Mario Winans has accomplished more than many musicians twice his
age. Some of hip-hop, R&B and gospel music's most well respected
artists have been blessed with Mario's nimble production talents
and thoughtful lyricism.
His resume reads like a nomination list on Grammy night: Mary J.
Blige, Whitney Houston, R.Kelly, Jennifer Lopez, Brian McKnight,
The Notorious B.I.G., P.Diddy, 702 and of course, his own Winans
family. Mario's story begins in his grandmother's kitchen. "I
was constantly banging on the pots and pans with wire hangers,"
explains Mario with a laugh. "As far as I was concerned, I was
playing the drums." His fascination with percussion continued
throughout his childhood, nurtured by his world-renown Winans
gospel family. In school, he was an attentive student, studying
music in a formal fashion. But after school, he headed straight
for his room and made the beats he wanted to hear.
"I know how to read music," says Mario, who also plays
various instruments including the piano, drums and keyboard.
"But for me, composing music has always been about passion
Mario's turning point as a producer came when his mother,
the famous gospel singer, Vickie Winans, brought home a room
full of recording equipment. "I just taught myself how to
operate every machine in there. And from then on, I was
making beats constantly." Only one week after graduating
from high school, Mario produced an entire gospel album for
a local group. A trip to Atlanta resulted in a meeting with
producer Dallas Austin who, impressed with the young man's
production, signed him as an in-house producer.
Work with R. Kelly soon followed and Mario quickly developed
his reputation as a top-notch producer and songwriter. Mario
never gave much consideration to becoming a recording
artist. However, after being persuaded, he began pursuing a
solo project under Motown Records. Things were moving slowly
and he needed to move to the next level. "I called a friend
of mine who was cool with P. Diddy," says Mario. "In five
minutes, I was on the phone with him. He knew my work and he
said he thought I had what it took to be a BadBoy. Within a
week, we were getting the paperwork together."
The culmination of a decade's long journey is the Mario Winans' Bad
Boy debut, Hurt No More. This is soul music that bridges the gap
between the hard-edged flavor of modern day R&B music and the
honest, vulnerable passion in the music of years gone by.
Vulnerability is a key theme on Hurt No More. Mario brings an
earnest, sincere approach to his music that hasn't been heard in
years. "This record is about relationships, pure and simple. We all
have hearts. Sometimes we have to look deeper into what we're saying
and doing to the people we care about. At the bottom of these
fights, it's usually always something deeper."