Interview with R&B Artist Mario
Working with some of the hottest hands in the game including
(Terror Squad) and
Lil Jon (Usher) and featuring
songs he co wrote,
Mario has fashioned a
record that shows you where he is and plans to be. Filled with aching
ballads, introspective sentiment, club banters and a focused approach that
belies his years,
Turning Point is a musical snapshot
of an artist spreading his creative wings and taking flight with confidence,
cool charm and a style of his own.
Iíve listened to seven tracks given to me in advance from
BMG Music Canada, and I have to
say that Iíve listened to it over again and again. I
couldnít even select a favourite as I truly enjoy each one including collabs
with Baby Cham and Cassidy. You are already probably familiar with the
Let Me Love You, produced by Scott Storch
that is receiving lots of love on the airwaves.
This CD will be available in stores on
I spoke with Mario this week by phone from New York. He stated that the
biggest changes in this album from his previous album
the vocals which changed when his voice went through the natural changes of
a young man. He worried that the one thing that he loves the most Ė his
music - would be taken from him. But things eventually worked themselves
out as you will hear on this his sophomore album,
at the tender age of 18, entitled Turning
Point. Thanks to BMG Music Canada
for facilitating this interview through J
Having started your singing career at such a young
age, do you think youíre missing out at all? Or do you live a fairly
Yeah, I missed out a lot on my childhood and stuff that people my age
go through. But you know, I learned a lot in return. Outside of
the music, I feel like I run a fairly normal life. I mean, I have my
business life and my personal life. I try to separate the two.
If you bring the two together, it can stress you out. Youíve really
got to be focussed and know when to separate certain things and know where
to put certain situations and place them. For instance I didnít get a
chance to go home for Thanksgiving or any of the holidays because I was
working. Youíve got to be dedicated. I knew I was out here for a
great reason so itís not
anything I regret.
Whatís been your most difficult adjustment to the music industry? Whatís
the biggest lesson?
To be involved in what youíre doing and whatís being displayed of you as an
artist. You have to be involved and make the right decisions. Sometimes
itís real hard but you know you have to go with what you feel sometimes.
A lot of people have a lot of different opinions Ė youíre going to
an industry opinion, your own opinion and this opinion. So it gets hard but
youíve got to really focus on what your fans want to see.
You were raised in Baltimore. What events led up to your move to New York?
I left Baltimore before I even started with music. I was living in New
Jersey before I started singing. I left Baltimore to get away from
that environment. I wasnít seeing things I needed to see or meeting
people I needed to meet. I needed to broaden my horizons and meet new
people and see new things. That was the thing that changed my
life. When I came to New York, thatís when I got the opportunity to go
to J and meet Clive.
How did you come to work with Clive Davis?
It happened through my management. Knowing the right people, asking some
people that I knew who knew an A&R person that knew Clive.
Do you know any Canadian R&B artists? If so, who are your favourites?
Oh yeah, I know Glenn Lewis. K-os,
yes Iíve heard of him. Glenn Lewis is a great artist. Heís from Canada?
went on to say that his video for Let Me Love
You was shot in Toronto by Canadian
I realize that youíre a young guy, but what would you want people to
remember you for / say about you?
I want to be known for my
dedication to my music. And for the love I have for music and just as a
great R&B singer. Somebody who doesnít just do it for the industry and to
be in the limelight. For somebody that loves it because first it was in
their heart, then it was a making.
If you could work with any artist (living or past), who would they be?
Marvin Gaye and Stevie. I think
Beyonce has a beautiful voice. Stevie and Marvin definitely have something
in common. They took the music and made it a part of their everyday life.
They wrote about their lives. A lot of stuff that R&B artists do is made up
Ė some of it is. But they (Stevie and Marvin) sang about stuff that was
happening in the world and things that touch peopleís hearts all around the
world. You can still play a Marvin Gaye song and get the same reaction from
people like ĎOhh my goodness.í
[They wrote about]
pain, the good, everything.
I feel that you could be that young new guy with old skool influence. You
can hear it in your lyrics and for such a young guy, thatís a good
compliment. Do you have any plans to come to Toronto?
Weíre doing the promo in the U.S.
and everything but by next year, I should be out there.
I asked Mario about his upcoming film projects. Mario said that he has a
minor role in an independent film entitled ďDestination
FameĒ about kids trying to make it in the music industry. He
wanted to make clear that he is not playing one of the music students. He
is aspiring to hone his acting skills and hopes to secure more acting
It was a delight speaking with the youthful yet
seasoned music professional, Mario. Iíve put a vote in for a trip to
Toronto soon and perhaps even a collab with some Canadian artists!
For more info, check Mario's site: