we developed a friendship.  As our friendship strengthened Aaron [Short] asked me if I would like to go on the road with them for this leg of the tour and I said yes.

IM: Has there been any interesting stories that have occurred over the course of the tour so far?

MK: Yes there have been several.  Last night a man threw a beer at me while I was on stage and that has kind of been annoying me since then.  Towards the beginning of the tour I was actually “propositioned” by a man that has multiple wives.  I could tell that he had had a few [drinks] so I kindly declined.  Finally I also had someone call me a witch.

IM: Why did they call you a witch?

MK: I think at the time I was wearing a hat, and someone said I looked like a witch.  I have had a few other people call me a witch too, but I like it because it makes me feel like Stevie Nicks.

IM: It’s too bad American Horror Story: Coven is over they could have put you in right next to Stevie.

MK: Oh my god, don’t even say that I would give my left arm to even be in the same room as Stevie Nicks.

IM: What city has been your favorite stop so far on the tour?

MK: Salt Lake City was one of our first stops and that one was probably my favorite.  Some of the shows have been all ages so Salt Lake definitely brought out a lot of the younger crowd.

IM: My next few questions are a part of the Word on the Street section of our magazine that we ask the students on campus just for fun.  Think back to a year ago, what is some advice you would give to yourself?

MK: Nothing really matters because everything matters.  I say that because I have realized that the things that are most important in life will come to you whether you want them or not.  I had a friend say to me, “You will always find what you are looking for,” and I wish I had taken that saying more to heart sooner.

IM: What was the happiest moment in your life?

MK: Falling in love.

IM: I hope this isn’t referring to the most recent break up that sparked this album.

MK: I try to focus on what we had rather than the hard times at the end, because at the time I was really enjoying myself.

IM: What is your biggest struggle right now?

MK: Patience.

IM: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

MK: Living on a yacht on the south side of France.

IM: Finally, where can fans find your music?

MK: People can find my music on iTunes and also on my website whiteseamusic.com.

IM: Thank you so much for your time Morgan and I look forward to seeing your performance on Sunday at The National.

MK: No problem and I am usually hanging out at the merch booth after the show so stop by and see me.

IM: Will do.

White Sea definitely has the traditional pop rhythm when it comes to the debut album In Cold Blood.  Future Husbands Past Lives opens with a sound similar to The Backstreet Boys Backstreet’s Back and has a melody like Janet Jackson’s All for You album.  Other songs like Prague have that modern electronic breakdown that you would hear in a Neon Indian song or Washed Out.  Songs like these two will surely have your head bobbing in the car; however the other songs like They don’t know and Small December, are much softer making you want to layout underneath the stars and dream.  Whether the song is fast or slow they all manage to tie back to the name White Sea because each song begins as if you are just floating on water and as each song progresses, it either feel like a title wave or just smooth sailing.    

 

 

Ink Magazine

Web Editor of Ink Magazine.

Leave a Reply