Indie Artist Spotlight: Moreno
Musicians and music lovers both have a bittersweet relationship with streaming platforms. On the one hand, artists aren’t exactly in love with the idea that getting more than a quarter million streams isn’t even enough to cover their production costs, let alone break a profit, and fans are still waiting for the “discover amazing new artists everyday” experience that was promised to them.
But on the other hand, it’s hard to argue that streaming hasn’t revolutionized access, and in many ways it’s more possible today than ever before for rising talent anywhere to break into the spotlight. It’s kind of like Netflix — they’ve got tons of stuff that hardly anybody watches, but every now and then, they hit one out of the park.
I came across one such out-of-the-park new track recently: AMG, the new single by up-and-coming rapper, Moreno.
The song tells a classic tale with the lyrics touching elements of cash and the carnal, but set in D at a catchy 140 BPM in a four by four time signature. The song piqued my interest enough for me to invite Moreno himself for a tête-à-tête, and what followed was a free-flowing conversation ranging from pop culture to philosophy and everything in between.
What follows is excerpts from that interview, edited for clarity and conciseness.
Q. So, where do you draw inspiration from? Who are your biggest role models in rap?
A. I’ve always been a huge fan of artists who can innovate. You know, everybody keeps following the trend, and then someone comes along and completely redefines what’s possible. So, you know, Jadakiss, Pop Smoke… Even Snoop and B.I.G.
Q. That need to differentiate comes through in your music. What do you think sets AMG apart? And your sound in general, really?
A. I get asked this a lot and it’s not easy to answer because there’s no one thing, really. I guess if I have to pin down just a single thing that defines my music, I’d probably go with the style of my ad libs, which I think is what gives my music that street feel.
Q. As a creative professional, when do you know to stop editing and hit upload? When do you know when a work is finally ready to share with the world?
A. Yeah, that can be hard sometimes. I know a lot of artists, especially when they’re first starting out, tend to want to rush their work out to the world. Like hit the studio, do the recording sesh, and then just rush through the production and master. At the other extreme are people who’re going to sit for months with the mix of just one single, you know?
For me, it’s somewhere in the middle. I rely on instinct, but I also trust the people I work with, they’re all professionals and they know what they’re doing, you know, the producers, the engineers, and my own mentors. So, when they switch from giving constructive feedback to generally appreciating a sound, that’s when I generally know that it’s ready to go.
Q. So you’ve got “AMG” out right now. Our readers would probably like to know what else they can look forward to.
A. Well, my other new single, “He Said She Said” is also already out. I’m also super excited about a bunch of new tracks that I’m working on right now. There’s “Too Gone”, and another called “Nautica”, which I think does some pretty interesting things with the rhyme.
Q. Well, I’ll definitely be looking out for that. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
A. Thank you for all the love, just keep on believing, keep vibing, and keep listening!