Meet The FW17 #HoughtonGirls | Morgan Grace Kibby

January 18, 2017

Meet The FW17 #HoughtonGirls | Morgan Grace Kibby

Meet Morgan Grace Kibby below, one of the inspirational women featured in the film, as she speaks candidly to Katharine and opens up about the music industry, depression and body image.

Morgan Kibby Houghton Girl Film

Morgan: "I’m a musician and a composer. I was actually an actress for a very long time, very long time, when I was a teenager. And then I rapidly realized it wasn’t the career path for me, but I always played classical piano and I played a cello as a teenager as well. And I started writing music and then, the moment that I decided to leave acting, I kind of found myself in M83. I ended up co-writing on a bunch of songs which led me to this beautiful 8 year collaboration where I got to be on tour with M83. I got to co-write, sing and participate in the albums and it was really amazing. And then this year we kind of mutually decided to split and he decided to go in a different direction so I knew it was time for me to move on and it was really scary because it was my comfort zone. I mean you know, I was a huge fan before I even became a part of it but it grew so much in that time- we went from being in a van to being in two tour buses with the most amazing crew and family so it was really scary to think about starting from scratch and not being 22 anymore. I think I had dedicated so many years to that project in my 20's which is when you should be developing who you are."

"Then, it happened serendipitously, a girlfriend of mine who actually connected me with Anthony in the first place, is a director and she was doing her first feature and asked me to score it. So I scored a film for the first time last year, or second time last year, but the first time by myself. And it was life- changing. I just fell in love with the process, I was super curious about it and after that decided to apply to Sundance Composer’s Lab. I was very lucky and I got in this year and it changed my life, now it’s kind of refocused and it’s kind of where I wanna be. So. Long answer but that’s how I ended up composing."

Katharine: Amazing. Sundance, was a big moment in your life right? And kind of a game changer?  What was the process you had to apply to Sundance?

Morgan: "Well, I didn’t realize but Sundance is incredibly hard to get into and it’s a whole application process so you have to write an essay or like a letter of intent basically. You put in your resume, bio, up to 10 pieces of your score work or whatever... of course I included remixes, Midnight City and all these things that I participated in as a writer on top of the some of the queues I had done for a film last year and I got in. But what's amazing about Sundance is that they always reserve a spot for a composer that’s a little bit left of center and not the typical "went to Berkley or went to USC graduate" so I filled that spot this year."

Morgan Kibby Houghton Girl Film

Katharine: "Let’s take a step back and talk about some stuff we talked about last night. To get to this point, we talked about your journey of how you got to where you are now, with Sundance being an amazing aha moment.... And people would assume that a few years ago when you were nominated for a Grammy with M83 that it was the time of your life. And what’s amazing is that it was probably when you were the most depressed, right?"

Morgan: "I was a wreck, I was a complete wreck.  I had ruined my relationship with my fiancé at the time, and I realize in retrospect that I was very clinically depressed. I just wanna emphasize this by saying the big reason I never addressed my depression is cause I feel like Western culture is just so ascribed to this" take a pill and fix it", and I didn't believe in that. Even though I was going through this, I mean life is strange right, the moment my personal life was falling apart, my professional life was on top of the world. That’s how we met each other, because you made my Grammy dress, and it was such a special experience and obviously there was a high in that, but those kind of experiences can be very hollow if you don’t have your shit together. And I did not have my shit together at the time.  I mean it ultimately doesn’t really matter right? It’s nice and it’s fun and it’s pretty but you know you’re not gonna go to sleep with that at night."

"I have really struggled with depression, and I didn’t realize that until these last six months, strangely enough. And there’s this kind of amazingly pervasive myth that you have to be tortured to be an artist and I think it’s a lot of bullshit. I’ve made the best art and the most freely expressed art since I’ve actually addressed what’s wrong inside. Or not what’s wrong, but kind of not functioning to live the best version of myself and the best version of my life so that’s a big reason why I kind of wanted to be a part of this film. It’s incredible that there is so much stigma that comes along with depression and seeking help and I had always thought, you just need to go talk to somebody or you need to figure it out, or you’re not making the right choices. I finally decided to go and see a doctor since I was suffering from these chronic bizarre rashes and had gained like 30 pounds- all of this stuff was very confusing to me and I was just so miserable and I was so tired. We were doing this questionnaire together and one of the questions was "do you feel like a failure" and I looked at her and I almost burst into tears and I was like I feel like a failure all the time."

