Dimitri Moore considers himself a newcomer to the Chicago music scene—but his future here is looking bright. Next Wednesday, he will perform his first set of 2022 at Sleeping Village in Avondale, alongside rappers Qari and Myquale.
Moore originally hails from Prince George’s County, Maryland, where he grew up listening to go-go music and Chuck Brown. He played the drums at his church, participated in a children’s choir, and later learned how to play the guitar. Though his father was a great singer, Moore never took singing too seriously during his childhood, as he did not picture it as a career with a future.
Things changed when Moore moved to Chicago in 2014 to attend Columbia College Chicago, where he received his degree in arts management in 2018. Friends, other artists, and Chicago music groups like Iris Temple all impacted his decision to pursue singing. “Just by being in sessions with [friends], where everyone in the room is an artist and makes music, it was like—I’m gonna give it a shot,” he told the Weekly. “So I started writing songs and just being around other people who are already doing it. Them telling you that you can do it [is] pretty validating. So I think that’s how I figured out I would be doing music one way or another, like I would probably be just playing guitar for somebody or something like that.”
When describing his music, Moore noted the influence of R&B on his style, and expressed his admiration for artists like Prince, Marvin Gaye, Pharrell, Little Beaver, and Brittany Howard, to name a few. He also is aware of his lo-fi sound, which fans have praised. “My writing style and approach to recording is pretty freeform,” he added. “I want to be a genre-bending type of person. I listen to a lot of music, so I want to make other music, too.”
Moore released his first EP, “Uncertainties,” in November 2021 with the help of producer Blake Wright, who mixed and mastered every track. Since Wright lives in Maryland and Moore was in Chicago, the creative process lasted for a couple years. Sometimes they would send each other beats and vocals, and when Moore was visiting family in Maryland, they would bounce ideas off each other and collaborate in the same place. “Honestly, if it were up to me, I would still be working on that project,” Moore said. “But I had to get my hands off of it and just release it, because I was trying to perfect something that there was nothing wrong with.”
The EP contains seven tracks: “Come Around,” “Checkmate,” “Wss (Interlude),” “2Nite,” “You Got Me,” “Sangria,” and “See it (outro).” Moore shared that writing the songs—which deal with love, fear, and relationships—was challenging because they came from a vulnerable place. Although the songs explore timeless and universal themes, the EP sets itself apart through its unique production, enchanting delivery and carefully arranged instrumentation. There’s a tranquility to Moore’s music, a freeform style that makes his songs easy to listen to over and over again.
Moore is deeply excited to perform at Sleeping Village on February 16. “I care a lot about how my music sounds live,” he said. “[People] can expect a performance with care. I took my time and I prepared, and I’m going to make it the best I can make it.”
As for what’s next? “My focus right now is getting my sound the best it can be,” Moore explained. “In my head, if the music is right, everything else will come.”
Qari, Myquale, Dimitri Moore. Wednesday, February 16, doors 7:30pm, show 8:30pm. $5 with $1 PBR. Sleeping Village, 3734 W. Belmont Ave. (773) 654-3971. sleeping-village.com
Lauren Johnson is a recent college graduate currently living in Chicago. She recently interviewed Myquale for the Weekly.