We had the good fortune of connecting with Corey Laury and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Corey, what principle do you value most?
For as long as I can remember, I always had myself and the other person in mind. What I mean when I say that is that I know how I would want to be treated so I tend to be very respectful to others and to be considerate of others feelings, of course not at the expense of my own.
I always feel that respect should be the default, especially when you meet someone you know nothing about and they haven’t done anything to you, you know.
I also try to be genuine as possible, I don’t like putting on a façade in anything, business, social relationships, etc. I like people to know the real me and be myself without feeling like I have to switch up how I speak or act that’s anything outside of my personality. People being comfortable and trusting in me and around me is very important to me, I like making people feel that they can feel safe with being around me and talking to me, long as I can do the same.
At the end of the day I feel that I have to uphold that about me, alot of people know me for being gentle, trusting and safe to be around and if I had to choose anything to be remembered by, it’d be that.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started my journey with music when I was 8 years old back in 2005, my mom asked me if there was anything I wanted to do after school and she found a ad in the paper for piano lessons for Jordan Kitts ( now Lutherville Music School ) out Towson, Maryland.
Since then after meeting my music teacher Mr. Ross, I was going to piano lessons once a week for the past 10 years since.
Fast forward I’m 12 years old and I start getting interested in wanting to make my own music rather than continue to play other people’s music. My dad showed me this video of Mannie Fresh and Mystikal listening to a beat in the car. At the time I didn’t really understand what was going on but since Mannie Fresh was one of my favorite producers and influences I was interested. My dad bought me Fl studio 9 in 08 from a guy on craigslist and since then I’ve been producing, developing my knowledge as a musician and producer over the years
Business wise, I didn’t make the decision to professionally create music seriously until around I was 17. It was like I was starting over producing in a sense, making music beyond a hobby and being very particular in how and when I create. I even started getting into what type of music I wanted to make, which was scoring to movies, tv shows and commercials. I ended up scoring for a few pilot episodes to shows like Three Weddings which I got a IMDB credit for! As well for a show that’s still in production titled Garbarge Boy & Trashcan which is getting picked up by Cartoon Network!
That decision influenced me to go off to Frostburg State University after graduating my high school Mervo in 2015, to pursue a bachelors degree in Music. I had a pretty nice time up there for a little while, learning new aspects about music , advanced music theory and what not. Unfortunately though I ended up dropping out due to my mental health.
I came back to Baltimore, I’m 19 at the time, but I felt like I was starting over at that point, beginning the journey to finding myself not only as a musician but as a person.
I ended up landing a job as a Security guard in 2016, and I’m with my first girlfriend who I am with now still. As you can tell alot of new things were happening for me for the first time. But I still loved my music. I still was going through my mental health issues which still was affecting my day to day life.
I would produce here and there but my mental energy wouldn’t allow me to be consistent. So I knew something more was going on with me and I decided to reach out for help. My mental health was not only affecting me, but my relationship with my friends, family and girlfriend.
My uncle linked me with one of his friends who is a therapist here in Baltimore and I was able to attend one free session, which I am still eternally thankful for.
Long story short, I learned about things about myself and gained a sense of clarity and insight I haven’t felt before, not only about myself but others around me as well and how mental health affects everyone. I was inspired and felt I could get on with my life.
After leaving that therapy session, I felt that I needed to put this journey in my music, I then began to work on my debut hip hop album Preston & Wolfe, named after the street intersection of the therapy building location. I worked night and day on the instrumentals and the songs I wrote for over 4 years, and I finally dropped it in August of 2020.
At the moment, that is one of the proudest moments of my life, just being able to put together a project like that for the first time with a cohesive message, I was very happy with myself.
I’ve done so many new things since working on the album, becoming a youth music instructor to help kids in Baltimore get into music, doing a music video, releasing merch, performing. Just so many things that I’ve never thought of doing before working on Preston & Wolfe, I realized that I could never do any of this alone and that it’s important to take care of yourself always, mentally and physically.
I try to remember as I continue building my career as a musician, that there is a life outside of my music. I have to remember that it’s okay to take breaks and time away from the music and that there’s no rush! I never want to burn myself out.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If you ask most people in Baltimore what’s their favorite food they’d say a chicken box for sure. I’d have to hook them up with 5 wings and fries ( I like western fries) with a half and half ( lemonade and sweet tea ). Just to get them started with a taste of Baltimore you know. Another few food spots that come to mind that I’d have them try that are my favorite is Taste This, I’d order us a salmon platter with a bed of rice, mac and cheese and the sweet candied yams. Then we’d go to the Land of Kush, a vegan soul food spot near downtown. My favorite order from there is the Curry Tofu with the vegan mac and cheese and yams. I don’t really eat at too many places but those are my top 3 local Baltimore spots here.
As far as hanging out, I definitely have to take them to some open mics here. We have some of the most talented poets, artists, and more creatives that I’ve had the pleasure of not only seeing perform, but have met as well. Mecca Verdell is a absolute power house when it comes to poetry. Music wise there’s so many people here that are great artists, Eze Jackson, Miss Kam, Dapper Dan Midas and more, loads of talent here, even beyond Baltimore, The DMV area has great artists too, Mike OhMy, Skylar Mystique, etc.
We definitely would have to get some good Baltimore food and take in some good Baltimore poetry and music!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First off I’d like to shout out my man Reggie aka Mr Twelve Rounds for putting me on with this opportunity, I love you brother!
Of course I have to shout out my family, my mom, dad, step dad, little brother, grandmothers and grandfather
My girlfriend, I love you
My friends, its so many of you, you know who you are!
And lastly, my city, Baltimore City, Maryland!