Morgan Kibby Houghton Girl Film

"Now I’m able to look at it and see what my life has been and what I’ve been able to accomplish and they are lovely wonderful things that I’m so proud of. But to have felt that way since I was a teenager constantly every day leap frogging almost like an addict from accomplishment to accomplishment because that’s the only way to keep on a high... when the crashes happen they can be so awful. Being able to have that conversation with her and being asked that question was like a house that’s been lifted off my shoulders... it was like god I’m depressed! Thank God, now I know what it is and I can deal with it and address it. Since I've been able to address it, it’s insane how my life creatively and emotionally just opened up."

 "I have also personally existed with a deep fear of who I am regardless of what it looks like and feels like to other people. I think I was way too interested, obsessed and conscious of what other people think of me. And now I don’t give a shit. So, I don’t know what happened, well actually there’s couple things that happened. I think it’s getting older, I love getting older, it makes me feel incredible... aside from the fact that I have more cellulite then I did before! But it’s gorgeous too.

"That’s the beauty of age, I mean I come back to getting older, I just know more of who I am I know more of the way I cope with things- that I can stop my own triggers, be more conscious, more kind and be more present as a human being, as a friend, as a lover, as whatever, as a daughter. It really helps to shape the way that you decide to kind of like roll your tongue six times before you decide to say anything, I think about the way that I affect other people now more than I did before."
Morgan Kibby Houghton Girl Film

Katharine: "Has your body affected any of your depression?"

Morgan: "I mean huge, huge. I’ve never been a twig. I’m very much a renaissance body in a twiggy world...

"I wish I was as ugly as I thought I was ten years ago. I wish I had that body which I thought was so hideous, when I was 16 or 22 or 25. But will say that I really admire this younger generation of women, they just don’t give a fuck. I was at a music festival recently and there were these girls who were the most beautiful voluptuous... just like titties and ass and cellulite just hanging... and they were like so gorgeous but you know not “Cosmo” gorgeous. But to me they were gorgeous, having this confidence. So I feel like the conversation about body is shifting and I feel beautiful when I am happy and healthy and doing what I love But definitely depression put on 30 pounds.

Katharine: "What parts of your body do you love?"

Morgan: "I love my titties, I love my eyes, and I have good feet, not many people have pretty feet."

Katharine: "What parts of your body don't you like?"

Morgan: "Everything from the hips down I’m not interested in ever showing or, I’m just so embarrassed... ever since I was a child. I mean, you couldn’t get me in shorts past age 8, I wouldn’t do it. It’s like an unhealthy obsession. Trying to get over it but it’s hard."

"I have never been a small girl, I’m extremely curvy, and I’m a big girl, like I have big bones. If I was born in a different era, I would probably be the epitome of beauty but I’m not you know, I have very curvy full body. It’s something I’ve been embarrassed about since I was old enough to recognize what it was and I was lucky enough that I was an athlete for a very long time so I was in shape, but when I transitioned to being a musician and sitting at the desk all day the tone and the muscle just kind of went away. The perception of what's beautiful has absolutely affected the way I view myself and I hate harping on this but, coming back to being older, the older I get the less I give a shit, I feel beautiful. I feel like I can walk into a room and be beautiful cause of who I am. It’s the classic thing of confidence.  I’m feeling those things coming out of my depression, feeling like myself again has made me feel beautiful again. I think I have realized also through the process of taking medication, which I just wanna say is extremely vulnerable for me to say, it’s really embarrassing I think. It’s not something you’d wanna trumpet to the world but I wish I had this conversation with somebody sooner, it might have helped me."

Morgan Kibby Houghton Girl Film