An Interview With the Rising Singer, MARIO JOSE!
Posted On 04 Oct 2017
Fresh off his Heart Hope Love Tour, Mario Jose’ just announced he will be joining Leroy Sanchez on his upcoming U.S., Canada tour. Leroy Sanchez born in Spain, found his fame on Youtube in 2010 when well-known U.S. producer Jim Jonsin brought him to Miami to record music. In 2014, Leroy released 2 singles which prompted his nomination at the 2016 Teen Choice Awards in the “Next Big Thing” category. Leroy has just released his first album “Elevated” and has asked Mario Jose’ to open the tour.
Mario Jose has been singing his whole life but got his big break in 2010 on the second season of NBC’s The Sing-Off. Where he also met the a capella group Penatonix. Making a lifelong friendship with singer Scott Hoying who would be instrumental in assisting Mario in his career.
He then decided to give singing competitions another chance becoming Mariah Carey‘s favorite in season 12 of American Idol. Even though he didn’t take the title home, he never lost focus or determination. Shortly after that, he became an intern at MTV Networks to learn as much as could about the business side of the music industry. It was there that he met his now manager Ryan Aceto of AMMO Managment.
In 2014, he was the lead backup vocalist at the famed W Hotel in Hollywood for their weekly Jazz night. Singing backup for music icons such as; Justin Beiber, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, Nicole Scherzinger amongst others.
In 2015, Mario continued to learn every side of the music industry by landing a job as tour assistant for Penatonix US tour. It was then, Mario was asked to open for Penatonix at their Boston show at the Agganis Arena singing for 6k people (https://youtu.be/qk4kHnjcSuY).
2016 proved to be an eventful year for Mario’s career. Mario along with AMMO Management independently released his debut album Heart of Gold which climbed to #33 on iTunes Pop Charts and cracked the Top 200 overall albums. His music can be found on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, etc. He also hosted the PostModern JukeBox tour twice and most recently sang a duet with Meghan Trainor at the New Orleans Jazz Fest (https://youtu.be/PMRxMu39l8Q. He also caught the ear of music supervisor Rick Krimbel. Rick has placed his music in 2017 iHeart Radio Music Awards and 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards. Featuring his songs “Try Me’ & “Good Vibes (remix)”.
Connect With Mario Jose Here:
Learn more about Mario Jose in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood?
You’re welcome! This interview finds me in my bed in a Super 8 Motel in Austin, TX on our day off from tour. No music currently, just my guitarist/roommie sleeping. Haha. Anything Stevie Wonder will rip me out of a funk.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
Always have and probably always will want to be a musician. Daycare Talent Show, I sang My Funny Valentine.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your hometown has affected who you are as a musician and the art that you create?
Yes and no! In terms of excitement, no way. LOL. Don’t get me wrong, I love Concord, CA but it’s pretty suburban day to day life. The PEOPLE however absolutely shaped me, specifically my parents. I’m very close with them. They’ve always taught me to treat others with respect and love and think that definitely comes through in my music.
Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year? How has 2017 been treating you and your career?
I absolutely approached this year differently. I even spent NYE alone, making lists and taking time for myself and it’s been treating me well so far. I’m on my 4th tour this year already, my EP “Heart Of Gold” is about to celebrate it’s 1st birthday and I’ve taken a HUGE plunge into fitness and I’ve lost 30 pounds since June!
Can you recall what you learned from being on NBC’s The Sing-Off? How was meeting Penatonix and forming a friendship with singer Scott Hoying?
Boy oh boy, did I learn a lot. I learned that there’s so much the world doesn’t see when it comes to the reality competitions, in both good and bad ways. I saw it can tear friends apart and bring new amazing friends together, like it did with Pentatonix and I. Meeting them was so awesome, they’ve always been gems. Scott and I are just drawn to each other, we feed off of each other’s energy and I absolutely adore him. I couldn’t say a bad thing about him.
What made you decide to audition for another singing competition in the season 12 of American Idol? What was that experience like for you? Would you do any of these shows again today?
Wellp! Haha…I LOVED these shows growing up, we all did. I auditioned for Idol Season 12 because I had just moved to LA the year before and I thought “what the hell, if you get on, millions of people get to see you every week and even if you don’t win, they help get your face out there!” It was a trip…but what I took from it most are the lifelong friends I’ve made from it. I don’t plan on auditioning for any of these kinds of shows again.
What was it like finally releasing your debut album “Heart of Gold” in 2016? Did anything surprise you about that whole process?
It was a dream. My manager and I made sure everyone working on the EP lived up to it’s title and everyone did. Exceeded golden hearts, really. I was nervous because I had never released original music before, but with all the co-writers, producers, musicians and management, my nerves were wiped away. I was surprised at how many people donated their time, love and talents into it. I’m sure I’ll forever say “we” released “Heart Of Gold” because it took a village and I’m so grateful for everyone that was involved!
Are you currently working on new music? How do you think you have grown as an artist over the past few years? What has remained the same about you?
I AM! I’ve been writing a BUNCH lately and I’m so excited. I think my sound is always evolving in terms of production and melodic choices, but my writing and direction is pretty much along the same path. I have to sing from an honest place. Whether it be more story or a close friend’s that I’m writing about, I write from reality and relatable ideas.
You have a lot of touring experience under your belt so I am curious to know what you think the best part about it is? Right now, even, you are in the middle of an extensive tour so how has it been going? What have been some favorite venues or crowds so far?
Right now, I’m in LOVE with touring. My favorite part is meeting people in every city, seeing where they came from to be there and watching their faces light up when they know or like a song I’m singing. It’s surreal. Favorite venues include The El Rey Theatre (at the beginning of this “Elevated Tour” with Leroy Sanchez), Agganis Arena (opening for Pentatonix) and Hotel Café in LA.
With the summer being just about over, what is something fun that you tried for the first time?
I know this sounds SO lame, but Box Jumps at the gym! Lol. I’m obsessed with my gym Basecamp in WeHo.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these hard times?
I think as musicians, it’s our duty to acknowledge the hardships we’re going through and while we have an audience with us, let them know they’re safe, they’re not alone and that they’re appreciated and loved. We would NOT be there without our fans. I think there is TONS of great music being created to shine light on hard times. Logic & Alessia Cara and Pink! They’re leading the pack and I love it.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, John Legend, Carrie Underwood, Brian McKnight – all HUGE inspirations and would die to collaborate with any of them.
What do you hope fans take away from your music? Do you think that your music has a singular overall message at all?
I hope they take away that they’re not alone. Artists are real people with real lives and real problems. I think overall, there is a general aura of “loving life” in my music because I do love life. I hope others hear that too!
What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking about becoming a musician one day?
Don’t wait, start NOW. Start writing, start singing, start down that path towards your dream…and DON’T compare yourself to anyone. Everyone’s yellow brick road leads in a different direction, follow YOURS.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your forthcoming music?
Not much other than THANK YOU for reading and finding out a little bit more about me and my music. The stuff to come is gonna be great and I hope to see you along the way!