GoGo Morrow has been immersed in music for as long as she can remember.
The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, native grew up in a musical family. Her father and uncle were part of a singing group called the Golden Chandeliers.
“I had so much access to music. It was kind of a second nature thing where I don’t even recall the moment I decided I wanted to sing. It was always a thing,” says Morrow.
Although Morrow had always had an interest in singing, there was a time when she put her ambitions aside. “When I got old enough to decide that I wanted to really do it, I kind of ran away from it,” she shares.
Morrow didn’t stray too far from music, though. After graduating from Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, Morrow enrolled at Millersville University of Pennsylvania to pursue a degree in music business.
While in college, Morrow had the opportunity to intern at two iconic labels, Philadelphia International Records and Def Jam Recordings. “It’s funny because when I was an intern, I didn’t tell anybody at either label that I was an artist or a singer,” she says.
After obtaining her degree, Morrow had to figure out her next steps: attend law school to become an entertainment lawyer or pursue her calling of being an artist. “I realized shortly thereafter that I didn’t belong behind the scenes,” Morrow says. Thus, she decided to go after her dream.
Morrow traveled to New York City for an audition, which led to the opportunity to join Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball Tour as a backup singer and dancer. This life-changing gig reaffirmed to Morrow that she was destined to be on the creative side of music.
“I was able to see the effect that she had on so many people and I was like, ‘I have to have that for myself.’ It was a feeling I couldn’t recreate in any other aspect of my life except on stage. That’s how I knew I really wanted to do it,” says Morrow.
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After touring with Gaga, Morrow returned to her hometown to continue focusing on her solo career.
Fast forward to early 2020, Morrow’s music career reached a new milestone: She signed a deal with super producer Harmony Samuels’ B.O.E. Records and Universal Music Canada in partnership with Interscope Records and Kenya Barris’ Khalabo Music.
Before the deal, Morrow had worked on music with producer and songwriter Ryan Toby, who told Samuels about her.
Soon enough, Samuels reached out to Morrow via direct message on Twitter and invited her to Los Angeles, California, to work on music of their own.
The first song they recorded was “In The Way,” which ended up being the lead single from her debut EP, Ready, out now.
After Morrow and Samuels recorded “In The Way,” she decided it was time to relocate to Los Angeles to take her career to the next level.
“I was like, ‘I can’t go home,'” recalls Morrow. “I did little jobs until I found my apartment. I was a nanny for a year until I got the Kanye [West] job. Then I started traveling with the Sunday Service for almost two years.”
Once her deal was official, during the early stages of the pandemic, Morrow got right to work on her project. “We went back in the studio, recorded a bunch of songs and the rest is history,” she notes.
Ready is the first offering from Morrow’s EP trilogy. “I titled my project Ready because I thought I was ready so many times in my life, and I might have been, but it wasn’t my time,” she explains. “Now I feel like everything is aligned. I feel like I’m ready. I feel like the world’s ready for something fresh [and] God is ready for me. I think I’ve learned all the lessons I was supposed to learn for me to advance to the next level.”
Morrow’s intention with Ready is clear: “My only goal is to get people to feel something when they hear a song or connect to it. Even if it’s not particularly their situation, just connect to it because they believe me. I wanna inspire people in that way.”
In Rated R&B’s interview with GoGo Morrow, the rising singer shares the story behind every track on her Ready EP.
“Comfortable” tells the story of the girl who felt bad after she had done something wrong. A lot of times your guilt eats away at you, so you try to make up for what you feel by treating your partner a certain way. “Comfortable” was my attempt at redeeming myself after I had backtracked and went back to my ex. All of this is based on a fairly true story (laughs). “Comfortable” is just me telling my new guy, “I’m gonna make you feel comfortable.” It’s my “Cater 2 U” record, basically.
