“My sound is unique. Sometimes I tell people it’s an acquired taste; not what you normally hear,” Mark said. “You can’t hold down a man with soul.”
Reared in a musical family, Mark began singing in church when he was a boy. He admired musical icons like John Legend, R. Kelly and Usher, and says Marvin Gaye is "one of the best that ever did it."
His talent was recognized by others when he led a song at church, but Mark said he didn’t truly pursue singing until he was ready.
“I started taking [my gift] seriously myself and started doing shows and performances in high school,” Mark recalled. “From there, things have moved forward and I haven’t looked back since.”
His newest single, “Ain’t Gone Change,” was recently released on iTunes and took his career up a notch as it gave Mark his first radio play.
“It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve written to date; and I’ve written a lot of songs,” he said. “It’s just been a blessing. It’s gotten me in doors and people I look up to are fans of the song. I’m like ‘For real? You like my song?’ If I could note everyone’s name and phone number, I would call them and have a conversation of how much I love them.”
One of the opportunities Mark has experienced since releasing “Ain’t Gone Change” is competing in BET’s “Apollo Live” in New York City, an endeavor he called both incredible and crazy.
“It was literally one of the best moments of my career thus far,” the singer remembers about performing Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky.” “I stood on the same stage where some of the greatest legends were made. Even though I didn’t win, I gained so much.”
Mark’s loss didn’t stop him from rocking the stage and doing what he loves; especially in his hometown. He recently opened for former American Idol finalist Syesha Mercado (Season 7) and performed with special guest and Broadway star Chester Gregory (“CHESS”).
“Syesha is awesome! We really chopped it up artist-to-artist. She shared some things with me and I was able to do the same with her.”
The performer added that Chester taught him to be open-minded and not set limits for himself, especially since Mark aspires to hit the Broadway stage himself one day.
“Places where I thought I was going he showed me ‘no there’s more to go.’ He really sharpened me and dropped a lot of knowledge about the industry and acting.”
Fans can expect his first album, Mark My Words, to be available this year. Full of soul, urban and contemporary pop, the album will have a positive spin with no compromise.
“I don’t sing about alcohol, drugs, sex––nothing like that. It’s definitely radio friendly and stands out with a little bit of a different message. Mark my words...”
Mark is without question on his way to a game-changing career. He wants his fans to know that no matter where he goes from here, he will never fail to show his appreciation.
“People don’t have to rock with you, buy your music or come to your shows,” Mark said. “It’s just amazing to me the support I’ve been given. I’m here to stay. I got my fans and I’m holding them down. I’m not going to compromise my message or who I am. I’m gonna be Mark J.P. Hood till the day I die.”