Feature: The Groundwork to BassWerk

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On Thanksgiving evening Chloe Morgan sits down on the couch in her living room immediately turning off the blaring background noise coming from the television. “”I never watch TV,” says Morgan, a petite British redhead with bright blue eyes and an innate air of sophistication. “It stops the creativity; I filter what I watch because I take things pretty sensitively. If I see images whether good or bad, they’ll imprint on my mentality.”

It’s a dreary day outside and the rain is pattering against the window of her high-rise apartment. Morgan is nestled comfortably in sweats and an oversized sweater, nevertheless still looking radiant and exuding an infectious cheerfulness.

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Chloe Morgan performs at Backstage Lounge on Granville Island. Photo by Ali Crane

It was only last Wednesday when she performed for the first time with her band partner and boyfriend Ben McCrary unveiling their newest collaborative music project BassWerk at the Backstage Lounge on Granville Island.

The venue was small and humble, with the crowd being a spatter of friends and curious onlookers but nonetheless, Morgan and McCrary rocked the venue performing as if they were headlining a stadium area.

“The more we go on stage the better it’s going to become,” says Morgan. “It comes to the point with your art that it needs to be disciplined and rehearsed enough to the point that it’s almost mechanical within your system.”

Morgan knows first-hand the amount of discipline it takes to be a performer .From a young age growing up in Chelmsford, Essex she would drive up to London with her mother for auditions.

“I came out of my mom’s womb singing. That’s all I can remember doing as a child,” Morgan divulges. ”My mom saw something in me and wanted to push that. I started auditioning, attending ballet classes, singing, and acting at five years old.”

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Her constant training and practice helped her achieve a full scholarship to stage school at age 16. But it was during her college years that Morgan’s focus in her craft was severely challenged for the first time after she walked into her uncle’s apartment and discovered him dead from a brain hemorrhage.

“My uncle was my father because my real father left when I was two. He would make me lunches and take me to school, and every Saturday he would take me to singing lessons,” explains Morgan.

It was after this traumatizing event that Morgan’s eating disorder manifested.

“It completely spiralled my world out of control and that’s where my eating disorder took hold. I was in a state of depression and I couldn’t get out of my four walls, I was stuck within myself.”

But in the same moment that Morgan felt her lowest, her career was suddenly taking off.

At 17, Morgan’s mother pushed her to go to an audition for the British television show “Pop Stars: The Rivals,” a singing competition where two competing girl and boy bands were pitted against each other to take the number one spot in the British pop charts. After successfully auditioning Morgan won a place on the show.

“My experience on the show was intense,” Morgan explained. “I would be in extreme happiness but at the same time feel extreme discomfort and a need to hide from it all. It was 10 girls in a house and at the time I couldn’t really handle that experience.”

Morgan’s stint on the show saw her on the covers of magazines, singing live in front of millions of people and experiencing her first taste of fame.

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After eventually being eliminated from the competition only two places away from making the band, Morgan signed with Warner Brothers as part of a new girl group called “Clea” immediately after. However, the venture turned out dry after the group didn’t see the success they had hoped for. It was time for Morgan to blaze her own path as a solo artist.

“I ended up sitting at the piano and just coming up with my own stuff. That is how my first solo album “Piano Forte” came about and that got me attention in the states,” says Morgan.

After the release and resulting after-buzz of “Piano Forte”, Morgan became set on moving to Los Angeles to work on music that would further her solo career.

She started working five jobs and after saving enough money moved to L.A. Within her first week there she met Ben McCrary, whom Morgan says she immediately clicked with.

McCrary is the beat maker and producer of BassWerk. He grew up in the music industry as the nephew of Chaka Khan and the son of noteworthy MoTown-ers. At an early age he was performing backup gigs with the likes of Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson.

“Chloe is a go getter,” McCrary explains. “She sets her sights on something she’s going to go after it and that’s what really attracted me to her.”

McCrary’s musical talents include producing, writing, and singing and like Morgan music has always been a huge part of his life. When he and Morgan collaborate it’s a process that Morgan says is magical.

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“Ben is a mastermind when it comes to creating beats,” says Morgan. “He’ll come up with a rich beat and a vibe then we’ll both sit down and collaborate on melodies and lyrics and then just start piecing it together.”

BassWerk is the blend of all musical genres, from pop, to hip hop, to electro. Not one song can be categorized.

“When I create a song the concept is usually in my head already,” McCrary states. “Then it’s about transferring that idea in my head into the computer. I usually start with percussion and drums then lay the bass foundation and the keys and then start adding the bells and whistles. Then I get with writers and artists like Chloe here to help with the writing.”

And as this powerhouse couple looks to the future, they say big plans are in store for BassWerk.

“A year from now I want us to be touring,” exclaims Morgan excitedly. “I want us to be building content in terms of more shows, music videos, and definitely build our fan base. I hope we get on radio too!”

Today, Morgan claims she has never been in a better state of mind then where she is now and is especially proud to say that she has overcome her eating disorder.

“When you’ve been dealing with something for 10 years you come to a place of doubt… it’s horrible because you think there is a potential that this could be with you for the rest of your life, but I have the choice to not let it,” she says.

“After everything I’ve been through up until this point, I’m so thankful to be in this place I’m in now and so excited to see where BassWerk takes us.”

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