Composer, Creator and Owner of Moore Music Productions
Born and raised in Compton, California during the era where many would say music begun it’s true transition and growth. An award-winning film composer, Steven scored on the award-winning film: “CAGED”- directed by Nick Power-Gomez and produced by Olivia Yang -which has been selected to seven film festivals. The Vancouver Lift Off Film Festival (Audience Choice Awards winner), and The Court Metrage Festival De Cannes 2017 selections in France were huge milestones in his young career. He was recently coined as composer for film “Standoff”, it was recently selected to the “Silver State Film Festival” (2019) in Las Vegas, and the “The Marina Del Rey Film Festival” (2019). “KINGS” directed by Jaamal Scott, another highly praised film, was composed by Steven as been selected to four film festivals “Toronto Black Film Festival” (2018), “The British Urban Film Festival” (2018), “The BronzeLens Film Festival” (2018), and most recently “The Morehouse College Human Rights Film Festival” (2019). “KINGS” is currently being aired on Revolt TV’s “indie film series” (2019).
As a Music producer, his collaborations range from Hip Hop to R&B artists such as: Problem, Bishop Lamont, and many more. Multi-platinum producer Warren G has stated, that Steven’s music, “made me feel good, and took me to another place.
An artist in his own right, he has produced the versatile Soundtrack Instrumental Jazz album “Feel. Good. Cool.” His first solo project in 2017. And now his second highly anticipated EP titled “Scores & Moore”, released August 22nd.
Connect with Steven
weTHRIVE Episode 1 Transcript
Casey Clark (00:01):
Hi everyone. And thank you so much for joining us on the weTHRIVE podcast, where I interview different entrepreneurs around the world. Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Stephen Lamar Moore, who wears many hats. He’s a composer producer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. So thank you so much, Steven, for joining me today on our podcast.
Steven Lamar Moore (00:23):
Of course. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Casey Clark (00:26):
Absolutely. So tell us a little bit about yourself.
Steven Lamar Moore (00:30):
Let’s see. I’m from Compton, California born and raised. Let’s see grew up in church. I think that’s where my music journey, our introduction to music started grew up in church. I was in the song choir. You can imagine that. So I was in a choir I think from there is where, you know, I really got my musical chops because I was really mentored by a pianist in our church. So that would be deal. So you know, the typical thing growing up, growing up the Compton seeing a lot of, a couple of, you know, violent drugs, things of that nature and you know, just getting through it and, and living the life that I didn’t see it like that growing up, which is what I tell everybody that, that I didn’t see that part of Compton. I saw a lot of family, a lot of positivity, a lot of neighborhood togetherness, and that’s where I come from.
Casey Clark (01:37):
I know when I initially heard that you’re from Compton, I immediately thought, you know, violence, drugs, things of that nature. So it’s good to hear, you know, that not everyone sees that.
Steven Lamar Moore (01:50):
Right, right. I mean, you know, when growing up, you realize that it’s around and it’s just something that’s just part of everyday lives. So I never looked at it as like a shell shock or a culture shock or just something that really dramatically bothered me. But I did realize, the good from the bad, I realized what to do, what not to do. And from there, I think it helped me out to make me make better decisions moving forward in my life. So, you know, it’s one of those gift and the curse things, you kind of see the bad, you have to grow up a little faster, but at the same time, I think grit creates a sort of toughness thing that you’re able to get through a lot of things that, you know, maybe most people wouldn’t be.
Casey Clark (02:37):
Yeah, most definitely. So speaking about getting through things, as you know, the name of our podcast is we thrive. So when you think of the word thrive, what exactly comes to mind?
Steven Lamar Moore (02:51):
Thrive, man to me, thrive is setting a goal and achieving that goal no matter how big or small. So you know, if it’s, if it’s to save, you know, $5,000, in a couple of months and you achieve that to me, that’s thriving. So I don’t weigh it. You know, I pretty much treat them all the same. So just having the goal, achieving it, is thriving in period, no matter how big or small.
Casey Clark (03:22):
Okay. I love it. So what obstacles have you faced when trying to achieve certain goals that you set for yourself?
Steven Lamar Moore (03:33):
Oh, man, that’s a big one. I would say self-doubt a little bit because what I’ve learned is you have to be your own biggest cheerleader. And with that being said, you have to really learn how to pat yourself on the back and learn how to you know, you’re going to be alone a lot of times, you know, it’s a lot of long nights. So self-doubt is one. In the composing world, I’ve gotten small perspective because generally speaking, you know, I was around a lot of people who were classically trained at Hoover in a conservatory and things of that nature. That’s a lot of times I would get pushed back because I was around that. And a, they probably didn’t really understand me. And you know, there’s not a lot of people that look like me that like in those arenas.
