MiddleChild: What’s up?
Mario: Hey what’s up buddy? How you doing?
MiddleChild: I’m pretty good and yourself?
Mario: I’m doing good today man. It’s a good day.
MiddleChild: That’s what it do. Well first off lets go ahead and get the big question out the way for the fans.
Mario: What’s that?
MiddleChild: The issues with the album and it being delayed again. Was there…
Mario: Oh. How the album was delayed? Yea, well the first couple of times the album was delayed was because I wasn’t ready yet. I wasn’t ready to put the album out. I wasn’t ready. The songs weren’t ready. We were still kind of putting the plan together and everything. The other times it was really just conflict between me and the label, but now it’s fourth quarter man. We understand and I understand how good the album is and how great it is so it deserves to come out in fourth quarter.
MiddleChild: Okay. So what do you feel is the most important track on the album?
Mario: The most important track? Wow! In terms of what? Because I have to ask you that.
MiddleChild: Okay. Let’s go with vocally first.
Mario: Vocally? Well vocally the whole project. Each song I used my voice in different ways and the expression in different ways. I would probably say “Do Right” because I think I used my vocals in a different way on that track. So probably “Do Right” and this record called “Kryptonite”.
MiddleChild: I hear that. What about personally?
Mario: Personally? “Do Right”. It’s the most introspective song I’ve ever done that focused directly on my personal experience with my mother and growing up in Baltimore.
MiddleChild: I hear that. Well we know that when an album goes through delays and push backs it kind of affects sales. Not all the time, but for the most part albums are getting harder to sell these days. So how would you deem your project successful if it doesn’t necessarily sell like crazy numbers out the gate?
Mario: I mean. You know what? First week is important to me, but I think what’s more important is to continue to sell. I mean if you look at the stats of a lot of the artists in the past year, they have a great first week and then the second week they drop like 80% or 90% and then it’s like what now. So it’s important for my album just to stay leveled and to continue to sell more records and more records over time. Sometimes it takes people and certain markets more time to see more. So it’s all about how you work your project.
MiddleChild: Right. You have this cover on your album. Keith Sweat’s “Right And A Wrong Way”…
MiddleChild: It is the truth! That’s one of my favorites. So tell me what happens. When you decide to do a cover, how do you know which one is right to do?
Mario: Well it kind of came… I didn’t decide to do a cover on the album until I did it, know what I’m saying? The record is a great record. There is a right way and a wrong way to love somebody and you learned that as you come into manhood. You got your relationship situations and stuff and I learned that in my relationship experiences. So I hadn’t had a song like that on my last project or the one before that so I thought it was a cool song to cover. And Keith Sweat haven’t had a record out in awhile so I was like “let me bring Keith Sweat back”. (laughs)
MiddleChild: So was that your first choice as a cover?
Mario: Yea! You know what the dope thing is. A lot of my fans may not know it’s a Keith Sweat record, but their moms or their older sisters would or their older brothers would.
MiddleChild: That’s it. (laughs) So tell me who you would like to do a duet with that may surprise your fans.
Mario: Probally Keyshia Cole. Yea, Keyshia or Natasha Bedingfield… or Alicia Keys too. But I think the most surprising would be Natasha because Alicia is a label mate.
MiddleChild: You worked with Juelz Santana on the album, right?
Mario: Yep. Juelz is on a track called “Let Me Watch” that I did with Colli Park.
MiddleChild: That’s kind of a switch up for you though, right? Something different.
Mario: A switch up for me in terms of what I’ve put out there, yea, but who I am as a person…naw not really. When you hear the record it’s a real sensual club record. It’s for the club and for the bedroom at the same time.
MiddleChild: That’s what’s up. Your title track “Go!” is hot. I love the sound of it.
MiddleChild: What was your inspiration for that?
Mario: The inspiration for the record “Go!”…club, personality, honesty and… sex. (laughs) and women. That was the inspiration behind the track and me just having those type of experiences being in the club. I didn’t go out much up until I was probably like 19 or 20. I really started going out and starting feeling those club experiences and I really think it’s one of those records that reflects those experiences like that.
