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Meet Mark Joseph

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Joseph.

Mark, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in New York but raised in Boston, MA, and I’ve been in love with music from the very beginning. I’ve also always loved songwriting. I wrote my first song “Get Off Me!” in the 3rd grade. It’s about feeling smothered in a relationship. Pretty ambitious piece for a 3rd grader 🥴. If there was a choir around, I wanted to be part of it. There’s something really euphoric about singing with a group of people. It wasn’t until I was about 15 that I started to push myself to sing and perform solo.

I’m more on the shy side so I started out with covers on YouTube back in 2007. Back then, YouTube was still very new. Naturally, there weren’t as many content creators using it as there are now, which meant you were likely to get more views and engagement. YouTube made me grow as a singer because I now had an audience to showcase myself to and be critiqued by, but there was almost no pressure because they weren’t actually there in the room with me while I sang. It was the perfect starting point.

Sophomore year of high school was a pivotal year. This is when my life started to actually revolve around music. My choir teacher Ms. Knight signed me up for every music-related extracurricular activity she knew of, and I thank her for that. It taught me discipline, time management and the importance of sacrifice when you have a goal. I had almost no Saturdays and sometimes no Sundays from 10th-12th grade, but I was doing what I was passionate about.

Fast forward a few years and I find myself at my dream school, Berklee College of Music as a Vocal Performance major. I loved every second of it.

Fast forward a few more years-I’m living in LA and I sing backgrounds for the Jonas Brothers/pursuing my dream of becoming a major recording artist. Not because I crave attention or fame though, I’m a singer with vision. I’m gonna help break the stereotypes of young black gay men like myself. There’s so much more to us than what society loves to portray us as. We’re complex and eclectic just like everyone else and should not be pigeonholed/put in a box artistically. Black artists in general. I love all genres of music from Hip Hop to Country to R&B to Rock to Pop to Musical Theater to Folk to Classical and I’m heavily influenced by it all. But, I bet if you made people guess what type of music I like to listen to/create, they wouldn’t think to say “everything.”

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, it hasn’t been a smooth road. Road’s been bumpy af, but we’re here 🙂

I was raised by a single mom and she did amazing. Life immediately after college was rough. I was stuck in my hometown for three years because I couldn’t afford to move out of state and go do the thing. That really affected my motivation but I got it together and made the big move in January of 2018. My mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and passed away February 2020. I’m still and will probably always be navigating that. Someone told me once that we’re all dealt different cards in life, and it’s all about how we decide to play them.

Shout out to my friends. They make my life so much easier.

What else should our readers know?
If you’re reading this, I want you to remember that tomorrow is not promised, so live your best life! I want you to believe in yourself. I also want you to learn to ignore that inner voice of yours that tries to convince you to not believe in yourself. I’m still learning!

What were you like growing up?
I was a shy kid growing up. My personality was more feminine back then because I was raised by feminine women. I was obsessed with playstation and 90’s pop/r&b. Boyz II Men, SWV, Mariah Carey, Brandy, Hanson, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, Destiny’s Child, Usher, etc. My personality and shell was CRACKED open after joining drama club in the 12th grade.

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Image Credit:

Cynthia Parkhurst, Sabrina Chang, Jake Young, KellyeAnn Rodgers

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