Maurico is the epitome of a hard worker. As early as seven, the resourceful Nashville-native was creating music by any means possible. “I was experimenting with old keyboards and cassette players — anything that made a sound,” he explains.
“I never had the money to get the proper equipment so I had to get creative around the house. For instance, I had a cassette player that had a microphone slot that just said, ‘Mic’ and I would beat on the table and make my beat that way. If I wanted to do something, I would spend all day trying to figure it out.”
By the time he was in high school, Maurico was performing in clubs and writing his own raps. A chance meeting in biology class led to a collaboration with a fellow student that led to his first taste of stardom. The pair performed locally and made CDs and even got airplay on a Nashville radio station. After five years together, Maurico branched out on his own to expand his influence. “I wanted to do a lot more,” he recalls. “I decided I was going to do my own mix tape. I wanted to sing, I wanted to rap, so I recorded five or six songs of my own.”
Not even out of his teens and Maurico was gaining solo notoriety. “I did everything myself. I coordinated my own promotion team, my own release parties. I started making a name for myself. I was producing, shooting videos, and all of this done was done legit; no one was selling drugs.”
After a few years of playing the music industry game his way, Maurico was invited to a meeting with a “rock star.” “I was told, ‘Hey, there’s the rock artist and they’ve got a lot of money and they want to invest in a hip hop artist,’” Maurico remembers. “They even got the band name wrong, I think they said it was Lighterbox 20. I was like, ‘I ain’t heard of no shit like that.’”
The meeting was actually with Matchbox Twenty member Kyle Cook, who was opening the Tennessee Recording Company in Nashville. Maurico, who had no interest in the meeting – “I didn’t want to come and see what they were taking about, because I had created an empire of my own. I didn’t want anyone changing my beliefs and my focus.” – even failed to bring any of his music for Cook to hear. Cook pried, though, and Maurico shared some new, unfinished music with the label head. And then, Maurico forgot all about it.
“Kyle went and researched me and found an old Twitter that I had,” Maurico explains, after confessing that he had never given Cook any contact information. “He found the email address that was attached it. I never checked that email and one day I checked it. He was in there a couple times, like, ‘Hey, I’m trying to get in touch with you. I like your music.'”
Despite his original hesitation, Maurico reached out to Cook and the two started working together on several songs in the studio. “Finally, I researched Kyle and was like, ‘Damn, they sang that song? I know that song.'” Maurico adds. “These guys are for real.” As Maurico worked with Cook and his producing partner Mike Fiorentino, the rapper found himself opening up and sharing personal lyrics in these new songs.
“I am not the product of what I grew up in,” Maurico says.
Sometimes we didn’t have lights or water. Mom was mother and father, and she was sick. She had cancer, diabetes and, when she passed I found out, she had HIV. She was a drug addict. At the time I didn’t realize why she was doing drugs, and I’m not going to say that now that I know that’s a good decision, but I can see why she’d lean toward it. She had a lot on her.
“If you weren’t on drugs in my family, you were probably selling it. Not everybody, but there was large amount. I was around all of that. I even went through my stage of wanting to do that. But I found out real quickly that wasn’t for me and I wasn’t going to do that. I could’ve easily gone the other way. I could’ve been locked up, I could’ve been hurt, killed. I could be the biggest drug dealer or I could be on drugs. Some way or another I shook all of that. I’m here today to say I did not become a victim of my circumstance.”
That circumstance shapes Maurico’s sound, which can be heard on his five-song EP. “I push not to put out negative things. My focus and my intentions are for the better, he explains. Rap, in the beginning, was supposed to be this hard, tough, cool thing to do. If you know Maurico, I’m silly as hell. I’m not that hard thing, but I can be. I’m serious but I’m also very playful. I’m able to incorporate all of that into the music. As I make a world changing song with a really serious topic, I’m also silly and comical. I’m a loving person because I want to love and create that environment of happiness. I want to help in any way I can.”