So the happiness hasn’t ended with Dez?
[Laughs] Next question! I’ll say this, we were friends before anything and that’s my homie right there. And you know, anything else is between me and her.
Gotcha. What helped you refocus on music?
When you go through things like that, strength comes in. When you have to be stronger than people think you are, you just have to do it. I know theres something bigger for me out there and for my mom. I have a job to do… a very important job. And I love music. At the end of the day it all goes back to that. One of the most frustrating things is that when I make the music I wanna make it doesn’t always get out to my fans because there’s something called a record label that tries to change directions.
What direction are you trying to go with on this 5th album?
I wanna give as much honesty as I can. I want to be honest, but grab the attention of everybody, but still compete so when you hear it on the radio it’s pushing the envelope. The melodies coming out of me now are unorthodox— melodies I’ve never expressed before. Hopefully when I finally play it for my label, J Records, who’ve I always had a battle with… what they wanted, what I wanted… how they see me, how I see me… [they like it.]
How does your label see you?
More than anything it’s been a battle because I’ve been with them since 15. So now being a grown man and having experiences that people don’t even know about and wanting to share them… to them it’s a risk and they just want me to just stay strictly R&B. But I want to make records that people can relate to. If I feel like the world is going to end tomorrow, I want to write about that. And I feel like I have the talent for it. Like you cant tell Marvin Gaye to not write “What’s going on” so if you tell me I’m one of the greatest singers of my generation, than why won’t you let me emote and tell my story? My story isn’t about some young pop star who came through at 15 and made it. Nah. I got struggles. I went through things just like another young man in the streets. And of course I have my experiences with women, that’s not going anywhere, but that’s the easy part as far as writing goes. It’s about finding that happy music between organic real music and mainstream music.
Definitely, how deep are you with this album?
I’m just getting into the crevices of that thing right there. You know it’s the 5th album so I’m on pins and needles. I haven’t been fully focused on it just yet, but I’ve got five tracks that are definitely going on. And they’re like movies, they’re intense.
Do you think you’ll write a song centered on your mother?
I think with the direction I’m going in there will be a track that lends itself to that.
What about this mixtape coming out first… what can we expect from that?
Well, I’ve been working on it for three months now, it’s all original music. I’ve always been a fan of giving away original shit. Its straight R&B music. The album is definitely deeper, but this mixtape is for the people that are like ‘We don’t wanna hear no pop records from you Mario, you’re one of the greatest singers of our generation, we wanna hear you sing nigga.’ That should be dropping around December 26. Even with all the ups and downs this year has been really motivating and I feel ready. It’s time for another run. V