If you have purchased a CD by an artist in the Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC area and thought the production on the track was brilliant, check the credits; more likely than not the name Maurice Carroll of Stinkiface Music is in them. Mo Rece, as he is also known, has been on the music scene for over 25 years as a performer, teacher, music director and producer. The artists he produces cover all genres, from Rock to Blues, R&B to Jazz—but his passion is to see spoken word/poetry become mainstream. To that end he mentors artists and helps them make working in their art their business.
After hearing a friend talk for years about Maurice as the mastermind, I only met him about six months ago—and just one 30 minute conversation with him blew my mind! I could write for hours about my experience with him. But let me allow the artists he has worked with offer the following:
James “Mr. Speaker” Sears:
Maurice Carroll is a musical genius. He has the unique talent that enables him to listen to spoken word artists and produce the perfect musical combination to compliment any of their spoken word poems. He is clearly one of Baltimore’s most talented individuals. Mo Rece connects people, he listens to people, and he is leading Stinkiface Music to great heights. Get with this rising star.
I’ve been working with Maurice for over 6 years now as an artist, singer, songwriter, and now music businesswoman. He’s the only producer I know who can develop you in every aspect of the business while still staying in touch with the heart and emotion of the artist. I would say he and I have learned a lot working together through the startup of his then-label Stinkiface Music, which later moved into becoming a production house and to where we are now as a writing team. To grow as an artist from the ground up with Maurice has not always been easy—creative folk rarely agree on everything—but our track record speaks for itself and I’m still writing, recording, and taking my music to new levels, different genres, different audiences, even different countries! To continue to evolve creatively is my greatest desire. Maurice has been there for each new chapter. Simply put, I wouldn’t be where I am now without his energy and guidance.
Ross “Mosaic” Cooper:
After recording with Mo I nicknamed him, “The Mastermind.” With him, it’s not just about putting some music behind words. He’s not that guy every artists knows that says “I make beats” living out their mom’s basement. Mo is “I make careers,” and the catalog speaks for itself. In the Baltimore area I challenge you to name an established artist that HASN’T been under his tutelage in some degree, be it their project, their marketing approach, where to perform, etc. He’s our Berry Gordy, our Dr. Dre, our Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, our Puff Daddy (minus any shiny suits)!
Working with Maurice has been an incredible ongoing experience. He embodies an endless well of musical and creative knowledge and is always willing to push the envelope and take the creative process a step further.
Our initial consultation was like exchanging ideas with an old friend who shared my same point of view. The fellow Aquarian approached the concept for my debut album with an open mind and more than capable skills. I knew I was in good hands from the start. I truly respect the man and his hustle. One of the most disciplined yet down-to-earth persons I know.
To say that the music and poetry scene in the DMV would not be the same without him is an understatement.
Stepping From Behind the Keyboard: Maurice Carroll
Sherri: Why is the company called “Stinkiface Music”?
Maurice: Stinkiface is named that because of the face that we all make when we hear that song that makes us feel a certain way, that feeling when THAT song comes on and EVERYTHING else doesn’t matter for a moment and you squint your eyes and curl your bottom lip downward as though you smelled something! Stinkiface set out to make people make that face with all of its music.
Sherri: Tell us more about what brought you to music.
Maurice: I wasn’t brought to music. Music found me. From early ages, I was attracted to music. I started playing piano when I was 4 and landed my first professional paying gig by age 11. From the early stages of gospel through learning R&B, listening to jazz, understanding Hip Hop and Spoken Word, up to the present stage of frequencies in music and how they affect the brain and human emotion, I’m constantly learning her because I appreciate and love her—Music.
Sherri: Tell the story of your first experience performing.
Maurice: Honestly, I don’t remember my first performance because at such a young age people would always just stop and listen and wonder how I was learning an instrument without outside influence. All I remember was clapping and smiles. I’ve always felt that the applause was misdirected though.
Sherri: We all call you “Mo Rece.” Where did that name come from? What do you want the audience to know about you when they hear it?
Maurice: MoRece was my stage name for a while. I used to use that name because it symbolized the feeling that I got from artists…they wanted “MO” or more of “Rece.” I would often go above and beyond what I was asked and give more information than what was required which left people asking for “Mo.” Now I use my government name as I have evolved into a different stage of maturity in business, in music and in life.
Sherri: Who is your favorite writer?
Maurice: I don’t have a favorite writer.
Sherri: You have one hour to have a conversation with anyone living or deceased. Who would you choose? What would you want to ask them?
Maurice: I would have a conversation with Quincy Jones or Herbie Hancock. I would ask them to explain their mental and musical processes for successfully jumping genres as music producers without losing authenticity to the genre, themselves or the form.
Sherri: Your perfect concert: who are three acts, living or dead, you would like to see perform?
Maurice: Miles Davis Quintet (when Coltrane and Cannonball were with him), Eric B. & Rakim, and Gretchen Parlato.
Sherri: Tells us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
Maurice: I’m moonlight as a chef.
Sherri: Do you have another creative outlet? If not, what is something you have always wanted to learn how to do?
Maurice: I’m a creator by nature so I always have a creative outlet. I write songs, poetry, letters. As far as something I’ve always wanted to learn how to do? This is going to sound kind of “geekish” but I’ve always wanted to learn how to access more of my brain power.
Sherri: [Borrowed from Inside the Actor’s Studio] If heaven exists, what do you want to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Maurice: “See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?”
Maurice Carroll will be providing musical accompaniment at the After Holiday Wine Down on Saturday, December 27th At the Winery at Onley. For more information click here.