Maurice “Verse” Simmonds says in an interview from Akon’s mansion, Dreamland, that he wants to be Kelly Rowland’s “motivation,” which explains why they collaborated on the new single “Boo Thang.” On it, the Caribbean native is being seduced by the sexy songstress, who entices him to turn off the lights and make a movie. Yeah, she went there again. Mad props to her.
Simmonds really gets creative on this new release, due out in July. Here, the hopeful romantic discusses his new mixtape, why it’s important to work with emerging artists and how he’s impacted by superproducer Akon. –yvette caslin
What can fans expect this summer with your new mixtape, the sequel Sex Tape Chronicles 2?
I think I create a certain type of music that locks people in. Fans can expect to hear beautiful music from me. It will be familiar and, at the same time, new and refreshing.
What inspires you?
I find women inspirational. I sing different styles of music — R&B, hip-hop, reggae and calypso. Women are the common theme.
What’s your idea of a perfect woman?
A confident, beautiful and intelligent woman and someone that knows how to communicate. I think that’s big in any relationship. She has to know how to jazz it up when it’s that time of the night, ya’ know?
What’s the most romantic thing that you’ve ever done for your lady?
That is really hard. I do so many romantic things, from roses to the petals in the room leading up to the bubble bath. I have made love on a cliff overlooking the sea in the Virgin Islands. I am that kinda guy.
Most memorable groupie story?
I don’t think I have groupies. I don’t look at the women who approach me as groupies. I look at them as confident, outgoing women.
Where do you like to shop?
I love fashion and will shop everywhere from Wish to a consignment store to find something that is rare, fly and vintage.
You perform different genres and have even coined your style as “Island B.” How do you want the world to see you?
I want them to see me as someone who is able to take music to another level. At the end of the day, I want to be looked at someone who is able to captivate audiences and make a change in the world. Look at Bob Marley and the type of movement he created. He’s a legend. His message, “One Love,” is still relevant today. I hope I can get to the point where I can deliver that type of message out to the world.
Which artist(s) do you look forward to working with?
I am always looking for the new and different, not necessarily the artist that everyone is hot on right now. For me, that innovative sound that no one has heard yet. There is longevity in creating something rather than riding out something.
On working with Akon…
Look at how humble he is as an artist. As big as he is, you’d expect him to act a certain way because of everything he’s been able to accomplish. For me, it has set a certain kind of tone.
Visit VerseSimmonds.com, and follow him on Twitter: @VerseSimmonds.