Mario – Artist Management
Mario Dewar Barrett (born August 27, 1986), known mononymously as Mario, is an American R&B singer-songwriter, actor, dancer and model. He is best known for his singles “Just a Friend 2002” (2002) and “Let Me Love You” (2004), which won him two Billboard awards, as well as for appearing in the films Step Up and Freedom Writers. He has released four studio albums: Mario (2002), Turning Point (2004), Go (2007), and D.N.A. (2009). In the end of 2000’s decade, Mario was ranked by Billboard #98 on their “Artist of the Decade” list.
Main article: Mario (album)
Mario began recording his debut album Mario in July 2001, nearly a year before releasing it in March 2002. The lead single “Just a Friend 2002”, which was a cover of Biz Markie’s hit, was an instant success, peaking at #1 on the charts. Follow up singles were “Braid My Hair” & “C’mon” . He was the opening act on the Scream Tour 3, which featured B2K,Marques Houston, Nick Cannon, Jhené Aiko, and AJA. As of 2006, his debut album has sold over 700,000 copies. During this period, he became a draw in the teen market.
Turning Point (2004–2006)
Main article: Turning Point (Mario album)
After his debut album was released, Mario wanted to record an album that was more mature. He enlisted a number of well-known producers to help him, such as Scott Storch & Lil’ Jon. He released his second album, Turning Point on December 7, 2004. The album was more successful than his first, mainly because of the hit single “Let Me Love You”. The single, described by reviewers as “melodic and sweetly lilting, reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s vintage romantic ballads”was successful, peaking at the number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for nine consecutive weeks. The single is written by Ne-Yo. Other follow up singles include “How Could You” co-written by J. Valentine, with a cameo appearance in the video by rapper Cassidy; “Here I Go Again” (whose video starred model/singer Cassie) and “Boom” featuring Juvenile. To date, Turning Point has sold platinum and the lead single double-platinum.
In February 2006, Mario filed a lawsuit against his former manager, Troy Patterson, alleging that Patterson had paid him $50,000 for the sale of more than 3 million records, which was later found to be false accusations. Mario was later sued by Patterson and lost. Mario’s new manager is J. Erving and he was chosen by Mario.
Main article: Go (Mario album)
Mario’s third album Go is dedicated to his mom Shawntia Hardaway and was released in South Africa under Gallo Records on October 9, 2007, in the U.S. on December 11, 2007. The album includes collaborations with Jermaine Dupri, Ne-Yo, Janice Robinson, Scott Storch, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Timbaland and Bryan-Michael Cox. Mario, who has described the album as “sex…more personal…more passionate”, had more creative control on Go than on his previous two albums. The first single to be lifted from the album was “How Do I Breathe” which was released in May. The second single was “Crying Out for Me” after a poll on his website. The single was later certificated Gold by the RIAA. On December 13, 2007, Mario was on “106 & Park” where he stated that the third single off the album will be “Music for Love”. The entire album was made available for the public to listen to on his Myspace page before its release. He also has a new song that came out on December 11, “Do Right”. Go has sold 331,540 copies in the U.S.
In an interview with DJ “Z”, Mario stated that problems with the record label caused the album launch to be pushed back 6–8 months. In 2008, Mario competed on season six of Dancing With the Stars. He was partnered with Karina Smirnoff. They were eliminated in week eight of the competition.
Main article: D.N.A. (Mario album)
In a 2009 interview with Rap-Up.com, Mario said that “Soul Truth Entertainment” was his new entertainment company. Before the release of his third album Go, Mario confirmed in an interview with that he was working on a new album “by the time school starts back up, like after next summer” “But there’s really even more than that, ’cause I’m gonna start recording, like, the end of January”. The album is involving a wide range of producers and songwriters such as Darkchild, Babyface, Polow da Don, RedOne, and CJ of Charlio Productions, Malay, Jazze Pha, Stargate, KP, Tricky Stewart and The-Dream as confirmed by Mario. Mario said that he would like to work with no more than 4 producers for this album. Mario has described this album as World music, an old school R&B influenced with a modern dance pop sound. The album is being described as his “most personal, colossal album of his career.”
In January 2009, Mario became the face of Pelle Pelle’s European Spring/Summer campaign with various press shots running through the first part of the year. For his fourth album D.N.A., the lead single “Break Up” was released on April 28, 2009. The song features Sean “The Pen” Garrett and Gucci Mane. In the US, the song, have peaked at number 2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Chart and 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Mario’s most successful single in five years. The single has been recently certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for a shipment of over 500,000 units as a . “Thinkin’ About You”, was released as the second single reaching number forty-five on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Chart. “Stranded” never labelled as the third single due to the limited airplay that it received. Lack of interest led to the single being cancelled, although in January 2010 the song entered on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs peaking at number 84. “Ooh Baby” was later confirmed to be the third single from the album, it peaked on the week of March 19, 2010 debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 95. The entire album was made available for the public to listen to on his Myspace page before its release. The album debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200, selling 38,000 copies in its first week, becoming Mario’s lowest-selling debut in the United States. So far, it has sold 93,385 copies in the US.
Fifth studio album (2011–present)
Mario is currently working on his fifth studio album which is currently untitled. Prior to this Mario recorded a whole album with Producer Rico Love from 2010 to mid-2011. Songs from this album included My Bed, Killa, Bermuda, The Walls, Recovery, Falling Down and Computer Love. Furthermore, During Mario’s appearance on BET’s 106 & Park on July 10, 2013, Mario stated he felt this album recorded with Rico Love did not feel part of his career plan and he scrapped the album and went on to record his current album to be released in September 2013. For Mario’s fifth album he has stated the album will include “Love songs, Ballads, Club Records and General R&B”, Mario has said there will be no EDM Records on this album. Mario Took Writers Jeremiah “Sickpen” Bethea and Jimi Bonet under his wing amongst others to write for this album. Production on the album include the likes of Glass John, BAM ALEXANDER, Pollow da Don and possibly Ne-Yo.
In an interview with Vibe, Mario was asked what direction he was trying to go with on his fifth album; his answer was, “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”. He also confirmed he has five tracks that are definitely going on. “These tracks are like movies, they are intense”, he added. Nevertheless, the album will probably feature a song centered on his mother, written by himself. On October 7, RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding J Records along with Arista Records and Jive Records. With the shutdown, Mario (and all other artists previously signed to these three labels) will release his future material on the RCA Records brand.
Through his official twitter page, on May 17, 2013, he confirmed that he has been working with Polow Da Don, for the lead single “Somebody Else” featuring rapper Nicki Minaj was already recorded and released. The song was made available in the iTunes Store on May 21, 2013. He also thanked to Polow Da Don, Jeremiah Renaldo, Nicki Minaj and CJ Hilton for composing the song. He also stated that his album, will be released in September 2013 and guest appearances from Nicki Minaj, J. Cole & Sevyn Streeter. “Fatal Distraction” which features J. Cole will be his next single. Mario Announced during a USTREAM interview with Music Choice, his album will be released on September 17, 2013.He will announce his fifth album title soon.