CURTIS PEOPLES

* Your musical inspirations?

U2, the Beatles, Pearl Jam, Michael Jackson

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

Beatles "Rubber Soul", U2 "All That You Can't Leave Behind", Pearl Jam "Yield, Counting Crows "Hard
Candy",

* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

Music has helped me at every moment of my life that I had struggle. It has made me feel better at any moment I was sad or in pain...

Curtis Peoples BIO

A songwriter with an understanding for what it takes to make a great pop record, 23-year old Curtis Peoples crafts songs that fans of rock to acoustic folk and pop can enjoy. As Curtis explains, "I try to make music that I would want to hear, so it's got to have a little bit of all the things I love..."


Curtis Peoples began his musical career at the young age of twelve, playing in a number of local bands in his native San Diego. After years of developing his songwriting and performance skills, Curtis decided to go out on his own as a solo artist. He initially played countless shows around Southern California, went on tour with best friend and fellow singer-songwriter Tyler Hilton (Maverick Records recording artist and star on the WB drama One Tree Hill), and continued to perfect the songs that would eventually comprise his debut release.


It didn’t take long for these songs to attract Seattle-based indie label The Control Group (TCG). TCG immediately put in action plans to release the songs as Curtis Peoples’ debut EP. This EP, entitled Whisper To A Scream, is a diverse collection of seven original rock/pop songs including the Counting Crows-esque rocker Hope It Seems (featuring Tyler Hilton), the radio-ready pop gem Just Another, the Ray Charles-inspired In Your Heart, and a soulful duet with female singer-songwriter Saba entitled Something Honest. The EP is a collection of ready-to-be singles and future iPod favorites.


Curtis Peoples took to the road immediately to promote his debut EP, going on tour playing dates with Tyler Hilton, Tim Reynolds (longtime Dave Matthews collaborator), as well as a number of prominent regional acts around the country. The work has been paying off by gaining Peoples a substantial numbers of fans around the country. The music industry has also been taking notice. Curtis’ single Hope It Seems has received commercial radio airplay at KMTT (Seattle), KPRI (San Diego), and a number of college stations. As Keith "Madison" Miller at KPRI puts it, "Curtis has found his voice...tapped his natural sensibility for writing a tune.”


Musicians within the artist community have also recognized Curtis’ great talent. Curtis has been writing with a number of artists, including Josh Kelley (Hollywood Records). When Josh was asked about new artists he liked on a WECS radio interview earlier this year, he responded with "...I love Curtis Peoples' songs, I really do…I listen to his CD all the time..." In fact, Josh Kelley’s band (The Weight) have become such fans of Curtis’ music that they have been pulling double duty backing both Josh Kelley & Curtis Peoples on tour and in the studio.


Most recently, Peoples has been working with platinum-selling singer-songwriter Ryan Cabrera. Curtis has been a winning contestant on Cabrera’s MTV songwriting competition SCORE. Additionally, Curtis has just wrapped up production of his first music video for the single Hope It Seems.


For Curtis Peoples music, video, and most current information, check out his web site www.curtispeoples.com
Curtis Peoples Store

COLLIN RAYE

Musical inspirations.........
 
Waylon, Glen Campbell, Don Henley, Glen Frey, Elton John, The Who, Johnny Horton,Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Ray Price, Conway Twitty and Brian Wilson.

Favorite CDs or Albums........

'Honky Tonk Heroes' (Waylon)....'Habit's Old and New' (Hank Jr.)....'Who's Next' (The Who)....'Red-Headed Stranger' (Willie)....'Pet Sounds' (Beach Boys)....'One Of These Nights' & 'Hotel California" (Eagles)....'Building The Perfect Beast' (Don Henley)....'Back To The Baroom's' (Haggard)....'Abbey Road' (Beatles)....'Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road' (Elton John)....'Johnny Horton's Greatest Hits.

Favorite Songs.........

'Danny Boy'....'Rocket Man'....'Gentle On My Mind'....'For The Good Times'....'Galveston'....'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me'....'Bobby McGee'....'Wasted Time'....'Take It To The Limit'....'Sunday Mornin Comin Down'....'Golden Slumbers'....'God Only Knows'....'Mamas Hungry Eyes'....'Dreaming My Dreams With You'....'Hands On The Wheel'

Your thoughts on the connection between music and healing........

