Signing Story: Maez301

Maryland-bred, Los Angeles-based rapper Maez301 originally set out to become a basketball player—before Tech N9ne recruited him instead. “At one point, I believed that basketball was my calling,” says Maez, who played as a shooting guard and point guard in high school. “It didn’t pan out the way I wanted to—but I’ve always been an artist before I picked up a basketball. Even though I feel free on the basketball court, art is a connection to my soul.” Indeed, the 25-year-old had already recorded about 700 songs before Tech N9ne caught wind of one of his demos. “I’d been recording a long time in my own bedroom,” he recalls. “I was self-conscious about putting myself out, but then I put out a song called ‘Nowhere’ on SoundCloud.” The decision paid mad dividends for Maez. He connected with producer Earvin Pope, who played the song for Tech N9ne’s longtime bodyguard, Jerome Taylor, who in turn passed the song on to Tech N9ne. “The first time I met him, I was flown out to [Tech N9ne’s] Strange Music [record label facility] and toured the campus,” Maez recalls. “It

“I was in my mom’s basement a year ago.”

felt like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. They were essentially recruiting me.” Tech N9ne did just that, and Maez scored two feature spots on last year’s Strange Music release Duality by Big Scoob.  A year later, Maez has bagged a Tech N9ne guest appearance of his own, for the debut album he has planned for release in October. The yetunnamed LP is slated to drop after the release of four EPs starting with M in April. Each of the four EPs will be named after a letter in Maez’s name and contain songs written by the rapper. “My goal is for each body of work to have a cohesive sound: one more pop-ish, one more hip-hop-ish, one more rock-ish,” he says, noting that the fourth EP will combine all those genres. With that quartet of releases on tap—topped off by the LP—Maez is poised for a hell of a breakout year. “I was in my mom’s basement a year ago,” he says. “It wasn’t a gradual ride. I hadn’t done a lot of shows before the signing. I always felt like I was a rapper, but it [suddenly] became a career.”

Date Signed: December 2018

Label: Strange Music

Band Members: N/A

Type of Music: Hip-hop, R&B, rock, pop, jazz

Management: Jerome Taylor Booking: TBD

Legal: Vaughn Gil

Publicity: Richie Abbott

Web: Maez301 on all social media

A&R: Earvin Pope (EP)