Legendary Producer Moe Z MD (@MoeZMD) chopped it up with The Hype Magazine about numerous topics including Prince’s style of music influencing his own writing styles and vocals infused with funk. He speaks on a rare unreleased remix of Prince’s “Halls of Desire” which he did for Tevin Campbell and the effect that Prince’s passing had on him.
He takes us through his humble beginnings at Antioch Baptist Church in Long Beach California, where he honed his skills on several instruments favoring the Drums. He learned lessons from Earth Wind and Fire’s attitude towards music and people and remains very humble since his days as a backup singer for the group. About EW&F Moe says, “Maurice White’s production of the group and how they did vocals shaped me as a producer and everything had to make sense.” Moe also reminisced on working with Radio and beatboxing against Snoop at an early battle between Snoop and another artist.
Moe has also worked with everyone from New Edition, Morris Day, to Michael Jackson and he shows no signs of slowing down.
We covered his early recording days with Tupac Shakur and the pain he felt when Pac was shot and when he was killed. Moe delves into how he secured work and tours with John Cougar Mellencamp even though Dr .Dre was John’s first thought when reaching out to a producer from the Hip Hop community. Moe is so much more than a Hip Hop producer as he has crossed genres his whole career, but when you’ve worked with the best in Hip Hop, we as a culture take notice of that and we salute you.
How did you come up with the name Moe Z MD?
I was about 14 or 15 and I really started listening to Prince and he had a drummer at the time name Bobby Z and I said you know what, I can be in Prince’s band and I’ll be Moe Z and also Prince also had a name he used when he was producing. He would call himself Jamie Star so I took the star and I made Moe Z Star and that’s what I was known us for a while
How did Prince’s passing affect you?
It was real hard for me because for a lot of my early life music that I did was patterned off of the funk Prince did with his vocals and even his writing style. It was a real big influence musically in that way and it was like my brother that I grew up with passed away. I saw his growth throughout the years and followed him and I followed his struggles in his ups and downs so it was like a family member died it was really hard. I actually had a chance to do a remix for a song he did with Tevin Campbell which is called “Halls Of Desire” and I did the remix but they never used the single but I got a chance to get involved with something that he was involved in early in my career and that was pretty cool.
How did you get started as a musician? Was it by ear?
Yeah actually we would go to Antioch Baptist Church and the musicians that they had were very inspiring and they made me want to do what they were doing so at first I watch the drummer, his name was Mike Withers. I watched him play and I used to be on the floor with my sticks trying to mimic him but everybody else was so good to so I wanted to be everybody and my Daddy got my sister a little toy piano and I started messing around with it and I tried to play everything that came on TV commercials, little pieces of shows and I developed my ears so I started being able to follow along with things. I started making sense out of it and I just applied that to each instrument. It’s the same theories just different fingers and I love the drums the most because you have the most responsibility because everybody’s following you and it’s a challenge and that’s the instrument that I love the most that I have the most fun playing.
Always making those fire beats if you have the money to invest into your craft holla at Moe Z MD.
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