“Nu Nu” feat. Teddy Riley
“Nu Nu” tells the story of me actually meeting someone and opening myself up to new possibilities. It’s that feeling when you first meet somebody and you have new butterflies. The project is very ’90s-inspired. I’m so heavily influenced by all the people that I listened to as a baby. One of those heavy influences of the ’90s was Teddy Riley. It [made] so much sense to include him in this concept. He was so gracious. Having Teddy Riley on the project is literally, if not the biggest highlight of the project, the second biggest highlight.
It was originally a record for a rap artist named Chipmunk. Ella Mai was singing the hook and Chipmunk was rapping the verses. They didn’t do anything with the record. Then Harmony’s like, “Yo, I forgot I had this record we never put out with Chipmunk and Ella Mai is doing the hook. I think we should recreate it.” When I heard it, I was like, “Oh wow, this is fire. I’ll write the verses and the bridge and we can keep the hook.” The hook was just so cool. Ella Mai sang it amazingly. “I.O.U.” is one of my favorites and I knew it would be because the hook is just so dynamic.
We were in the studio and Harmony came in one day and was like, “We don’t have a sexy, lovemaking record. We need one of those records.” I was like, “You’re right, we do.” That was probably the easiest record that we have ever written. We wrote it in 30 minutes. After it was done, we were like, “Wow, that is crazy.” To see how you could just have an inkling of the idea and for it to manifest into this whole masterpiece is amazing to me. That was a really fun session.
“In The Way”
That song was written because I had just moved to LA and I was going through a situation with my ex-partner. I wanted to talk about how a lot of times, as women — and men, but most of the time as women — we’re holding on to something that is not serving us any longer. And it’s OK for us to let that person know: “Look, I’m a catch. I’m a prize. If you’re not going to recognize that, then I just have to move on.” It turned out to be a great song. I wrote it to a loop. It was an acoustic record. It was just me getting things off my chest. Eventually, Harmony went back and added the breakbeat to it. That’s another record that kind of created itself. Another thing about “In The Way” is Harmony never let me sing it over. The vocals are the original vocals I sang as we were writing the record. I didn’t even sing it in a booth. I was sitting in a chair, writing and recording at the same time. So that’s the demo that you guys are hearing. He never let me sing it again because he was like, “Nah, it’s gonna lose its feeling.”
“Issues” is that moment of clarity you have that you’re not as perfect as you thought you were, and a lot of issues that you have are caused by yourself. And until I work on those, no relationship is gonna be what I need it to be because I am not happy with myself. You have to be in a good space — in your personal life, in your mind — before you can get in a relationship because your past relationship trauma will show itself eventually. No one else can make you happy. You’re the only person who can make yourself happy. “Issues” is me realizing that my new [partner] that I’m trying to fill this void with isn’t any different than my last relationship. Basically, it’s because of me because I keep choosing the same type of person. And until I realize why I’m attracting that or what I’m putting out to receive that kind of treatment, then nothing is gonna work.
“With You” feat. Symba
Harmony has this gift of hearing a song before he even makes a beat. He’ll call me and be like, “I got this idea. Let’s sample Dr. Dre. We hadn’t heard any R&B samples of Dr. Dre.” I came to the studio and I’m like, “Let me hear it.” And he’s like, “Oh, I didn’t make it yet” (laughs). So I sat there and watched the whole beat be created from scratch. After that, we started writing. We actually wrote different versions of “With You” and settled on the most simple version. Harmony made me sing that song over — completely opposite of “In The Way” — five different times. He was like, “No, it’s not good enough. Come back to the studio, we gotta sing it again.” I was like, “Oh my God.” I thought I was a perfectionist because I am. But in that situation, he would not leave me alone. We’ve cut “With You” literally five different times.
Shooting the video was so much fun. I worked with Laurie Ann Gibson. She’s my creative director for all three of my videos. We actually didn’t rehearse for very long. I think we had two rehearsals in total to learn that choreography. It was a lot of fun. I’ve been dancing for a long time but I don’t necessarily think I’m a dancer, dancer. So when I get in a room with real dancers, it’s always a bit intimidating. But they were so nice to me and so encouraging. All four of them are so amazing. I was just really honored that they wanted to be in my video.
Stream GoGo Morrow’s new EP Ready below.