- Posted October 10, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
From hobby to job
The New Prince of R&B: Mario Smith aka Rio
K. Diggs: When did you start singing?
Rio: I started singing at the age of 8. My grandmother used to sing gospel songs to me around and I used to listen to her. As I got older I didn’t know my father used to be a lead singer in a gospel group. Ridley, Tennessee is where he’s from.
K. Diggs: Where you ever in choirs in school?
Rio: I was but it didn’t last long. I used to listen to R.Kelly, Silk, and Ginuwine. I thought they would be singing R&B, and it everything but R&B.
K Diggs: Once you started to sing professionally what was that like for you?
Rio: My first time knowing I had talent was when my friend told me to sing on the school bus. People can from the front of the bus to the back of the bus just to hear me sing. As I got older I started singing the album Bachelor by Ginuwine, and I knew I had talent. It would be a dream for me to meet him.
K Diggs: Who was the first artist that you met in your music career?
Rio: Woody, from Dru Hill. I was singing one of their songs on YouTube and he reached out to me. We sang a few songs together and I have been inspired ever since. I was suppose to be a member of Dru Hill when they were out but God had other plans.
K. Diggs: What advice would you have for aspiring music artists?
Rio: I would say to keep God first. Know that when man closes one door God opens another. As artists we tend to fall short of that. We believe so much in man. A lot of times we are chasing something that’s not for us. Be yourself, don’t change your genre of music.
K Diggs: What was one of the best moments that you’ve had from your music career thus far?
Rio: I’ve flown around almost every state for free just off of the talent and what God gave me. I’ve enjoyed every moment. From working with Calvin Richardson to Steven Russell it has all been amazing.
K. Diggs: How do you feel about the music industry now versus when you were growing up?
Rio: I feel that the industry is the blind leading the blind. Everyone is just talking to be talking and have something to say. Back in the day music was music. You were able to feel what they were going through and if they weren’t, you were going through it.
K Diggs: What’s next for Rio?
Rio: I’m going to reaching the people. I’m going to be singing real R&B again. I’m dropping my album in February called “ Same Mistakes” that can be purchased on I-tunes and amazon.com.
Rio has given a new voice to music. He is well on his way and I tell you I will be first in line to get a concert ticket. To those that have dreams, know that they will come true with hard work and prayer. Don’t believe me? Look at Rio he’s living proof that dreams do come true.
Favorite Quote: “A Change Is Gon Come.”
Facebook Fanpage: MarioSmith Music