Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 15th 2010 4:59PM by Donna Rodgers
How did you start your career in music and when did you become a DJ?
I started DJing at college, and was basically all about crazy college radio vibe: anything goes! College radio makes commercial radio look like some kind of straightjacket scenario. It's just crazy -- who listens to any one style, all the time? Nobody. Anyway, after college I went to Paris for a couple of years and started throwing art parties. When I moved back to N.Y., I kept going. I wanted to combine contemporary art with hip hop and electronic music, and I guess people responded in a way that made it all work. When I released my first album in the mid 1990s, 'Songs of a Dead Dreamer,' it sold a lot more than almost all electronic music albums of that year. The rest -- album deals, global touring, production collaborations, etc., all came out of the mid-'90s when I graduated from university.
Where do you like to play?
I love to play in Asia -- anywhere. Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo ...
How do you describe your sound?
My style is all about the beginnings of hip hop: when you could mix anything with anything. That's what made it all sound so cool when it was new - there were no rules yet. These days, everyone is caught up trippin' on playlist consistency. Where's the surprise when a computer or a person who just plays the same style all the time is doing your party? That's what I want to break down and open up everything to surprise.
What are your musical influencecs?
My music influences come from literature, stuff like William S. Burroughs, Ralph Ellison, Jack Kerouac, Zora Neale Hurston, Don DeLillo, and jazz, rock, hip hop like Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, My Bloody Valentine, the Doors, the Fugs, the Boredoms, Sonic Youth, and experimental jazz hip hop and sample-based stuff from A Tribe Called Quest, Jastin Warfield, Bomb the Bass, Kenny Dope, etc., and more contemporary crews like Anti Pop Consortium, DJ Krush, RJD2, Diplo, King Britt, etc., even crazy mainstream house like Bob Sinclair or Masters at Work. It's all about being open to anything.
What's in your festival survival kit?
I just need two bags. My computer and extra hard drives, cell phone, and four changes of clothes. Basic vibe -- keep it minimal. I have about six SXSW appearances but it's all digital, so I'm all good. Keep it light, baby!
Do you have any vices?
I try to keep focused. If you had asked me that when I was 27 and doing tours with Redman, Everclear or the Black Eyed Peas, I guess I would have said, "nah, I'm all about the party." Those days, I was the party. These days, I make the party happen for other people, but keep it all mellow for me personally, ya dig?
Beatles or Stones?
Definitely the Stones. They were much wilder, although John Lennon is my favorite of both bands.
Did you have a first celebrity crush?
Nah. A lot of celebrities are mad stupid.
What was the craziest moment you've ever experienced on the road?
Getting robbed in Russia, having an AK-47 pointed at my head!
Donna Rodgers is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.