Interview by Mr. Owl
Maybe you don't know him now, but it's all about to change!
Lady and Gentlemen : Maurice Clark.
1. (Mr. Owl) Would you please give a quick introduction of yourself for people
(Maurice Clark ) My name is Maurice Clark, I am 28 year old father of 2 boys, ages 8 and 3. Jazz fanatic, avid reader of theory, ethics, philosophy and Rhetoric. I am a hip hop artist but I always describe myself as an “jazz musician trapped in the body of an emcee”.
Music has always been apart of my life from a young age. My father would play Gospel records and jazz cassettes early mornings while he was getting ready for work. I gained an affinity for jazz early on as a troubled kid, being expelled from school. My father had a large library of 2000+ books and I would spend days re-enacting what I would see him doing. I began reading Kahlil Gibran and his favorite Christian writers at the time Watchman Nee, Andrew Murray. So my attraction to Jazz was coupled with my desire for knowledge through literature. As I grew older I wanted to play an instrument particular the saxophone, but I didn’t have the skill set and still don’t. This was frustrating so I always wondered if I would ever be able to get involved musically, so I started writing poetry as my father also did (incredible poet he was). My peers in the neighborhood listened to hip hop, early 90’s hip hop to be exact with its rhythmic expression that borrowed (sampled) jazz instrumentation and manipulated it into these addictive collectives. KRS-1, A Tribe Called Quest etc were my first introductions. I was drawn to hip hop because it gave me a opportunity to express myself musically though not in the way I expected, being I wanted to be saxophone player early on..
I am working on my first full length album “The Sound of Silence” due for release on 11/11/11. After which I plan to introduce a venture designed to help the creative artist and/or Musician who has have prior responsibilities and wish to maintain those responsibilities but yet want to give an expression artistically to the world, rather through art or music.
"I am a hip hop artist but I always describe myself as an “jazz musician trapped in the body of an emcee”."
I am actually excited about the love, the publicity and exposure I have received outside the states in such a short time. The response in the States has been phenomenal as well. So Yes touring is all in the works and particularly in other countries...can’t say it is a dream of mine I never thought about it...but Genoa, Italy has been my dream retirement place so anything to get closer that I am totally down for LOLOL
My Father, he is the most emotionally balanced man I have ever met...most of my nurturing emotionally, intellectually and spiritually came from him.
Malcolm X, the most influential public figure on my life as a human! Not for obvious reasons though...I loved Malcolm prior to 1963-64 but when he returned from Mecca
Currently, Bell Hooks the feminist writer, and Thich Nhat Hahn the buddhist monk/writer, and my first cousin Jimmie C (Chip) Clark are thee most influential at this time.
The People, my community, rather in the past or my current community...I have always been labeled as some sort of “prophetic” individual...and that is not my pursuit or desire to be labeled a “prophet” but my desire is to see the plight of ALL people bettered! I use my intellectual proclivities to express the voice of any people through my music and conversation in general. A particular line from the “The Sound Of Silence” is
Exclusive how I do this/
I do this for the people/
could care less about the music/
confuse us like Confucius
I turn her so abusive/
until they try and take me
and I bring em back a movement/
This is truly my pursuit in 4 bars...truly!!
The ups and downs have been based solely around human experience...raising kids but trying to stay grounded and glued into the art...I hate the evolution of hip hop, so I have argued continuously with myself on do I want to keep chopping away at this thing knowing that I may never really find appreciation as an artist who not only takes time to perfect the trade, but also looks for ways to enrich the people around me through this artform and other gifts!! So personal responsibilities and personal insecurities have been my hang ups. (Contradicting I know)
Its always surrounded by the sound guy, if I have taken time to work on my art, I think it is only right that they take seriously what they are being paid or have chosen to do. But I am not rude, I’m not a diva...but I do give looks while on stage that are pretty clear and precise as to what I want! LOL
I am gonna sound like I am contradicting my previous statement, but truly it wasn’t until I had heard the Tunnel Rats emcee LPG first album “The Earthworm” circa 1996 that I really got serious about being a lyricist an emcee...
Mos Def & Talib Kweli- Black Star
Nas-It was written
Jay-Z Reasonable Doubt
Every Roots album
Miles Davis-Bitches Brew
Thelonius and Coltrane
D’angelo Brown Sugar
Donny Hathaway-Everything is Everything
I buy books and records oh yea and Newport Cigarettes...next album if I do one is gonna be called “Music, Literature and Cigarettes” a more personal record..
Fatherhood made me aware of how important passion is in anything you do...you can’t love if you aren’t passionate...
Like my one goal in this thing is to be able to afford send my sons to a liberal arts school and not public high school...
No one, up until my manager Lisa Downie...which is fine because people really were unsure if the type of music I did had relevance...so no one really wanted to jump aboard even though they loved the music. Now people are coming from the wind to offer support encouragement and even monetary support!!
MADLIB!!! hands down the greatest to do it...no explanation go check his catalog!!
Nia Long, I am madly in love with that woman...up until recent ads in magazines (which was for particular cause) never needed to be overly sexual to be beautiful...since “Love Jones” she in my opinion represented the modern-day woman in a good way...sex appeal but not trashy you know??
and Assata Shakur...a true warrior who survived and escaped the tragedy of american hypocrisy!! isn’t that what all minorities wish they could do...well the majority of us!!
I want people to know that I genuinely do this music for the enrichment of people...you never hear me talk about how I dope I think I am...I continuously talk about the people and why I do this...I want people to take time to listen to the words of each verse because their are obvious metaphors and messages but there are alot of cryptic messages hidden that speak LIFE as well!!
Start demanding more from the artist in any art form!
I want to give a shout out to thee entire Clark family, we have been going through a transition as a family a few divorces, key figures having health issues, and through it all I haven’t been able to really reach out and touch them...so I want them to know they are my inspiration and I love them!
Shout out to “odds®” my brothers.
Peace to Lisa Downie Khrystina Harvey, Aviance Mason, DJ Cab0, Jesse Churilla The Whole Team you know who you are!!! LETS GET IT!!
Dope music/Hip_Hop By Maurice Clark
Dope music/Hip_Hop By Maurice Clark