"Music has been my constant companion since I was 14 or so; a comforter....a leveler, in a sense.  A reminder of the beauty and feeling that every human possesses, when we choose to expose it, even in the darkest times".

COLLIN RAYE ASPIRION RECORDS 2005 PUBLICITY BIO

For the past four years, Collin Raye has heard the same question everywhere he goes.

At every sold-out concert, at every radio-station visit, the mega hit maker gets asked by fans and industry professionals alike, "Hey, man, when are you going to put out a new record?"

"My recording career isn't done by a long shot," Collin promises them. "I didn't go away into hibernation. I tour all the time, so I know there's a demand for a new album. I wouldn't put out records again unless I thought that people really wanted them. And they do."

Actually, he's been working on his new Twenty Years and Change collection all along. In between the constant concert appearances, he began traveling to Nashville three years ago. During each visit, he would record a song or two.

"One of the great things about making this album was having the freedom of going into the studio with no one looking over my shoulder," comments Collin. "I didn't feel like I was on some kind of treadmill. I didn't set out any timetable. I didn't think, 'Let's make a hit single, right now.' I said, 'Let's just make this as good as it can be, to where it sounds good to us. Then we'll step back and look at the whole thing.'

"In the end, we wound up with 23 songs. And these 12 are the best of those 23."

Those 12 include some instant classics, as well as some bona fide classics. In the latter category are Collin Raye's island-flavored reinterpretation of The Bellamy Brothers chestnut "Let Your Love Flow," a heartfelt "It's Only Make Believe" tribute to the late Conway Twitty, a powerful reworking of the 1985 Survivor hit "The Search Is Over" and a remake of Don Henley's "You're Not Drinkin' Enough" that takes the tune straight into a honky-tonk.

Always a masterful ballad singer, Collin pours emotion into the wistful "Forgotten," the reassuring "We'll Be Alright" and the lovely romantic "All I Can Do Is Love You." "Hurricane Jane," on the other hand, is a good-time rocker. "Heart" has a lusciously melodic, mid-tempo groove.

"I Know That's Right," the collection's first single, has a stirring message lyric. Two other standouts are story songs. "Josephine" tells the tale of a frightened Civil War soldier writing a letter home. "Twenty Years and Change," written by the artist, is the portrait of a man who has replaced his youthful ideals with a resigned acceptance of his older, more satisfying reality.

Working with a variety of co-producers, Collin Raye is behind every note of music that's heard on Twenty Years and Change. That, he says, is a first for him. He is proud of his five prior Platinum albums, 25 Top Ten hits, 15 No. 1 smashes and 12 chart-topping videos. But maintaining his high standards wasn't always easy.

"The last record I made for Sony, I'll never forget the meeting where they said, 'We took a poll around the building and 70% voted for this song as your single.' I said, 'You took a vote around the building? I thought it was between the executive, the producer, the radio-promotion department and me. The receptionist has a vote? The art department?' It seemed that everybody was getting a say-so about song selection. You can't make records that way.

"That's what I love about these guys at Aspirion Records. They get excited about the music. What a novel idea, to be on a record label that shares your passion."

Collin Raye is nothing if not passionate. His fiery delivery has made country standards of such searing ballads as "Love, Me," "In This Life," "Not That Different" and "Little Rock." Always an electrifying showman, he has also blazed through such vivid rockers as "My Kind of Girl," "That's My Story," "I Can Still Feel You" and "I Want You Bad."

His commitment to music has been life-long. Collin has been singing professionally since he was a teenager. He has never held any other job.

"I grew up steeped in traditional country music," Collin reports. "I knew every song on Johnny Horton's Greatest Hits by heart. To this day, I can sing them to you. I think that's where I got my love of story songs.

"We never missed a country package show when one came through Little Rock. I remember seeing Porter Wagoner & The Wagonmasters with Dolly Parton, George Jones & The Jones Boys, Merle Haggard, Charley Pride and Conway Twitty, all on the same bill! Ray Price, Buck Owens, I loved them all."

His mother, Lois Wray, was a country singer, and he was on stage with her by the age of 7. The family moved from Arkansas to Texas when he was young, and at age 13 he and his older brother Scott formed The Wray Brothers band to entertain in the Lone Star State.

