With his first album since 2007’s “Go” dropping soon, we sat down with Mario to see what the vision for his album was. He not only gave us insight into his forthcoming project but also talked about his PETA campaign, acting career and the legacy he’d like to leave on the music industry. Mario even dishes about what is up with the bald head….
Singersroom: How did you end up with the title “And Then There Was Me”?
Mario: That’s the name of my movement. That’s the name of me. There’s been a huge change in me personally and more than anything that’s what the title means to me.
Singersroom: What has inspired you since “Go”?
Mario: Really just wanting to become more of a challenge for myself as far as being a performer, a writer, and an entertainer in general. One of the things I feel like has kept me around as an artist in our generation is the fact that I have made transitions on each album and (am still) continuing to do that you know…. that’s what keeps my fans and influences fans. I want to say everything that I’ve done, even outside of music (you know doing TV shows and doing shows out of the country) all of it influences me as an artist. You’ll hear that on the album, it’s a lot different. My last album was very R&B driven, I would say this one is still very musical but it’s not as R&B as my last record.
Singersroom: What was your inspiration for the first single “Break Up”? Is it based on a true story?
Mario: Very true story. It’s written in a very different way than I would usually sing or perform a situation like that. It’s written from a male perspective. It’s not your normal “baby please don’t break up with me, I know I did wrong I want to do right now” â it’s not that record. It’s more like “why,” like why break up when you’re going to have to do the same thing with somebody else (and) start all over again. So it’s definitely a true story. It’s real hot! It’s true in a lot of ways not just for me (but) for a lot of my friends.
Singersroom: That’s what I was going to say, did it happen to your personally? Who broke your heart?
Mario: No, I didn’t say anybody broke my heart. I wasn’t heartbroken I was more disappointed than anything. It’s almost like you’re not breaking up with me because of what you think is going on but you’re not working off of a factual situation. It’s just what you think is going on.(laughs) So that’s what it’s about, it’s like I’m questioning her. There are all these question marks like “Okay, so Lauren is perfect right ?” You have a good time when we’re together. I’ve never broken your heart. I’m pretty much a good man to you. I’m real with you. I’m good to you, I take care of you when you need to be taken care of and when you want to be taken care of, so why would you want to break up and you’ll have to do the same thing with somebody else?
So that’s pretty much what that’s talking about. But the idea with the record was to come out with a record that continues to separate me as an artist. Shout out to Sean Garrett, he’s an incredible artist as well as an incredible writer who helped me come up with a lot of ideas. He’s on the song. It’s Gucci Mane and Sean Garrett.
Singersroom: In the past most of your singles did not feature rappers. What led to the change this go around on “Break Up”?
Mario: I’ve always done records that were just me and I was able to just express myself as a singer and do records I love to do. With this record I wanted to be able to show my personality. I haven’t been able to do that on most of my records, they have been just good radio songs or good records to listen to; make love to; or whatever you want to do to them. But with this record, it’s a record for the clubs. I wanted to go to the club and be able to hear my music playing, because you know they don’t play mid tempo or slow records/slow jams in the club unless it’s like the end of the night or whatever. But this is a record that you can play in the club.
Gucci Mane is just somebody that I respect as an up and coming talent and up and coming entrepreneur. You know he’s got a long career ahead of him, so it was Sean’s idea as well as mine to put him on. He’s loved in my hometown (Baltimore). When I go home and go out he gets love like that so it’s like come on let’s do it.
Singersroom: In 2004 we witnessed a “Turning Point” in your music. With a few films under your belt now, where would you like to go next on the ‘big screen’?
Mario: On the big screen…I think I want to get into the households of America, continue to grow and do films that ultimately show a personal and talent growth. But that comes with a lot of hard work and persistence. And you know doing films you could always go the independent route, do your own film or whatever. Hopefully I’ll get the right role in the next couple of months or in the next year or so that will allow me to do that.
I would like to do maybe a romantic comedy, an action film — you know film that’s significant to the culture of our new world. Maybe something political that will allow me to step out of my comfort zone a little bit. I don’t know, we’ll see. We’ll see what happens there are a lot of good scripts out there.
Singersroom: There was a rumor about you linking up with Tyler Perry, is there some truth to that?
Mario: As far as Tyler, I haven’t talked with him personally about anything yet â that’s something that we’re going to speak into existence. But I would definitely, definitely work with Tyler on something. I enjoy his films so I would definitely like to make something with him.
Singersroom: You’re the new face of PETA, how did that come up?
Mario: One of the ways that came about was through my publicist but also, I met with them at an event and they asked me if I wore fur and I told them “no.” I’ve always been an animal lover. I’ve always had an animal whether it be a snake or dog. I’ve always had animals growing up. So they asked me if I’d be a part of their campaign against killing animals and I was like yeah of course. I don’t hunt animals; I don’t kill animals â I might each chicken a lot. Eat a lot of lame meats but other than that I’m good with it. So that’s how that came about.
Singersroom: Be honest, have you worn a fur, chinchilla or some other form of apparel in the past and regretted it?
Mario: I was offered on photo shoots and stuff like that but it was never my thing. When I was 3younger I used to really like jerseys as you probably could see in my first video (“Just a Friend 2002”). Jerseys, sweat suits and stuff like that but I wasn’t really a fur person. Now I can’t say that I haven’t seen something that I liked but naw, you won’t see me wearing furs.
Singersroom: This is a fan question… what made you shave your head bald?
Mario: It really allows me to feel good. I really love the bald feel of it.
Not to sound cocky but, I feel like I can do anything and I’m comfortable with it. My motivation behind it was really me getting tired of getting cuts. I got this product I just put on my hair; put on my face where I don’t want the hair and just wipe it off â and it’s gone. No razors, no nothing.
When I grow my hair back I’ll probably grow it all the way out too. Do something different with it.
Singersroom: What do you want to be remembered for ? What legacy do you want to leave on the music industry?
Mario: What I would like to be remembered for most is having a voice. Having a career that spanned through generations and continuing to inspire other talent and introduce new talent to the industry â that would be fulfilling for me.
I’m starting with the name and it’s called Soul Truth â Soul Truth Entertainment.
Singersroom: Are you looking for talent ?
Mario: I’m looking for partners. People who already have a love for it, that understand and want to create a legacy of their own. Really Soul Truth just stands for the true essence of what’s from your soul â what you truly give out to the universe.
—— By: Interview By Lauren Walker