As the second season of NBC's talent competition "The Voice" gets underway this week, Laurel residents may see a familiar face.
Moses Haughton, who goes by the stage name Moses Stone, is a 2005 Laurel High graduate and will be among the talented singers and musicians competing for a $100,000 prize and the title of "the voice."
Stone, 25, is now living in Hollywood, where he moved a few years ago to focus on his music career. He's currently recording and mixing an EP of hip-hop-influenced pop music, he said.
"I always knew this is what I wanted," Stone said. "When you have a passion for something, you don't stop. The passion I have for this music, it was like nothing else. It's something I can't see myself not doing. It's in my heart."
Stone's mother, Renita Lattimore, now of Annapolis, said her son has been rapping since he was 9 years old. With the encouragement of an older cousin, who has since died, Stone began writing his own lyrics.
"I kept writing, kept rapping, kept writing and kept practicing, and as I got older, I got better," Stone said.
Stone recalled singing and dancing to Michael Jackson as a child, "moon walking all over the place," and names West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur as one of his biggest influences. He moved to California for a recording artist program called Musician's Institute, where he learned the skills of his trade and networked with musicians, producers, writers, rappers and singers – "true artists," he said.
While Lattimore said it was hard to see her son move across the country, he did so to pursue his dreams and that, she said, is amazing.
"He's doing something he's always wanted to do," Lattimore said. "For him to be able to make his dreams a reality, it's really big for me. I'm so proud he never gave up ... he had a lot of drive and determination, and that's awesome."
Because Stone's episode of "The Voice" has yet to hit the airwaves, he said he was unable to talk about his experience on the show, or how far he progressed in the competition. According to his Facebook page, Stone will either appear on the episode airing Monday, Feb. 6 or Monday, Feb. 13.