Tisch Alumnus MOZIAH Talks Debut Single and What’s Next

Marcus Guerrier, also known as MOZIAH, posing for photos to promote his new single "Can't Stay In One Place."

In his newfound, post-graduate freetime, Tisch alumnus Marcus Guerrier (‘17), otherwise known as MOZIAH, is finally focusing on new musical aspirations and projects. His debut single “Can’t Stay In One Place,” released last month, is a testament to this new focus and his ability to transcend genres. Already at almost 3,000 listens on Soundcloud, Guerrier’s pop-trap anthem is just the beginning.

Currently working as a teaching assistant in the Tisch Drama department, Guerrier hustles in the classroom to support his musical aspirations. Whether it be the drama studio or a recording studio in Brooklyn, Guerrier can’t stay in one place, like his debut single suggests.

WSN sat down with Guerrier to discuss the single and what’s next in his career. According to the graduate, “Can’t Stay In One Place” is less about the typical romantic interest heard in pop songs and more about a career interest and the essence of being a go-for-broke college student at NYU.

“This song is very much about college,” Guerrier said. “I noticed a lot more people around me hustle. Everyone’s constantly on the move … When I was writing the song, I was in that place.”

But it seems Guerrier has always been exposed to people who work hard and thus has not hesitated to work hard himself. Music always surrounded him throughout his upbringing in Hillsborough, New Jersey. Whether it be piano or guitar lessons, middle school or church choir, Guerrier always had his mind on music. 

In high school he started a punk band called the Waist Bandits, which taught him just as much about music theory as it did about moshing. Though he took on the challenging role of singer and guitarist during his high school days, his greatest challenge came during his first year at NYU when he began using digital audio workstations like Logic.

“Can’t Stay In One Place” is certainly a far cry from Guerrier’s punk days. At its inception, the song began as nothing more than a beat and a sample of a trumpet playing. As the track itself evolved on Logic, Guerrier and his producer SpacedTheo, a Brooklyn-based musician, added an array of other instruments and effects to infuse it with the liveliness we hear in the finished version.

Though Guerrier has experience with digital audio workstations and producing, he admits that he can only come up with so many ideas, and so, he appreciates SpacedTheo, who worked on mixing and mastering the track.

When asked how he’d categorize the song in terms of genre, Guerrier simply replied, “pop.” Taking cues from Drake and the late Michael Jackson, Guerrier worked on “Can’t Stay In One Place” until he found himself dancing, and now hopes to see people of all backgrounds dancing as well.

“I just want to keep telling fun, honest stories and reach as many people as possible,” he said.

Stream MOZIAH’s “Can’t Stay In One Place” on Apple Music, Spotify and SoundCloud.

 

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 23 print edition. Email Kamau Little-Tree Holston at [email protected]

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