Steven Lamar Moore (04:28):
So a lot of times I get a little pushback on that, but over time, once they see what I’m doing and they hear what I’ve got, then I realized, you know, it’s not just a fad for me. It’s something that I really have a passion for it. So really, I would say just, I mean, for me, you can get in your own way, you know what I’m saying? So a lot of it is self-inflicted. I just tell people to stay as positive as you ca,n meditate, if you can do things to kind of keep the edge off and keep pushing.
Casey Clark (05:03):
Absolutely. I definitely have learned that in my own journey. So, do you have a particular moment that kind of sticks out in your mind where you were like, you know, this is really hard, but it was kind of like that turning point for you where you were just like, it’s mind over matter. Like I’ve got to buckle down and do this?
Steven Lamar Moore (05:34):
You know, working on my first album called good pool. It’s a jazz soundtrack that I produced a couple of years ago. It was a time where, because I was working on a film at the same time I was working on the album. So it was just a lot of music in my head. A lot of, a lot notes is kind of crazy. And I’m also, at that time I was in food, but I was sleeping out of my car, so lost, leaving out of my car. And I was going through that, going to work, going to school and then, you know, sleeping in my car and getting up at four in the morning and doing it all over again. So that was a tough period of my life, but it made me realize that the way I think of it is like this.
Steven Lamar Moore (06:25):
A lot of times when you’re doing something that, you know, you feel that is needed and it can really change lives, yours in particular, I feel like there’s always going to be a roadblock. You know, it’s almost like the storm then once the storm is over, everything is nice. So I just feel like that peak is getting up there. It’s always going to be hard, but once you get over that wall, it always gets better. So I look at it like a challenge and that if it’s too easy, then it’s probably not good anyway. So I’ll look at it like that.
Casey Clark (07:00):
Yeah. So let me make sure I’m hearing you correctly. So you were going to school and you were working on a film, producing an album, all while living out of your car?!
Steven Lamar Moore (07:14):
Yes. I think it’s a little crazy
Casey Clark (07:24):
That too, but here you are.
Steven Lamar Moore (07:28):
Right, right, right. I mean, you know, it’s a lot of times I hear a lot of stories with different artists and whether it’s actors, musicians, whatever, and they all have a story where, you know, they have to do something a little odd or they went through something that kind of propelled him and pushed him. And I just think it was just something I had to go through to get where I am today. And even then I still have a long way to go. So
Casey Clark (07:53):
Yeah. Well, I love your mindset. I’m a very visual person. So I loved how you said, “I was at the peak” and it was almost like when you reached that peak, you could see the clarity or, you know, the storm passing where most people would look at that as a valley.
Steven Lamar Moore (08:12):
Right. Right. I mean, it’s just like when nature, you know. I had a professor who really brought something down to me that was like, awesome. Right. He said, man, think of music in life as one thing. Right. So when you look at trees and you’re looking at the outline of it, right. You see it ups and downs and the trees, right. Just like life, you see hills, mountains, they all are going up and down, it was no different than life. So you just look at it like it’s going to come. Right. It’s just how you best prepare yourself. And you know, when you already have that in your mind and, and those, you know, those times, then I just feel like you look at it like, okay, it’s just a time period. It’s going to pass. Let me just weather the storm and keep going. So I thank my professor for telling me that, cause that was, that was huge.
Casey Clark (09:07):
Yeah. That is! So outside of your professor, what other resources have you used to overcome different obstacles in your life?
Steven Lamar Moore (09:17):
Family, friends, mentorsI have the orchestration, a mentor who I talked to maybe once a week. And I tell them about my struggles and you know, my process of going through the journey and you know, they gave me gems and it gave me things to look out for and just to make sure that I stay on the path. So, you know, I emailed them and let them know what I’m doing. They helped me out and they say, Hey, when you come to this pitfall, that’s what to look out for. And it’s how you avoid it. So that’s helped me tremendously. So I’ve been blessed in that regard to have people who really care about my wellbeing and my career and who I’m going to share information. So it’s all about information.
Casey Clark (10:01):
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Information and relationships. Definitely.
Steven Lamar Moore (10:08):
Especially in this business, it’s all about who you know, and a lot of times you don’t have to be just crazy talented a lot of times it’s just do they like you, you know, are you cool to be around? Can they be around you for six hours? And I feel a certain way. So a lot of times it’s comfortability, you know, once you learn that and if you’re really talented, that’s even a super bonus. So I learned that.
Casey Clark (10:36):
That’s really interesting. Cause you know, I’ve heard a lot of people who are successful, say do it messy. Don’t wait until it’s perfect. You know, do it here, just get out there. And you just never know.
