Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Feb 24th 2010 10:51AM by Rob Needham
Describe your sound in your own words.
My sound is extremely universal. From the beats, which are very melodic, which makes it easy on the ears and kind of pop-sounding, but heavy and hard hitting drums which keeps the hard and street essence of hip hop instilled in the music -- to the lyrics, where I showcase a lot of my personality, which I think I have a lot of [laughs]. From my charisma, to my play on words, to my song concepts, I try to stay original and ahead of the curve as possible.
How did XV come to be?
I've always known I wanted to do music. I mean I even had a 3-kid singing group in the 5th grade! But it wasn't until I lost a close friend of mine the summer before I went into high school when I decided that I for sure knew that this is what I wanted to do as an actual career. That's when I took the proper steps of teaching myself how to record my own music, get it distributed, contact record labels -- I spent a lot of nights in Barnes and Noble that summer.
What are some of your influences?
I'm highly influenced off of video games and movies. All it takes is one interesting word to be heard, and I've got a song title. That's how I came up with my single, 'Mirror's Edge,' from the XBOX 360 video game. The song isn't talking about the video game, I just felt it fit the same mood as that video game and I liked the fact that the game was about running free and defying laws of gravity in real life. My musical influences would have to be Andre 3000, who is my favorite rapper of all time, Rivers Cuomo from Weezer, Jay-Z, John Mayer, Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco.
How did you come up with the name XV?
XV is the roman numerals for 15 as many know, and I used that because that was the age I was when I decided to take music seriously and pursue this as a career. I found that to be a young age, and that age was a huge turning point in my life, so I decided to stick with that as my moniker as I became a rapper.
What's your biggest vice?
I'm a loner! Like, I am good at being social, I like talking to people, and everything. But, I like being alone. And that vice ties in with me not liking to go out, leave my house, talk on the phone, all kinds of things. I've been this way since I was a kid, and that's how I got the nickname, 'Hoffa,' like Jimmy Hoffa. Because my friend told me, "I bet I could find Jimmy Hoffa before I found you [laughs]!" And it's crazy that I got that name in 1999 and a decade later I'm still that way. I really wish I wasn't though, because it puts a huge strain on my relationships if somebody doesn't understand me well.
What's in your festival survival kit?
A lot of coke. And I mean, Coca-Cola! The latest issues of OXM [Official XBOX Magazine], Game Informer, DVD's of 'Superbad' and 'Stepbrothers,' Brian Azzarello's 'Joker,' and my Megapr0n hard drive, which is 2 terabytes of...porn [laughs].
Do you feel your Kansas origins will continue to be a theme in your writing?
For a while now. I'm trying to transform from Clark Kent on 'Smallville' to Superman though. You don't hear too much about the Clark Kent on 'Superman' talking his head off about Kansas. But, he had to go through a hero journey to get there, and right now I'm just enjoying the hero journey, so I must speak on my roots because that's what made me who I am. There has never been an industry success out of my home state, so I speak on it so that when I reach it, it's a big deal!
What's your musical guilty pleasure? What's hiding on your iPod?
The group, LMFAO [laughs]. II wouldn't even be able to explain to you why I like or listen to it. It's just funny, entertaining, and awesome to me. I just think that they are really good at showing their personality in their music, and they're just like these 2 guys who love to party, f--- girls, and get drunk. But they talk about it in a humorous and charasmatic way that I can enjoy.
Beatles or Stones?
Beatles! Their writing process was so amazing, and their journey through so many periods of time and the changes in their music is spell-bounding to me.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
I would say this porn star named Brandy Talore coming to one of my shows in Ohio, and she was like with this dude in a wheelchair that I think was her pimp. It was kinda awkward. But she had found me on MySpace and saw my tour dates and came out. She took a picture with me and pulled down her shirt and had me take a picture holding her boobs. I wasn't sure if the pic was for me or her. But, I don't have the picture, so I'm guessing it was for her [laughs]. I just feel like I got, "more" out of it. Unfair trade, Brandy, unfair trade.
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