The brothers migrated to lucrative casino work in Reno, Nevada. Billed as "Bubba Wray," Collin became a master of stagecraft and a "human jukebox" whose repertoire included thousands of songs from across the American musical landscape. The Wrays first attracted Nashville's attention with a string of independent-label singles recorded in the Pacific Northwest in the 1980s. Mercury Records signed them and issued a couple of singles in 1986-87.

But Scott tired of the road, and the band broke up. Collin had married in 1980 and fathered daughter Brittany in 1983 and son Jacob in 1985. Like his brother, he also considered giving up music. That all changed when he began making solo records in 1990. Scott, by the way, is now bandleader for new Nashville star Miranda Lambert.

Collin shot to fame with "Love, Me" in 1991. Listeners were so touched that they used its lyrics at funerals and memorial services. That set the cornerstone for a career built on meaningful songs. "Little Rock" was an anthem for the recovery community. "Not That Different" pleaded for tolerance. "In This Life" became a wedding favorite. He won awards for the child-advocacy video "I Think About You."

Five times nominated as country music's Male Vocalist of the Year, Collin Raye has consistently used his stardom to advance social causes. Among the organizations he has supported are Boys Town, First Steps, Al-Anon, Special Olympics, Country Cares About AIDS, Catholic Relief Services, Parade of Pennies, Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, The Tennessee Task Force Against Domestic Violence, The Emily Harrison Foundation, Childhelp USA, Silent Witness National Initiative, Easter Seals and Make a Difference Day. At the 2001 Country Radio Seminar, Clint Black presented Collin Raye with the organization's Humanitarian of the Year award in recognition of Collin's issue-oriented music and his tireless charity work.

But when the album he released later that year wasn't successfully promoted, Collin asked for his release from Sony. Contractual roadblocks didn't allow Collin to seek a new record deal for a period of time. Eventually he was able to aggressively try to get back in the record business. 

Thus, Collin Raye began looking for a home for Twenty Years and Change. He turned down major-label overtures to sign with Infinity Records in 2004, but that company folded, further delaying his return to disc. The Navarre-distributed Aspirion picked up his recording contract in August 2005.

The man who has topped the charts with such great songs as "On the Verge," "One Boy, One Girl," "What the Heart Wants," "Every Second" and "That Was a River" is finally ready for another round of successes.

"I believe in Providence," says Collin Raye. "I believe there's a reason things happen the way they do. I also believe that if you've treated people right and you continue to work hard at your craft, things will happen. I want to keep going. I want hit records. I want to make music."

COLLIN RAYE TWENTY YEARS AND CHANGE CUT-BY-CUT

1. "I Know That's Right" (Bob DiPiero/Rivers Rutherford/Tom Shapiro)

Fred Mollin, who co-produced this track, found the song and played it for me. I love what it says. It's not about being on one side of the fence or the other. It's about how humans universally feel. I think we live in a time when society makes it very easy to make wrong seem right. So the final litmus test, for me, is in your heart, your gut. You do something because you know it's the right thing to do.

2. "Hurricane Jane" (Eric Daly/Gordon Sampson/Troy Verges)

Obviously, I recorded this before the devastating hurricanes, so it probably won't ever be a single. It's just a cute, fun, punchy song that's very cleverly written. I was originally attracted by the groove. You rarely hear that Bo Diddley/"Hand Jive" rhythm on a record today.

3. "The Search Is Over" (James Peterik/Frank Sullivan III)

This is a song that Survivor did back in 1985. I remember when the song came out. I was living in Reno, Nevada at the time. It struck me as a song I wished I could sing, because I loved what it said. It's just a classic love song. I've recorded Journey's "Open Arms," and this is a similar thing, a big power-ballad pop song with a country take on it. I always thought this was a country song in hiding.

4. "Forgotten" (Gene LeSage/Allison Mellon)

Gene LaSage was my band leader for many, many years until he decided to get off the road this past year. He produced some of this album with me, and he writes for my publishing company. "Forgotten" is such a haunting, yet comforting thought. When I first heard it, I said, "Let's don't pitch this to anyone else. This one's mine."

