Slidin’ Thru: Maurice Moore

May 16, 2019

Read the full interview on YoungCalifornia.com!

If you like R&B, Maurice Moore’s Destination Unknown provides the soundtrack to any journey you choose to embark on in life. Hailing from Ottawa, Canada, the 22-year-old artist and musician has one mission with the music: to make you feel something. At the core of what he does, the ultimate goal is for audiences to connect with him on a personal level. Read more…

Ballads like “Cherry Bomb” and “the loudest silence” do not disappoint, pulling on the heartstrings of all those who listen. From songwriting with your favorite artists (Kehlani, HER) to starting his own label, Maurice is putting in the work to turn his dreams into a reality.

How does being from Canada play into your life and career?
Canada is similar to the US in that it’s very multicultural. Growing up, we didn’t have one artist popping from our city, who we could look up to and be like “okay, this is the blueprint.” As a result, a lot of Canadians forged our own ways. We’re not scared to mix and match a bunch of different styles. That’s very Canadian. You’ll hear us sounding Jamaican one day, the next day we sound like we’re from Atlanta.

How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist? 
You gotta do it. It’s essential in that everybody you wanna know, wanna work with, who can enhance your career is here. But not everyone has to necessarily move here. If you can get out here a couple times a year, you can always make plays. I enjoy living here, the culture’s amazing.

You’ve been here for a year. Favorite part about the West Coast?
The weather, and the girls. [laughs]

At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
When I was in the studio one day with Kehlani and Wale in 2016. I just remember thinking “I’m actually in here working with people that I look up to.” It was really cool. That’s when it really hit me: “this is what I do, this is my life now.”

Talk about your strong pen game & transitioning into your own artistry. 
I’ve always done the writing and songwriting hand in hand. Being a good songwriter can take your artistry to a whole other place. If you want to be an artist, something you should be able to do is write your own songs. It allowed me to get into a lot of rooms and meet a lot of people that otherwise I may have never met. Being in the studio and writing for all these guys ended up helping my artistry. I enjoy the writing process, but also enjoy the artistry. I love and do both at all times.

I love your post with Ye Ali saying y’all are grabbing air. Talk about that 90’s R&B influence you grew up on.
I grew up on Tank, Brandy, Aaliyah. I was an early 2000s R&B nerd. I was a 90’s baby so the most vivid memories of R&B I have are Ja Rule and Ashanti. That’s the basis of how I interpret music, through those early 2000’s R&B vibes. This year, me and Ye Ali are about to bring all the old school vibes back.

What was the inspiration behind keeping your name?
Growing up, I had a lot of artists to look up to. Watched the way they moved and how their lives played out over the course of time. One of the main things I wanted for myself was I didn’t want to put on a mask every time I step out the crib and pretend to be somebody. Ultimately, keeping my name allows me to do that. When people see me, they call me Maurice Moore, the same name my homies call me. That’s huge for me, I want to be myself at all times.

What’s the significance in 13?
13 is a mystical number for me. I’ve seen it my whole life. Everywhere: 13,13,13. If you dig deeper into the number 13, there’s a spiritual significance. It’s considered a high vibration, a high state of mind. Being able to see the bigger picture. 13 is symbolic of being able to see the world from a neutral perspective.

You recently unleashed your Destination Unknown EP. How’s the fan reception been?
Amazing. I’m about to go through my tour right now. Did my LA show and went back to Canada to do some dates out there. I’m excited. This is my most personal music I’ve ever made. To see people connecting with it like that, it’s more special than any other release. I’m telling you my life.

“Cherry Bomb” is such a vibe. What was your mindstate in creating this?
I remember when my first big check came in, I was simultaneously going through a breakup. It’s probably not the best thing to cure your heartbreak, but a little cash could sometimes make you feel good. At that time, I’m feeling good and accomplished. I was having a big milestone in my career. It was the first moment I realized “hold on, I have so much going on in my life that’s so positive and exciting.”

It felt good again to be reminded I have a purpose in my life with my music. That happens to a lot of people when they go through a breakup, they focus on that and the things they miss about that person. But in that moment, I was like “I’m straight.”

I know artists tend to have their own favorites on the project, what are your yours & why?
“Cherry Bomb” and I’d say “Slide on Me.” They’re just fun. That project was — I don’t want to say dark, but very emotional. Those are the more upbeat, energetic records. Where I’m going right now post-release of this project, I’m in a good state of mind. I’m happy. I’m not sad anymore, but I was sad. Those songs are those happy vibes for me.

What is it you want fans to get from your story?
I hope they can have something and someone they can relate to. I like to consider myself mad normal. Mad human. Ultimately when I make this music, I want you to feel something. I want to connect with something deep inside of you. There’s artists out here, they got the clubs going crazy. They got turn up records. With this album, I just want to connect and bare my soul to you.

Are you still with EMPIRE?
Not anymore. I was signed to EMPIRE, now I’m with Warner Chappell on my writing. But with my artistry, I’m completely independent.

Who have you been working with there?
Justin Skye, HER, Kehlani, Marques Houston, lots of Kpop stuff actually. I’ve been working with a group called ExO who’s super massive out there. Warner kind of plugs me in wherever they can. I’ve been doing tons of writing this past year, it’s been beautiful.

Talk about starting your own label, STORY Sound. 
I love being an artist. I’ve always been the type of artist that’s looking into the future, whether it’s for my music or with the business side. I want to start developing all this talent in my city Ottawa and all around the world of course, but Ottawa is my priority right now. There are tons of talent out there: producers, artists. I want to be at the forefront of putting my city on the map that way, helping other people get recognized as well.

What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
I wake up typically mad early like 7am. I have a full gym in my garage. I train in the mornings, every single day. Sunday is my day off. [laughs] After that, I usually meditate for 10 minutes, then I get straight to recording. I’m usually recording until pretty late at night. Around 10pm is when I free myself and have a good time. I’m 22 now. This year, I’m just trying to have fun and try new things. Nighttime is that time for me.

3 things you need in the studio?
Weed, water, and lighting. Lighting is everything. I always got candles and incense. Simple, weed and water. That’s it.

How important is social media for your career?
Social media’s very important, more important than I actually wish. I fuck with social media but it has negative repercussions when it comes to artists in the music industry — in terms of mental health. Me, I do what I gotta do. I know what it is: a tool that helps me grow. But I always encourage artists to let their music speak for themselves.

Who’s your favorite person to follow?
Probably Odell Beckham Jr. My man is cold, coldest reciever in the league. He’s always posting crazy dance videos and him making the most impossible catches. I’m a football nerd.

Who’s your team?
Kansas City. I actually was All-American running back. I was doing football my whole life before I decided to do music. I dropped out of my first semester on a full scholarship to come here and chase the dream of music. I love football.

Favorite song to perform in a set? 
That’s hard, probably “the loudest silence.” Everyone knows that song. It’s the one song that hits everyone in that deep place I was telling you about. I can feel that on stage. It takes me to that point that every artist wants to feel on stage when you have the crowd in the palm of your hand.

What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
The thing that hits me most is I get tons of DMs every single day from fans who tell me my music helped them. Whether it’s a breakup or some people were going to take their own life. Whenever I hear that the music’s connecting to people in that specific way, that’s the whole reason I do this in the first place. There’s always the fun bullshit where you go to a show with rowdy fans, but being able to help people in their lives makes me the happiest.

Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Probably Frank Ocean. I love Frank.

What’s your favorite song?
Right now, “Pilot Jones.”

Dream collab?
Shania Twain and Frank Ocean, on the same song.

Is there anything else you want to let us know?
I love you. Go listen to Destination Unknown out now.

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