Steven Lamar Moore (10:51):
It’s scary though, because you know, for me, I’m my worst critic, you know, I’m hard on myself and it’s not easy to be vulnerable. If you put your art in front of the world and have people criticize you and things of that nature. But you have to really develop a tough skin and really believe in what you’re doing and not care what people say. It’s pretty simple, you know, people have opinions and that’s just what it is. And you just have to keep your head down and go.
Casey Clark (11:19):
Yeah, absolutely. So kind of talking along the lines of like knowing where you’re going, how do you define legacy and what kind of legacy do you want to leave?
Steven Lamar Moore (11:36):
How do I define legacy? I define legacy as how people identify you, you know, with a certain thing. And whether that’s philanthropy, musically, anything of the arts, painting, leaving a mark and having like, I would say… I guess I could use for example, the late great Nipsey Hussle, who he left a legacy of, you know, philanthropy and really helping out his people and he really cared about the community. And I think that it’s so valuable to have that. And for me, I want my legacy to be, you know, that I cared about people and that my music spread love. That it made people feel good. And that’s really what my ultimate goal is. I’m not even thinking about money, not thinking about those things, but really thinking about the purity of it. And that’s what I would like to leave. And I feel like legacy defines who you are if people just identify you with certain things.
Casey Clark (12:46):
Yeah, exactly. So I love how you say the purity of it. It’s like, you’re really staying true to who you are.
Steven Lamar Moore (12:55):
And then I think it comes across and people can see that and feel that, you know, people can feel when you’re not being authentic. You’re not really being yourself. Whether through your music, your public speaker, people can kind of feel, you know, I, this is, you know, you’re just doing this for XYZ. It’s not really a passion of yours. You don’t really feel it. So I, when I do music and I do anything I try to really is pure as possible when I do so it can come off some natural. And I think that’s always the best way.
Casey Clark (13:25):
So I have to ask, does that have anything to do with the title of your first album? Which if memory serves me it’s feel good. Cool. Is that correct?
Steven Lamar Moore (13:36):
That is similar. Yes. You’re on it. You’re on it. It’s exactly it because my whole intention was to make people feel good and be cool. So I just, I understand, I’m down for all that. That’d be a cool title because the whole vibe is that way. So
Casey Clark (13:57):
Yeah, absolutely. Definitely. And I know, I mean, a little side notes, you did produce the music that we’re using for the podcast. And that is one thing I said to you is that I want people to feel good when they hear it. So I love how it comes full circle.
So what are some other nuggets that you can give people who might not be in your industry or even people who are in your industry? I know you’re in a very niche industry, so what are some nuggets that might apply to everyone?
Steven Lamar Moore (14:39):
Be yourself love yourself. Be confident. I say the main thing is be yourself. Don’t let anyone change who you are. You don’t have to offer yourself to quote unquote be better or whatever the case is because you are good enough. That’s who you are. It’s just about tapping into your niche and tapping into what your talent is to really do exercise. So just be yourself, work hard be consistent. When you say you’re gonna do something, do it. And I go the long, long way and people remember that. And especially in this industry, you really only have one time to mess it up. And then your reputation know really that’s probably any business. Really. You have one good impression. And once you, you know, you felt like that it’s hard to get back up, but consistency be yourself, love yourself and be confident. And then it’ll work out for you nine out of 10 times. They work out for you.
Casey Clark (16:00):
Awesome. So you mentioned about talent and I want to dig a little deeper into that. I guess over the past five plus years have watched you develop your talent. I know we’ve, we’ve spoke about all the instruments that you’ve taught yourself. Like what helped you do that? And what tips can you give someone for? Like literally learning something new, just picking it up and like mastering it.
Steven Lamar Moore (16:29):
Right. you know, the motivation for me was I got tired of calling a lot of people, you know what I mean? So it’s like, Hey man, he played his bass for me. Hey man. He played his guitar from your ukulele for me. Hey man, can you play piano for me? Whatever it is. I got tired of calling people. And then, you know it got, I got to the point where I just needed to do it on my own. So I taught myself whether it’s YouTube or just you know, different things like that every day for about an hour, you know, each instrument and just play, play, play, play. And also by doing that, it helped me become a better composer. I feel like you learn different instruments. I was able to tap in and really get intimate with the particular instrument that I’m playing. So it’s, it’s, it’s been great learning instruments. It’s been, I’m still learning. I’m not there yet by no me, but I’m on it every day. And it’s just all about doing it daily, being consistent and there’s really no magic sauce to it. That’s just what it is.