5. "You're Not Drinkin' Enough" (Daniel Kortchmar)

I love Don Henley. He probably affected me as a singer more than anybody. When I was a teenager and learning how to do this, The Eagles were in their prime. I used to try to sing just like him. I do "The Heart of the Matter" in my live shows. This song was on his album Building the Perfect Beast in 1984. That album had so many hits on it that it's easy to see how this was forgotten. But I always thought it was such a great song. When I recorded it, I wanted it to feel "real," like we're in a bar and this guy is telling the story. Because of "Little Rock," people don't associate me with drinking songs. But I'm a country singer. How can I not sing about drinking? And as tongue-in-cheek as this lyric is, it's really a pretty serious song.

6. "Josephine" (Rory Feek)

I heard Rory Lee sing this at a writer's night five years ago at the Hall of Fame Motor Inn in Nashville. I said, "Buddy, can I have that?" It took me this long to finally put it out. When I talked to him about it later, he told me it came from a Civil War letter. One of his great-great grandparents lived this. He got the grammar and everything straight from the letter. That's why it sounds so true. We treated this one like a little movie.

7. "Heart" (Gene LaSage/Jason Blume)

Jason Blume cowrote "The Eleventh Commandment," so I was aware of his writing. Lyrically, this is one of those songs that an English major could be proud of. It's a very introspective thing that you want to listen to, line by line. It's something I've never heard said in quite this way before - talking to your heart in the second person, like you're having a conversation with yourself. If you have been in a situation where your heart said one thing and your head said another, and you went with your heart, usually it was wrong.

8. "All I Can Do Is Love You" (Collin Raye/Melissa Manchester)

I made friends with Melissa when I did my children's album. She co-wrote "A Mother and Father's Prayer," which we made a video of. During the course of all that, I hit it off with her really well. She also wrote her hit "Midnight Blue," which I loved. She said, "Let's write together," came to Nashville and sat down with me at my publishing company. I had the idea for this melody and knew where I wanted it to go. I had this simple sentiment and expressed it to her. She helped me fill in all the blanks. It wasn't an attempt to write a wedding song. It was just meant to be something sweet. I pictured a guy sitting on the banks of the Seine in Paris, eating cheese and singing to this girl. So that's why we added the French-bistro accordion to the track.

9. "Let Your Love Flow" (Lawrence Williams)

Martina McBride has done an album of classics. So have Alan Jackson and Reba McEntire. I've always dreamed of doing one, myself. But this song was never on my list. Stan Cornelius suggested it when we were in the studio together. My first thought was, "I don't know if that fits me or not." I said, "Well, if we're going to try it, let's take it someplace it's never been." We raised the key to make it sing higher. Because of what Kenny Chesney has been doing, there's a place for a rum-drinking, "island" groove, so that's what we went for. I said, "Let's make this a cruise-ship of love." Every time I play it in my car, it makes me want to dance. It just feels so good.

10. "Twenty Years and Change" (Collin Raye)

I have tremendous confidence in my ability to perform, but I've always been a little insecure about my song writing. I write way more than people think I do. The reason you don't see more of my songs on my records is that my lyrics tend to be wordy, poetic metaphors. I'm a country music artist, so I believe that songs need to be very, very understandable. Plus, I love story songs. So when I wrote this one, I said, "I'll make this a story about a fictitious character who just happens to resemble me an awful lot." Except I'm not a piano player in a band called Angry Witness. Generally, what I'm trying to say in the song is that people change. The world changes you. Life doesn't turn out the way you would have planned. You become more realistic.
One popular thing to say right now is, "and change." You know: "How much is that car?" "Oh, forty thousand and change." I heard somebody say that and went, "Wow: You do change over the course of time." And so that's where that came from. And I thought it made a nice, poetic title for the album, as well.

11. "We'll Be Alright" (Gene LaSage/Tom Damphier)

This is another song I've held onto for a long time. What I love about this sentiment is that it can be a love song about two people, or it can be about mankind. It's kind of saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff." Everything will be alright. Just relax. Everything's going to be okay. And you know what? It usually is. I included it toward the end of the record because it's sort of a good thought to leave people with.

12. "It's Only Make Believe" (Jack Nance/Conway Twitty)

When Conway Twitty died in 1993, it was the night before Fan Fair began. I sang on the last night of the festival. I was struck by the fact that there had been very little talk about him dying. He had always been so kind and uplifting to me when I was a young artist. He made me feel almost like an equal. Yet, when I was growing up, he was one of the people who made me want to do what I do. So I just got up there on stage and started to sing, "People see us everywhere." And the place erupted. I've had several years to think about it since then. I want everybody to know that I did this because I wanted to pay tribute to Conway. I tried to sing it exactly like he did. The fans haven't forgotten him. I hope they will applaud this.

