It’s not often you meet someone with such vitality they light up a room—much less often, right before they perform for a packed venue as large as Webster Hall’s main ballroom.
It was with pure bubbly excitement, however, that San Francisco native Morgan Neiman (known as “Ducky” to fans), prepped for her show and sat for our interview. Her passion and energy is not only contagious on stage but in person as well.
She has co-signs ranging from Skrillex to NPR, and she is a force to be reckoned with in music, coding, and pretty much all aspects of her life.
The interview, in full, can be read below:
You moved from New York to Los Angeles. Which do you prefer?
L.A. It’s happier. I’m a positive person, and I want to be around people who are smiling. That snow and that heat—that messed me up. So, L.A. for sure.
You started producing when you were really young, in your preteens. How old were you when you first played a club?
A club specifically? I think I was 14 or 15.
What was it like, playing underage?
I just felt like I belonged. I think I was already a little crazy and very headstrong. I didn’t see why I wouldn’t be there.
Did anyone know how young you were?
One person thought I was 19, which was to my benefit because they could get me out of the way if some shit started to go down. No, everyone else thought I was 21. I sold it very well.
Can you tell us the story behind the name ‘Ducky’?
I don’t remember exactly how it happened because I was really young. The short version of a long story is that I stole a duck. My dad’s good friend was a co-manager of the San Francisco Zoo, so I got to go back and hang out with animals sometimes (like for my birthday). One day I just showed up with a duck, certain it was mine and I’d get to keep it, and that’s how I got the name Ducky. And it stuck.
You’ve got music that ranges from soft to full on hardcore. Which is your favorite to produce?
It all depends on how I’m feeling. I’m all over the spectrum, you know? To play, definitely hard.
To listen? Hard again.
You launched a new label, Quackhouse Records. Can you tell us what to expect from the label?
I don’t know. [laughs] I wanted to do a label. I wanted to put out my music without having to answer to anyone. I want to do something different. I want to push music I really believe in and not be tied down to a genre, to a scene, to politics. That’s what I’ve got so far.
Will there be other artists?
I definitely want to do other artists, but I also have a ton of music to release. So it’s going to be focused on my own stuff for a while.
“If it’s meaningful to you, it doesn’t matter how difficult it is to do it.”
All of your releases and promos have similar artwork. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
I work with the same artist; her name is Sydney Jones. She is a genius. It’s really important to me that everything tells the story I’m trying to tell. It’s easy for me to see the cohesion because it’s authentic. It’s genuine. It’s me. It’s my emotions, what I’m trying to express, the feelings I’m trying to convey. So having another person that’s on board and understands the message really helps bring it out. It’s hard to get it out of my head otherwise.
I’ve read in past interviews that you also code… How did you get into that?
When I was eight [pause] again. I know… I was busy when I was eight. [laughs] I started to learn HTML and CSS to make websites for my Neopets.
Would you say it affects your music at all?
No. It affects my messing around and spare time. I like to play with max for live. I got into physical computing for a while to try and make my own midi controller, but it’s not an inherent part of my main process.
Do you have any advice to anyone trying to come up in the industry?
You gotta fucking love it. This is supposed to be fun. If it’s meaningful to you, it doesn’t matter how difficult it is to do it. You just have to keep moving forward. Be that crazy. Be that headstrong. You’ll get there.
Do you have a pre-show ritual?
You know what? I put coloring books on my rider because that’s what I want to do, but I never get them.
What’s in store for 2017?
Music. Music music music. Hopefully cool visual stuff. New merchandise. Parties. I’m testing out my own party concept.
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