MJ “Samuri” Morris is 28 years old, based out of Richmond VA and has been playing since he was 4 years old. He started banging on pots and pans and found himself enjoying the beats that he could come up with, so he started to teach himself how to play.
He started to get serious at 10 years of age and decided that he needed to try to perfect this gift that God has blessed him with. He started praying and God revealed to him that this is what he will do for a living in his adult life. So he started studying various drummers like Dave Weckle, Ronald Bruner, Buddy Rich along with other local drummers. As time went on he discovered the likes of Eric Moore, Thomas Pridgen, Tony Royster, Jeremy Haynes, Calvin Rodgers and Elvin Jones. These drummers inspired him to really get down to business and create his own style of playing and so that he can also make his mark as well. Here’s where his Journey began.
He has played with and assisted gospel artist in workshops such as, Vashawn Mitchell, Malcom Williams, Timothy Wright, Patrick Lundy, Steven Roberts, Sam Bennet, Beverly Crawford, Jackie McCullugh etc. In working with these artists, he had to promote himself by producing demos, references by other artists, and also on the spot auditions. Amongst those people he has been given great complements and recognition by very noteworthy musicians.
MJ has played for the Richmond Outreach Center which is noted as being the fastest growing church in America, written about in various magazines. He also plays for a one of the most powerful local churches in the Richmond Area, Redeemed Assembly of Jesus Christ. Aside from these churches he plays all over whenever he’s called upon, he has played for the Norfolk State Gospel Choir Voices of Inspiration, along with signed new artist Lamont Fleming with Hit mission music.
MJ loves the challenges of different styles of music which he works on in his down time. He practices for worst and best case scenarios so that he would be able to be perfect at his performances.
Aside from his extensive musical skills and experience, he has also worked in various work environments, including the “corporate world,” with a Bachelors in Business Administration, which has given him additional experience in working with diverse people in a team setting. He has also taken an interest in teaching the younger generation how to play and help them create their own style. MJ believes this experience directly correlates to working in a band. He knows how to conduct himself professionally and effectively for the betterment of the group as a whole, not just for himself. He loves building a rapport with his fellow band members because he feels that music should be empowering and if you don’t have a good relationship with the people that you are working with, you won’t have good music.