COLLIN RAYE DISCOGRAPHY

1991
ALL I CAN BE Platinum
"All I Can Be (Is a Sweet Memory)"
"Love, Me" No. 1 (3 weeks)
"Every Second" No. 2
"It Could've Been So Good"

1992
IN THIS LIFE Platinum
"In This Life" No. 1 (2 weeks)
"I Want You Bad (And That Ain't Good)" No. 5
"Somebody Else's Moon" No. 4
"That Was a River" No. 1

1994
EXTREMES Platinum
"That's My Story" No. 5
"Little Rock" No. 1
"Man of My Word" No. 4
"My Kind of Girl" No. 1
"If I Were You" No. 1

1995
I THINK ABOUT YOU Platinum
"One Boy, One Girl" No. 1
"Not That Different" No. 1
"I Think About You" No. 2
"Love Remains" No. 5
"What If Jesus Comes Back Like That"
"On the Verge" No. 1

1996
CHRISTMAS: THE GIFT
Christmas album

1997
DIRECT HITS: THE BEST OF COLLIN RAYE Platinum
"What the Heart Wants" No. 1
"Open Arms"
"The Gift" (with Jim Brickman) No. 1 on A/C charts
"Little Red Rodeo" No. 2

1998
THE WALLS CAME DOWN Gold
"I Can Still Feel You" No. 1 (2 weeks)
"Someone You Used to Know" No. 1 (2 weeks)
"Anyone Else" No. 3
"Start Over Georgia"
"The Eleventh Commandment"

2000
COUNTING SHEEP
Children's album

2000
TRACKS
"Couldn't Last a Moment" No. 1
"Tired of Loving This Way" (w Bobbie Eakes)
"She's All That"
"You Still Take Me There"

2000
LOVE SONGS
Hits compilation

2001
CAN'T BACK DOWN
"Ain't Nobody Gonna Take That From Me"

2005
TWENTY YEARS AND CHANGE
"I Know That's Right"

www.collinraye.com

BILLY GILMAN

Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

Music is a healing power and it helped me thru my voice change...one of the most dark moments in my life...Listening to songs with positive messages is a plus in my life and gives me a better attitude and
outlook on it all...Billy Gilman

BILLY GILMAN-Everything and more…

In the past two and a half years, Billy Gilman has been a participant in his own reality series-the reality of surviving in his own skin and a life away from music. It was a forced reality for the young artist who was sidelined at the height of his multi-platinum selling career by a really normal and typical development for a boy his age. His voice changed. At 14, just as quickly as Billy Gilman made his explosive debut in the country music scene, mother-nature removed him--immediately and entirely from the spotlight.

"I was doing so much-90 plus concerts a year, television appearances, recording in the studio, and tons of interviews. I was in constant motion and because of my voice change, I went from doing all of that to doing absolutely nothing at all.  It wasn't as if I made the decision to leave my music career to go back to being 'normal.' Being in music and singing is 'normal' for me. I've been singing since I was two years old. It was my life and this was pretty traumatizing for me."

By mid 2002, Billy was forced to cancel concerts and he was ordered to take complete vocal rest. His voice, bearing the chance of serious damage, was silenced. The young star faced the challenge of becoming what some folks might say "a flash in the pan."  "My immediate thought was 'why so soon?' I was just learning how to use my voice, getting it all down and feeling comfortable with my career…being in the spotlight…and doing what I needed to do. I went to Vanderbilt Voice Clinic in Nashville-one of the world's best voice centers-and they told me 'no singing, no talking.'  They may have well have just said, 'stop breathing.'" With the voice change-a life change-came the fear that he may never sing again. 

Through the support of his family, friends and his manager, Billy reluctantly followed doctor's orders. "I look back now over those two years and I'm grateful for the time and wisdom I gained. It was a good time to rest, re-group, think of the future and make a decision as to my long term commitments. Just as most kids at my age are getting their lives started, I was forced to face a possible career change! Being on vocal rest gave me the time to search my heart and my priorities and make a full commitment to my music and getting back to it."

