DeeMo is “blessed,” “living a dream,” and carries a “stay humble picture,” a photo depicting himself as an undersized basketball player, in his wallet. He is a visionary who moved to New York from Maryland with all of his possessions in his car. He has been a member of the St. John’s community since 2000. Seven years later, he is a seasoned model and actor, appearing in countless runs of “Law & Order,” “Sex and the City,” and commercials for Pepsi and Snickers, among other things. Four years ago, he decided to pursue his childhood love, music. It’s now his time. His name is Dee-Morris, also known as DeeMo, and the band he put together is called Fusion.
Fusion is just what the name implies, a blend of versatile characters and cultures. The band consists of AC, Atlas, DeeMo, and Mitch. Mitch is a professional drummer from New York while AC is an Asian American from Guam who toured Asia as a lead vocalist in an R&B group. Atlas, of Puerto Rican descent, is a self-taught musician from Brooklyn. DeeMo is an African-American singer/songwriter/musician from Maryland. He won MTV’s Spring Break “Fear Factor” in Cancun and has co-hosted the VH1 “Viewer’s Choice Awards.” These men come from different places and circumstances. Together they create soul music, described by DeeMo as “old school flavor with a new school twist.”
This twist of cultures is reflective of DeeMo’s time at SJU. He describes the University’s “cultural blend” as “inspiring.” “Everyone is reaching for something higher,” he says of the St. John’s community.
DeeMo has been reaching himself, but unlike those who lose themselves in their endeavors, he is enjoying the journey. He was “grateful” even as a homeless youth in Maryland. He had a vision and “maximized on opportunity.” DeeMo is the personification of the term “driven.”
In this path that he has created by networking on the streets of New York, briefcase in tow, music was a “powerful force.” It is this force, “music with a purpose,” that the quartet of Fusion brings to life in their music.
DeeMo describes their music as “a cross between Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, and Black Eyed Peas.” Musical inspirations range from Stevie Wonder to Boyz II Men to Donny Hathaway. When asked about the current state of music, DeeMo says, “it’s bad but changing. Real music is coming back.”
Fusions’s independent release, Alternate Soul, written by the group and created in their apartment, is a testament to this advent of authenticity.
On a ballad entitled “City Life,” the men of Fusion lament in soothing harmony: “Sometimes life is so hard when you make it this far/ There’s no turning back- the big city’s your past.”
DeeMo penned this ballad as a reflection of his life. The city, however, is definitely not his past. With intensity in his eyes he says: “I didn’t come all this way to lose.”
We have yet to see the full manifestation of Dee-Morris, a determined, competitive, yet humble man who credits God with his blessings. DeeMo is an inspiration to dreamers with concrete plans. “Don’t dib and dab, do it all the way or don’t do it all,” he advises. Perhaps we should listen to a man who has lived his own advice.
What’s next for DeeMo? Fusion is currently involved in negotiations with major record labels. They have performed live on the red carpet at the Billboard Awards, on the Fuse Network, and at various venues throughout the city. The group is currently working with vocal coach Craig Derry who has worked with the likes of Mary J. Blige and Stevie Wonder. According to discogs.com, Derry has “sung background for everyone from Mick Jagger to Michael Jackson.”
Working with this musical veteran and his band, DeeMo has visions of reaching domestic and international audiences with the group’s harmony and “four different stories.” At the end of this story, or maybe even the beginning, DeeMo has visions of winning a Grammy. Before DeeMo’s dream of a Grammy becomes reality, you can check Fusion out on March 15, performing at Kenny’s Castaways located on 157 Bleeker Street at 10 p.m. DeeMo promises “a heck of a show” and urges people to “catch us before it gets out of control.” Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
For further information on Fusion, check out their Web site: www.myspace.com/Fusionmusic.