GoGo Morrow lives up to her name, being constantly on the go from New York to LA to Atlanta to her hometown of Philly. The 24-year-old singer, dancer and songwriter is gearing up to perform the ninth annual Roots Picnic alongside the likes of Future, Usher, Kehlani and of course, The Roots themselves. Morrow made a visit to the Metro Philly offices this week to chat about new music, her favorite open mics and who she works out to at the gym.
What’s your day been like?
I just came back from a performance in New York last night at SOB’s. Today I have to speak with my Music Director as soon as I leave here and then a dance rehearsal at Eleone Dance Unlimited in South Philly.
Have you always been a dancer?
I’ve been studying dance on and off my whole life. I was inconsistent — I would quit and then start again. It was never my number one thing, it was my number two to music. But then, I majored in Vocal Performance and minored in Dance at CAPA here in Philly and went on to Millersville University to study music business and performance.
What is it with Millersville University producing music stars? I just found out Black Thought went there last night.
Chill Moody went there, too. [laughs] He’s my homeboy. We weren’t in the same grade but I found out my mom actually taught him at Masterman; she taught science and was a homeroom teacher. The world is so small and getting smaller with the Internet.
So musically speaking, what are you working on these days?
I’m recording my EP. I’ve done a bunch of singles in the past, but never put out a full body of work. Ivan Barias is working with me on it, Kenny and DJ who have a production team I can’t remember the name of and a songwriter Shanika Marie. I’ve always written with the producers myself, but working with other songwriters has really taught me a lot.
Do you have a song you’re particularly excited about?
I do! It’s called “Go Figure.” Most of the time I sing about love. I’m not that girl who is man bashing usually. That’s real though — people go through it. But this song is about a woman who got her heart broken by a man but she knows she’ll be alright. I’m actually performing it at The Roots Picnic.
Are you excited? Is this your first time performing The Roots Picnic?
It is, yeah. I’ve been dying to be on it. I go every year. I performed Wawa [Welcome America] twice and the first year of Made in America but have yet to do the Roots Picnic. When I was asked to do it this year, I was like “yes!” The lineup is crazy. This is the best year I could ever be apart [of it].
When did you find out?
My manager mentioned it unofficially in January but then when I went out to LA for Grammy Week, I bumped into The Roots manager and he’s like, “Are you ready to perform the Roots Picnic this year?” and that confirmed it for me.
Anyone you’re excited to meet?
I’ve never met Uzi. I love meeting fellow Philly artists who are helping our city and bringing attention to us. I’m excited to meet Usher. Then, Future. Oh my God — I’m such a Future fan! He’s someone I work out to at the gym. [laughs] I really like Kehlani too. She’s super talented. She embodies what the word artist means for me- being a singer, dancer, songwriter.
What should artists that aren’t from Philly do while they’re here?
I think we’re the best city to be in in the summertime. Spruce Street Harbor they’ve gotta check out. They should definitely hit up an open mic night. My music director has one on Monday nights at a place called Parkside Beef and Ale on 14th and Arch. It’s very informal. There’s another cool open mic called Beat Street at Silk City every month. It’s a little more structured but full of talent. Then they gotta get a cheesesteak! I don’t eat beef so I do chicken cheesesteaks but they gotta do that.
GoGo Morrow performs The Roots Picnic on Saturday, June 4 at Festival Pier.
Follow Jennifer Logue on Twitter @jenniferlogue