The good news is Billy Gilman is a winning survivor! Back from vocal exile to the business of making music, he introduces his groundbreaking new project, EVERYTHING AND MORE, his debut project under the Image Entertainment imprint. Soon to be 17 (born May 24, 1988), the dynamic teenager has lost nothing but time and the new album showcases a voice that has undergone a welcomed mature change.  Billy Gilman makes a clear comeback with all of the charisma, youthful energy and pizzazz that made him a child star phenomenon worldwide.

EVERYTHING AND MORE is really Chapter V of Billy Gilman's career.  Billy introduces his fifth recording: "I think EVERYTHING AND MORE is a more mature version of ONE VOICE. The music is fun and includes all aspects of the country genre (including Bluegrass, Pop, Country Rock, and traditional ballads) and every song is about a new aspect in my life.  One song is about the trying times that I went through with my voice change and my fear that I may never sing again. Another song, 'I'm Not Me Anymore,' is about how I've grown and changed-it's my favorite.  This time, I had a say in what I wanted to record and I'm so proud of this project because it's a reflection of who I am today as a young adult.  I think the lyrics of each and every song create a picture--just as if you were at the movies.  I really hope everyone enjoys my personal 'photo' album!"   The music in its entirety was custom written for Billy by Sandy Linzer and Charlie Calello and it is sampler of all that signifies the best of the best in country music.  Producer Sandy Linzer adds, "Billy Gilman is producer's dream. The only thing bigger than his talent is his heart."

A brief look back at previous chapters, Billy Gilman is a show-business natural who burst into the country music scene with the release of his debut single "One Voice," the sensational and touching story of social commentary that spoke of the violence in the world being silenced by one voice in a single prayer.  The single entered the Billboard chart in 2000 making him the youngest artist at the time to ever hit the Billboard country airplay chart. The tiny 11-year old powerhouse edged out Brenda Lee to become the youngest person ever to have a song on the magazine's Country Singles Chart.

Gilman has already earned his spot at the top in Country Music.  As testimony to his success, ONE VOICE was certified platinum selling over one million copies less than three months after its release (September 2000).  Billy released his second album, CLASSIC CHRISTMAS, in October 2000 and the holiday CD was certified gold before the close of the year. In May 2001, just weeks before his thirteenth birthday, Billy recorded and released his third album, DARE TO DREAM.  He went on to record MUSIC THROUGH HEART SONGS, a collaboration with young poet Mattie J. T. Stepanek, which was issued under the Sony Music (2003).

Billy has appeared on national television programs including The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Oprah, The Tonight Show and The Today Show. He's also appeared as presenter or performer at some of the industries most renowned awards shows such as the CMA Awards, the TNN/Country Weekly Awards and the American Music Awards and he earned a prestigious Grammy nomination (losing out to the legendary Johnny Cash).

"I honestly did not think I would record again. But by the grace of God and thanks to all of those who had patience, faith and confidence in me, I was able to overcome some personal insecurities--which are really quite normal for a kid my age!"

Billy Gilman emerges as a young adult who is a gifted young man full of heart and courage with his promise that he is EVERYTHING AND MORE and the very best is yet to come.

The first single--and the title track--will be released to country radio today, February 21, 2005.  The month of May will celebrate the release of the new album and Billy's 17th birthday (May 24)
.
www.billygilman.com

MARCOS HERNANDEZ

Musical Inspirations:

 I am inspired by the Motown greats: The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gay as well as U2 and Alejandro Fernandez.

Favorite CD's, songs or musicians:

 Same as the above. In my IPOD I have the Gorillaz, The Doves, Incubus and my sister (she sings too!)

Music has always been in my family. Whether we were singing for relatives, singing in Sons Of Harmony and now my solo record, music has always been a key factor in my life. Through it I write on life experiences (my own and others), it gets me through tough times, it gets me out of a bad mood. While traveling, I just flip on my IPOD and relax.

Marcos Hernandez Bio

There are very few artists that can demonstrate versatility in both their musical range and vocal abilities. However, 23-year-old Marcos Hernandez has the talent and training to do both, and it happens to come naturally.

The handsome vocalist can easily switch music genres to cater to the mood of his audience whether it's invigorating Pop, the rhythmic sounds of R & B or serenading ballads, Marcos' debut CD, C About Me has something for everyone.

"I've been singing since I was born," recalls the Mexican-American heartthrob who has an old soul he attributes to growing up on Motown. "We'd [Marcos and his three siblings- Monique, Leticia and John] perform for our grandparents and every time we'd go to family gatherings, people would just expect us to perform. We were like the Mexican Sound of Music."

