UTICA, NY – Marino was born to rap, and he knew it as early as age 5.
If you ask his mom, she’d tell you that she’d often find him in his room at that young age “performing” for imaginary crowds – shirt off and fake microphone in hand, rapping just like the rappers he saw on TV. Many of those early inspirations were artists that his mother – a hard-working, single mother with a stellar reputation in the community – listened to around the house. Artists such as Kool Moe Dee, Big Daddy Kane and other hard-core rappers were her favorites, and Marino’s first foray into the world of hip-hop.
“I didn’t really have a formula for my delivery then, but I had a gift for performing,” Marino recalls. “Even when I pretended it felt like a lot of people were staring at me. I felt like people were calling my name, so I’d hold my hand like I was holding a microphone like I saw on TV and played to the crowd. I loved that feeling – the feeling of being powerful. I knew right then that it was a calling.”
Today his professional music career has soared to new heights, and with the release of his new mixtape “Yesterday’s Favorite, Tomorrow’s Icon 2.0” – which came out New Year’s Eve – he hopes fans all over the world will begin to become used to his name.
The mixtape features 15 tracks of various topics and concepts, all packaged in a “Hollywood” style. He said it was an intentional strategy to bring forth a high-end professional persona through these songs and impress on his fans that he means business with this new wave of music.
“My style is kind of like … well, my friend calls me ‘Hollywood’ because my music has that red carpet feel,” he said. “It has that kind of feel that you’d expect with stars and paparazzi. But the music talks about all kinds of different things. It’s versatile. I tell some stories sometimes, but mostly I write about whatever comes with the mood and inspires me. I could be out at the basketball court and see a little kid jumping rope and be inspired by that. It’s a gift – God put ideas in my head and I have to put it down. Sometimes I’ll even just stop and write it on a napkin or record it on my phone like a voice memo. Almost always, though, I’m inspired by real-life situations and things I’ve experienced.”
Though the new mixtape is an intentional attempt to be a bit flashy, Marino said he doesn’t want to be too cocky and hopes people can see past the marketing side of his music to the humble musician at the core. And mostly he wants to pull people together through his music and inspire them to find their own sense of discovery through his music. If he can accomplish that, he said, then he knows he’ll be able to leave his mark on the world.
To sample some of his music, fans can visit his Soundcloud page, or check out some of his music videos on his YouTube channel. His music is also available on all the top music platforms, including iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and more. Fans can also follow him on Instagram @315marino, on Facebook @visualrecords315 and on Twitter @MARINO315.