How R&B Singer Mario Rebuilt His Confidence

‘Once we get rid of fear, we’re just going to have a better world—we’re just going to be fucking unstoppable’

Mario wants you to let him love you and let him be everything you want and need, all over again. Nearly ten years have passed since Billboard named the R&B vet one of its artists of the decade, partly on the strength of “Let Me Love You,” his inescapable hit that ended the 2000s ranked as the decade’s eighth “most successful single.”

What has Mario been doing lately?

The Baltimore-bred crooner resurfaced with his long-awaited fifth studio album, Dancing Shadows, finally arriving in October 2018, nine years after his previous release. Mario promoted his new music with appearances on The Wendy Williams Show, MTV’s Total Request Live and The Breakfast Club—reminding people of his luring melodies, heart-tickling falsetto and confident aura. It was a big October for Mario because Fox also announced that the singer/actor had been cast as Benny Coffin for Rent Live, the TV musical that aired in January 2019. Following that, Mario joined the nostalgia-inducing Millennium Tour, which launched in March and wraps up in May, alongside B2K.

Mario set fear aside for his comeback

Mario has been building his confidence ever since performing in middle-school talent shows, he tells ONE37pm in a Live From the Bar Cart podcast interview. In this audio snippet from the podcast episode, Mario reminisces about how singing a Boyz II Men song helped him make friends by impressing classmates who initially hated him.

Mario admits that pressure from his music industry peers over the past decade stifled his energy, but he’s actively setting his fears aside for this new era in his career, which will include an acting stint on Fox’s Empire and a book. The revived confidence is evident in his new Jake Gosling–produced “Good Times” track when he sings, “Don't make it hard when it's easy / You don’t need a reason to have a good time,” over guitar riffs from legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy. 

“Fear is something that’s around us all the time and it subconsciously beats in our head,” he says. “The energy of fear and what it does to us collectively can suppress the growth. Once we get rid of fear, we’re just going to have a better world—we’re just going to be fucking unstoppable.”

Listen to the full Mario podcast here: AppleSpotify | Google | iHeartStitcher | TuneIn

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