Moises Juarez – Moi for short – has grown to be a staple of the west coast music experience. With a soulful, sweet singing voice that ranges from ballads to beat-boxing, Moi utilizes his hip-hop b-boy swagger in conjunction with his extensive genre-bending musical repertoire to get everyone within a venue on their feet. Top Shelf Reggae had the privilege of attaining an interview with the busy superstar representing LIFE, Tomorrow's Bad Seeds and Krooked Treez to obtain his opinion on how it has felt to get this far in the business. And the best part is – he's just getting started.
Hello Moi, it's nice to have you as a part of Top Shelf Reggae! I know you're currently repping the face of Krooked Treez and LIFE – straight out of LA…
I’m loving where I’m at right now both personally and musically. I have a Tomorrow's Bad Seeds reunion show coming up too on April 24-25 at Saint Rocke, in Hermosa – that’s been exciting for us. Both Krooked and LIFE are performing at Summer Meltdown in Santa Clarita, and Krooked Treez just got on the line-up for that new Blaze N Glory Festival in San Bernadino.
Sounds exciting! What sprung the reunion with Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds?
They came to us with a solid offer and for a while now the guys in TBS have been looking forward to putting on a good show for our fans, so we were like f*** it, let's do this.
No nostalgia or anything, bringing the band back together?
We just took a hiatus – we never broke up, you know? It was more that our music started evolving in a different direction: the songs we were creating for Tomorrow's Bad Seeds weren't coming out as traditional Bad Seeds songs on our third album [The Great Escape], they were more evolved. I felt the album was genius, a fusion, a hybrid, yet that evolved sound wasn't accepted well in the west coast reggae community. I believe people in the future will revisit that album and be like 'oh, sh**!' and they'll have a new love for it. To be honest, we were just ahead of the times on that album. When we didn't get a good response from going with our new direction, we collectively felt it was best if we just branch out. And what comes after the seed is LIFE, so that’s where the name came from!
So you're still doing LIFE, and the TBS reunion concert… AND Krooked Treez? What made you convinced to do the switch to Krooked Treez?
O Brown, the front-man for the Treez, hit me up about the recent split and needing a lead vocalist. We had a really good conversation – we talked some business and it just made sense to me. I just want people to not think that I've completely abandoned the [reggae] scene because I still love reggae. I'd had heard of them before and they were on my radar. Krooked Treez is unique; they are more of a fusion of reggae, hip-hop rock. I thought this band was perfect fit and a great opportunity to showcase a different side of me, my hip-hop side. The new EP is sounding amazing, we just dropped “Close Your Eyes” and will be dropping another song “Time Flies” this summer!
Can you elaborate on a day in the life of juggling so many bands in demand?
I just make sure I keep up with my scheduling. Some people can look at it as hard, but for me, I've always been juggling: from my career to my personal life; from Bad Seeds; from b-boying West Coast Rockers to dancing on music videos; between singing, performing and entertaining… I juggled a lot. I even had a full-time job back then and I keep that momentum going because I love what I do.
Wow, that's intense!
Yeah, I'm about to have a kid too!
I know! I heard through the grapevine that you're having a baby soon! Congratulations, when is that happening and how do you feel?
I'm having a little boy. I’m looking forward to raising my “seed of LIFE” His due date is July 23rd I can hardly wait!
Well, I hope that you can keep everything going the way it's going. I know its always intense having changes in your life, but it sounds like you have everything pretty much together.
It is intense, but it’s a good intense. I enjoy performing and working hard, so I do what I love and none of it feels like work. And with a baby on the way, that is fueling me even more. I want to be a good representation of a man and human being for my son. I want to show by example.
What can your fans expect moving forward at this point in time?
Just for me to keep releasing music. The one thing I’ve always tried to show is that I'm not a one-trick pony as a singer, you know? I like to perform everything from dub, ska, reggae, punk, hip hop, blues, R&B, soul, pop, jazz – anything.
Is your musical appreciation a product of your background or from studying music in school?
I’ve sung a variety of music growing up. I came from an R&B and classic rock background from my mom and grew up in the church and always sang. Being from California, it's a melting pot – you're influenced by everything around you. I was a b-boy for years and was with a hip-hop team which is what guided me into singing – if I had never danced, I would've never had the cajones to step up and sing. Singing now is the easy part. The hard part is the business side of putting shows together, growing fans and having them love you so much they want to come to those shows, support you and buy your music. That’s what I loved about Krooked Treez: we have a strong, built-in tight team in place with management, publicity, producing, etc. We are in-place, on track and ready to take the world of music to new levels.
It sounds like you're making good things happen!
I'm lucky. I feel really blessed and I'm stoked to be a part of Krooked Treez now too; O Brown is a hard-working guy like myself. I like it when people get together like that. There's actually a couple of us in that group that are hustling, as well as our managers, producers, etc. – we all go for it and get our hustle on. It just works. I’ve been the only guy hustling before and it’s not fun. With LIFE and Krooked Treez, everyone hustles. We all got a pretty good thing going with both bands; it takes a lot of the pressure off of me to be able to do what I do best.
If it’s okay, I’d like to thank a few people. Our managers Tanya Moore of Moore Media and Johnny Edney of MNO Records, both for being amazing, as well as Ras MG, Michael Choi, Urban Tone Records, O.Brown, my band-mates, die-hard fans and a lot of personal people that have helped and supported me in my life and career. It’s about being grateful and that gratefulness and love for what I do is what keeps me going. All is good!
Thank you Top Shelf Reggae, you guys are doing great things and I really appreciate the interview. To all of our fans out there, check out our music, come see us at some shows and keep Krooked Treez and LIFE on your radar, good things to come!