Casey Clark (17:43):
Hmm. So I’m hearing, you know, persistence, not giving up and practice
Steven Lamar Moore (17:50):
And practice and not, and you get tired of calling people. He’s just really good. You know, a lot of things push you to do things. And I was just one of them. I didn’t like relying on people. I didn’t like having to, you know, constantly have to call a, Hey man, I need this, I need this. I said, Hey, you know what? I’m just going to learn this myself. I’m tired of having to reach out. So it actually worked to my benefit. And I think everyone comes to a point where, you know, I’m just going to do it myself because I’m learning anyway. And it’s the best way to go.
Casey Clark (18:20):
So it’s so funny that you say that because in my business, I am huge on not knowing everything myself, but at one point I did, you know, when I first got started, I was doing it. And like you said, it allows you to get more intimate with whatever you’re doing. And for me, it gives me an understanding, you know, now that I have a team, like we can truly relate to one another. You know, I think that that’s so important. Even as leaders you know, we have to really understand and not be afraid to do the dirty work.
Steven Lamar Moore (19:03):
Exactly. I, I related to a, like a, a manager who happened to get promoted throughout the year. Let’s say he started off as a security guard. And then a couple of years later, you know, he’s a manager and he’s doing it. He could have a conversation with the security, the current security guard, because he’s been there, he got to experience that he can empathize for certain things. So I just felt like it helps that you’ve been through that process. But for me, I can talk to a guitarist or I could talk to a bass player like, Hey, you know, he played like what a little bit it is because I may least had that conversation with them. So it all helps in the long run. And I’m realizing that now going through this journey has helped me to, you know, get better in this aspect and this one. And I just know it’s all part of the plan. Now at first it seemed a little strenuous, Oh my God, this is so you know, but now I see the big pitch. Like it’s preparing me for something later, so you just have to go through it.
Casey Clark (20:05):
Yeah. So talking about the big plan, do you have any big plans or do you see a much larger vision for yourself?
Steven Lamar Moore (20:16):
Yes, I do. I want to create parts on that’s one big goal that I have. And I’m slowly working on that. You know, as far as the, this guy here, Steve-O, you can see on Instagram I have videos of him doing this cartoon thing. So that’s one that I’m really, really want to tap into is creating content and parts of the show. So that’s one and just continuing to work for film and he made good music and we’ll see where it goes from there. You know, I’m just happy to even be here to be able to do all those things because, you know, it was a point where I wasn’t sure if I was going to be here. So I’m just excited. I’m excited.
Casey Clark (21:04):
I have to ask and you don’t have to share, but what do you mean by you didn’t think that you were going to be here?
Steven Lamar Moore (21:12):
Well, like I would say about 12 years ago I ended up getting shot five times, so yeah. I don’t even know if I told you this. Right. So I got hit yeah, three times in my left leg, two of my right foot. And I couldn’t walk for about two years because my bones were shattered in my left leg. So I couldn’t walk for two years. So that taught me a lot of patience. I had to learn patience. I really had to get deep within myself. I had no choice, but to look inward and kinda evaluate myself and where I was headed. And I think that was a turning point in my life for sure. But it’s been, it’s, it’s a gift and a curse. It’s a gift and a curse because the ones I did lose was a feeling that control. I see and realize that, you know what, this is bigger than you. And I had to realize that. And at the same time, I’ve learned that whatever you want to do, just go do it. Don’t wait because you don’t know what tomorrow brings and what could happen. So did you live and live as fully as you can and have fun with it? And I think since then, I haven’t looked back.
Casey Clark (22:48):
Wow. You are a really like the poster child for resilience. All right. So is there anything else that you want to share with our listeners or something that you might’ve forgotten to mention?
Steven Lamar Moore (23:13):
I would say just check out my new EP, that’s called Score and Moore, you can go on my website – that would be www.stevenmmusic.com. And you can look me up on Spotify and play my music, Stephen Lamar Moore, pretty east to remember, and Instagram, Steve Lamar Moore, and rock with me. Check my music out. I love feedback. I’m always interacting with people who listen and it’s a fun thing. And I’m going to keep banging out these tracks for movies and all that good stuff. So be on the lookout.
Casey Clark (23:52):
Sounds good. And I assume that your movies and everything that you’re scoring is on your website.
Steven Lamar Moore (23:59):
Yes, ma’am, it’s on my website and also on YouTube. So if you go to my YouTube channel, Steve Lamar Morris, same thing, you’ll find everything there.
Casey Clark (24:07):
Awesome. Awesome. And we’ll be sharing that information with our listeners as well for you. So again, I appreciate having you on as a guest and I so appreciate you doing the music for our podcast. So it’s been a pleasure and thank you.
Steven Lamar Moore (24:24):
Of course. Thank you for having me here. I’m so blessed, honored to be here and I love watching your journey as well. You’re doing awesome. You’re welcome.