Performing for friends and family would eventually turn into a lifelong passion.  Born in Phoenix and raised in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Marcos made the conscious decision to go pro in his adolescent years. At a time when most kids are thinking about playing with video games, Marcos wasted no time in jumpstarting his calling. "About 12, my mom and dad gave me an ultimatum-football or music," recalls Marcos, whose dad coached football and wanted him to take full advantage of his athletic abilities. A multi-talented Marcos went with the latter. "Football was not that big of a thing for me.

Marcos joined his junior high school choir and began formal vocal training. "I took vocal lessons from 12 to 18," Marcos proudly recalls. "I went every week for nine months. I trained with a vocal coach and voice teacher. One taught me how to sing and the other taught me what to sing. Both went hand and hand."

Marcos developed his own personal style by listening to a variety of artists and music genres. His Latin upbringing exposed him to the traditional sounds of Mariachi, while Marcos also gravitated to the rhythmic sounds of Motown artists like Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder, and the popular classic tunes on the Top 40 charts. The Temptations and The Platters, Marcos recalled were earlier inspirations.  Their songs had strong melodies and they sang them effortlessly and they knew how to perform and deliver a song.

Inspired by entertainers from "back-in-the-day" Marcos made sure to also focus on his showmanship. Every chance he could, he performed in front of an audience whether it was at a karaoke bar or local jam session. These opportunities prepared him to enter a local radio station contest judged by 106.1 KISS FM's Kid Kraddick who was putting together a boy band, which became the Dallas-based group, Sons of Harmony. "They were having a crazy contest at a mall for a boy band," says Marcos.  I was really nervous and one of the last people to sing. I got picked and we stayed together for two years."

Sons of Harmony  toured  as the opening act for artists including 98 Degrees, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, Pink, Jon Bon Jovi, as well as opening on a multi-city tour with the Grammy Award winning group, Destiny's Child.

Marcos soon caught the attention of seasoned manager, Tommy Quon (Vanilla Ice), which eventually led Marcos to signing with independent powerhouse TVT Records.

It's evident that some of Marcos' biggest influences today are in the current Latino music movement. "I admire Pitbull's aggressiveness, Enrique Iglesias' and Ricky Martin's stage performance and Christina's vocal abilities," admits Marcos. "I am also a big fan of No Doubt, Incubus, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Timberlake, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Musiq, Brandy, Timbaland, Aaliyah and Missy."

The first single from C About Me, "If You Were Mine" produced by Eliot Sloan, Robi Menace and Wayne Stalling is currently climbing the Pop charts. "This album is a reflection of the music I grew up listening to. All the Motown stuff, 80s Pop and Rock as well as music I like today, " says Marcos, whose debut album contains soothing, serene, tranquil, peaceful ballads alongside energetic and contagious dance tracks. I want my music to remind you of good times. I want my words and phrases to be more than a cliché.

Marcos' passion and vocal abilities have attracted an impressive roster of producers including Dallas-based Jerome Harmon (Kirk Franklin), Magic (NB Ridaz), Richie Blaze (Diane Warren), Scott Storch (Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Xzibit) and Steve Morales (Enrique Iglesias).  Marcos co-wrote more than half of the 15 songs on the album. 

Entitled C About Me, (a "pickup line" he uses when asking girls to come check him out,) exposes Marcos' sensitive side and his true feelings about love, romance, breaking up and getting close. C About Me has become Marcos' flirtation anthem. Upbeat and contagious rhythms like Get Personal and Lovely Girl become Marcos' way of paying close attention to women with using compliments instead of aggressive behavior, while tracks like Bitter Sweet, address how twisted guys can get over sweet, attractive girls with sour attitudes. Confessions of love will ring true in devotional ballads like The Way I do, If You Were Mine (English or Spanish Remix), If I'd Known (a romantic apology), Call Me (yearning to have someone close Best of My Love, Say or Endlessly for inspiration. Better yet, set the stage for your tropical fantasy with cumbia/reggaetón track Bailamos or tropical pop track Latin Escapades. again) and I'm Lost (heartache). 
www.marcosonline.com

JAMIE OLDAKER

Musical inspirations?

My influences were mainly early bebop and then the blues of the Delta.....

www.jamieoldaker.com

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