Meet Chicago-based singer-songwriter Mark Justin-Paul Hood (Mark J.P. Hood). The 20-year-old artist is working tirelessly to create his own unique sound of music. Determined to show the world his talent, he plans to leave a mark on all the lives that his music touches.
Mark was raised in the church. His father is a pastor and so was his grandfather. It was in the church where Mark began developed his love for music. He sang in the choir and played the organ and keyboard. Interestingly, Mark was never thought of him as a solo singer. His friends and family often joked about his raspy vocals, referring to it as a “frog voice.” They never knew that would be his signature singing style.
Mark claims that he makes good R&B music. He doesn’t use profanity nor defames women.
Mark’s leading musical influences are: Chris Brown, John Legend, Jaime Foxx, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Musiq, Tank, Jazmine Sullivan, Kim Burrell, Smokie Norful, Ryan Leslie, and Michael Jackson.
He has performed all over Chicago and the state of Illinois. Mark is gearing up to take his music career to the next level. RatedRnB.com had the opportunity to chop it up with the young artist.
Check out our interview with Mark Hood below:
KD: Is there a difference between Mark Hood the artist and the everyday Mark Hood?
There isn’t much of a difference. I always tell people that singing isn’t just a hobby for me, it’s a lifestyle. It’s who I am. I try my best to keep who I am as a person in my music. Everything people hear is a direct reflection of who I am.
KD: You just released your debut single “Ain’t Gone Change” in August. How does it feel to have your first official single on iTunes and Amazon?
WOW was all I could say! Seeing myself on [iTunes and Amazon] was kind of surreal. I’m so used to buying my favorite artist’s music on there. When I bought my own, I knew I had took a giant step in the right direction. When people tell me they bought it, it’s a crazy, indescribable feeling.
KD: Can you give our readers a brief concept behind “Ain’t Gon’ Change?” What inspired you to write this song?
Well, the concept is a man telling his girl that he is never going to leave her. It’s very simple and to the point. There isn’t much love music out. There’s love music with the underlying sex factor. I wanted this song to be about good love. So that’s what you got.
KD: What artists are you currently listening to?
Chris Brown, John Legend, Usher, Ryan Leslie, R.Kelly and Tank.
KD: Cool. Those are all talented artists in the R&B world
KD: If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
I would have to narrow it down to two. The first would be R.Kelly. He’s the King of RnB and his music is incredible. Working with him would build me as a singer and artist so much. He has so much knowledge and a lot of freedom in his music, which I admire so much. Also, Chris Brown. He is my favorite artist. He’s an amazing singer and a crazy performer! I admire him a lot.
KD: There’s been a debate that R&B music is dead. Do you agree or disagree? What’s your take on the current state of R&B music?
I wouldn’t say it’s dead; however, I will say that it isn’t as alive as pop, country etc. There are artists keeping it going, but further, the question is where is the money? Some artists stray from RnB because it may not sell as much as another type. The state of RnB isn’t in such a bad condition, but there is room for me and other artist, to keep it going!
KD: You’ve performed all over the Chicago area. Where have you performed? How do you prepare for a performance?
I’ve performed at places such as Red Kiva, Rumba, and The Victor Hotel. For me there isn’t too much preparation. When I’m on stage, it’s all about a feel and energy that can’t be rehearsed or prepared for. My background singers are a very important part, though.We spend a lot of time rehearsing, but after that we all get on stage and just leave our hearts out.
KD: Chicago is the hometown of great singers like R. Kelly, Cutris Mayfield, Shaka Khan, Avant, and Syleena Johnson. Does being from Chicago play a role in your music style?
It definitely does. [Chicago] is such a talented city. There are musicians and singers everywhere. I feel that it is indeed a blessing, so much to hear and learn from. Iron sharpens iron! R.Kelly being one of my idols, his music is definitely an influence. I love my city. I’m glad to have grown up and heard all that I have.
KD: What’s next for Mark Hood? New music? Upcoming performances? We want to know!
New music is coming very soon! A new single, many features and an album coming out next year, which I’m really excited about. I perform all the time. Connect with me!
KD: How can our readers reach you?
- “Ain’t Gon Change”