Morgan Murphy, known more prominently by his stage name guccihighwaters, looks to his next project as his full-length joke’s on you hits one month of having been released.
Murphy started by releasing music on SoundCloud in 2017 and is now an artist with millions and millions of Spotify streams. His latest project, joke’s on you, is catchy, though the lyrics can be dark at moments. It’s a perfect blend of Gen Z sound, and if you had to ask me, I’d say “rock bottom” is my favorite track.
Murphy sat down with COLLiDE to talk about his growing confidence as an artist, joke’s on you and the ways in which the Internet allowed for creative expression.
“I owe it to like the internet, you know, I owe everything like that. The relationships I’ve built through music and you know, the fan base I’ve built, it’s all internet driven,” Murphy said.
Did you feel any extra pressure while collaborating with Powfu on your single “hold somebody”? Powfu had the hit “deathbed (coffee for my head)” which just was inescapable on TikTok this past summer.
He’s definitely like, a collaborator where, you know, someone that’s much, much bigger than me, like in terms of numbers.
But I think what evened out the kind of fear of, you know, not making a song that’s up to standards, he’s actually a big fan of my music and has been for years. And that kind of evened it out. You know, the fact that he wanted to make the song and, you know, there’s no expectation of anything. That was kind of the driving factor in the comfort of making the song with him.
I actually responded to a DM on Instagram, he DM’d me. This was probably like about a year ago, and we kind of just chatted, we kind of became friends. And then when the time came, I was like, “dude, like, hop on my album. It would be awesome.” And we kind of just went back and forth for months and months. Eventually we had a we had a decent song together.
How did different spaces on the Internet that you frequented allow and aid in your ability to create in a more anonymous way?
So basically, I started uploading to SoundCloud first. And, I mean if you think about, you know, like, any platform on the internet, it’s kind of mostly like a free for all. You can be who you want, you can be a part of whatever type of community you want.
And for me the SoundCloud scene, it wasn’t a place where there was rules, there was no rules, you didn’t have to make a certain type of music or whatever. And you also didn’t have to show your face or do anything. There was literally no rules.
I think that’s what kind of drove the I guess the authentic image because there was no faking—you the most natural thing, is to be yourself. And, you know, you can be yourself. I think it just comes down to simply there was no rules and you’re kind of accepted as who you are by most of the community on SoundCloud.
Which track stands out the most to you and why? Do you have a story you can share about that track?
There’s a few that that stick out, but I gotta think what the best one would be. Maybe “rock bottom.”
It’s the best kind of representation of my progression with music. I’ve always wanted to make sort of more energetic stuff. And it’s also stands out because nothing,nowhere. is on it. I’ve been a fan of his music for quite a while, so I feel like it’s kind of a stepping stone towards, you know, kind of becoming bigger and better to me.
If you could go back to your past self, now that you’re experience all of this commercial success with listeners and streams, what would you say to your past self?
I would probably tell myself, not to worry too much because I definitely—I mean, to this day, I’m not like perfect—but I think four years ago when I was starting, I was so anxious and I was actually very self conscious.
It’s all in your head, you know, that’s what I’ve come to realize. It’s like, I’m like, much better now. I’m still not, like, 100%. But back then I was like, almost a different person with confidence. Like I was, I was scared to go on stage, I was scared to do music video, you know, do an interview.
I would definitely grab myself and tell myself like, “yo, go do a music video, go do a show right now.” Because it took me a while to go on tour and do a music video. It’s pretty much the scariest part of doing music, you know, playing your first show is like, so terrifying.
But just now at this point, I’m growing as a touring artist. And as someone that makes music videos often, while I could have been putting them out for four years, you know, my YouTube would have had much more traffic at this point.
But, you know, just don’t be scared. I guess that’s if I have to kind of summarize it.
It’s been a little over a month since jokes on you went out into the world. Do you have any reflections on the album?
I’m just kind of, like, ready for the next thing. I feel like that’s just me.
It felt great to put it out, but I’m always on to the next thing you know what I’m saying? Like, I’m working on a on a livestream for [joke’s on you] right now. And that’s going to be kind of like, really detailed and like, it’s going to be kind of the next big project for me.
So it still pertains to the album, but it feels good, and people are loving it. And that’s the best outcome that it could have had, and I’m ready to put out the next record.
Interview has been lightly edited for clarity and flow.
Listen to joke’s on you on Spotify: