Interview: Morgan Myles Finds ‘Perspective,’ Even Through Dark Times, on New Album ‘Therapy’
Amid a difficult period of years that included a tumultuous break with her manager and agent and a series of devastating personal losses, Morgan Myles wasn't always sure that the songs on her new album, Therapy, would ever see the light of day. Even in her darkest moments, though, when nothing seemed clear, the singer kept getting glimpses of a bigger picture that helped her keep fighting.
"I truly lost myself in the scenario that I was in," Myles reflects to The Boot. "But then, once I stepped away from the record, I started writing music again, slowly, just to heal my heart."
In late 2018, when Myles was embroiled in a number of professional challenges, her cousin, Mac, died of brain cancer at only 33 years old. "It broke my heart," she says of that time, "but in the middle of it -- this is how God works in mysterious ways -- he gave me one heck of a perspective. Like, I might have had this whole situation of two years where I felt like my life was over, and I didn't know where I was going or if I was gonna do music anymore, I felt stuck and I felt controlled ... but all [Mac] wanted to do was breathe, and live his life."
Mac's death was one in a string of them for the singer and her family. First, in 2012, Myles lost a woman named Amy whose children she spent a decade nannying. Amy suffered from ALS, or Lou Gehring's disease, and she died that August. By that time, Myles and the family had become inseparable -- so much so, in fact, that she was named as a guardian for the kids in the event that anything should happen to their dad.
"My parents are like another set of grandparents [for Amy's kids]. I'm very proud of them. They've been through so much," Myles relates. "Again, it was like God giving me another huge perspective of balance with the music industry, because every day, seeing Amy deteriorate, it was really hard."
Next, Myles lost her grandfather to the same genetic brain cancer that would later claim her cousin's life. "It had just been, like, so many hits -- just, such a disease-ridden scenario in my life. And I think that's why a lot of my music, it got deeper and deeper," Myles reflects.
It took years for Myles to create Therapy -- the album's title track, she says, is four or five years old -- and the difficult times she experienced continued to add perspective, soul and depth to her songwriting. At the end of 2019, Myles dropped "Empire," the first taste of the album, as an empowerment anthem. The singer says she wants to fly the flag of self-confidence for fans, especially younger girls, and adds that, sometimes, she needs to hear that message herself, too.
"I think what I've always wanted to say has been a pretty clear vision, because it's spiritually-based a lot of times, and there's a lot of empowerment and strength," she muses. "Sometimes I feel [empowered and strong]; other times, I'm like, 'I need to listen to this song and remind myself.'"
In her darkest moments, Myles thought about giving up on music. Eventually, though, it was music that pulled her through those dark times. In fact, she says, there's a serious upside to having to fight so hard to bring her music into the world.
"For me to prove to myself why music was still worth doing, and the fact that I truly have been doing it for all the right reasons -- for me to go, 'God, if I [can put out this album], then that's the silver lining,'" she continues. "[It proves] that I'm supposed to be doing this. That people wanna hear this music, and that people give a s--t about what I have to say, musically.
"It was almost like a mission to find what I was supposed to be doing with my life," Myles adds.