MiddleChild: Right. You were going to do a tour with Kelly Rowland and I know some things happened that put that off or whatever…
Mario: Yea. We did some shows, but for whatever reason her management dropped out of a lot of shows. It didn’t go as we planned it to go and I hope to never to have an experience like that again.
MiddleChild: I hear that. Well you two are definitely two of the sleeper hits of the year in my opinion. Both albums are the truth. So tell me if you could do like a “Men Strike Back” type tour. What other two males would you throw on the tour with you?
Mario: Two other males on tour with me? NeYo and…I don’t know. NeYo and Chris Brown. NeYo and Trey Songz. Yea. Me, NeYo and Trey Songz. Something like that.
MiddleChild: My peoples. (laughs) You had a good album last go round also, but you were pretty much overlooked for the Grammy. How did that make you feel?
Mario: Ah man. I was sick that I didn’t win a Grammy. I was sick. Being nominated wasn’t good enough for me. It wasn’t. I can be politically correct and say “it was nice to be nominated”, but I was sick because I definitely thought I was going to win. It’s that warm, hot sensation that comes over you when you hear them say somebody else’s name. It’s crazy, but that’s the art of the game man. It’s competition and there was a lot of good music out that year. I felt like John Legend had a very strong year that year and he put out some strong records. I don’t know man. I think it had a lot to do with the type of song it was and my age. I don’t know if people took it serious because of my age at the time and how mature the record was and how mature it sound because of my voice and the soulfulness of it. You know what I’m saying? I just think it was a lot of things that went against me not winning the Grammy.
MiddleChild: Okay. And speaking of the age game. You have a pretty strong voice to be your age. Do you feel that is a double-edged sword? Do you think it hurts you or plays against you?
Mario: Not anymore. Not anymore. I think people are really starting to realize that I had it going on. Like my voice is changed and changed for the better. Like over the last few years I learned how to use it to where I’m not hurting myself vocally. Know what I mean? Sometimes you can use your voice when it changes where it can be detrimental to your voice and I didn’t do that, so it’s a blessing.
MiddleChild: Well let me tell you what MY favorite record is.
Mario: What’s your favorite record? What is it?
MiddleChild: I mean besides you doing the damn thing on “Right And A Wrong Way”.
Mario: So you did like the Keith Sweat record, huh?
MiddleChild: Yep. But the one I really really love is “Why”.
Mario: “Why”? The record “Why”.
MiddleChild: Yes sir. It’s something about that joint that makes me wild out.
Mario: That’s the record I did with my production team, The Knightwritahz. Marsha Ambrosia and I wrote the record together.
MiddleChild: Who did you have the most chemisty with in the studio?
Mario: I definitely had the most chemistry with…probably the Knightwritahz. My team. We been together for over a year and a half and we get each other. We like working together, but I also had a lot of fun with Polow Da Don too. He did “Crying Out For Me”. Everyone was cool. Some artists I had a better relationship than others, but for the most part everyone was pretty cool.
MiddleChild: That’s big. So any plans for the next single yet or are you debating?
Mario: I’m debating. It’s between… you know what. I’m not even gonna tell you that. You’ll see. (laughs)
MiddleChild: (laughs) Well we’ll be surprised then. How about that?
Mario: I’m in a great position right now. It’s kind of hard picking the next single cause it’s actually many good records on the project, which is a great position to be in. So you’ll see man. “Why” is definitely one of my favorite songs on the project though.
MiddleChild: Well hopefully we get something on that down the line. Whether it’s just me seeing you perform it live or something.
Mario: Absolutely! That would definitely be great. That’ll be dope. So I’ll see you there.
MiddleChild: That’s what’s up. We’ll be on the lookout for the album dropping December 11th and we definitely got love for you at MiddleChild Promotions so you keep doing your thing man and don’t let nothing or no one shake ya!
Mario: No doubt man. Appreciate that.
MiddleChild: No problem. You have a good day Mario.
Mario: Alright. Thanks.
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