Category Archives: Interviews

Former “The Voice” Contestant Reveals Secret

Mark Hood appears on Season 9 of NBC's The Voice. (Photo/ The Voice)
Mark Hood appears on Season 9 of NBC’s The Voice. (Photo/ The Voice)

Chicago native Mark JP Hood released his first single Mr. Greatest 2012. (Photo/Ciara Carnes)
Chicago native Mark JP Hood released his first single Mr. Greatest 2012. (Photo/Ciara Carnes)

Mark J P Hood, 27, was overcome with emotion halfway into our first interview, and it is easy to understand why. For the past 3 years, he’s been the popular R&B singer known for singles  “Make Up Love”, ” Falling For You” and “Aint Gonna Change”.  After gaining his own buzz Hood appeared on season 9 of NBC’s The Voice. Hood recently decided to put his career on the line  and acknowledge to his fans that he is gay.

Mark Hood visits V-103 station to talk about revealing his sexuality. (Photo/ Ciara Carnes)
Mark Hood visits V-103 station to talk about revealing his sexuality. (Photo/ Ciara Carnes)

Hood says, “I finally decided to come out because I couldn’t keep trying to be something that I wasn’t,” he tells me.

After Frank Ocean openly penned a letter to his fans about his sexuality several years ago many artist have decided to follow his lead. Homosexuality in the music industry is often kept secret to protect the artist profitability. Doug Peterson who is head of A&R at T.I.‘s Grand Hustle label says, “public relations teams,labels, artist development teams often tell homosexual artist to live by the don’t ask don’t tell policy.”

Mark Hood credits Usher, Michael Jackson and Prince as his musical inspirations. (Photo/Ciara Carnes)
Mark Hood credits Usher, Michael Jackson and Prince as his musical inspirations. (Photo/Ciara Carnes)


Mark Hood is known for his soulful lyrics and raspy melodic voice. (Photo/ Ciara Carnes)
Mark Hood is known for his soulful lyrics and raspy melodic voice. (Photo/ Ciara Carnes)

Hood accepts that his announcement could mark the end of his music career too, but he hopes it will signal a fresh start instead. He plans to continue making music and will release a new single later this year and hope all his fans continue to support him. For more information of Mark Hood be sure to follow him on Instagram @MarkJPHood.

Atlanta Rapper Miroj Teases Fans with New Project Release

Atlanta artist Miroj hints release of new project
Atlanta artist Miroj hints release of new project

If there was ever a rapper to exemplify the new wave in hip-hop, it’s Miroj. The ATL rhymer with his southern swag and down to earth personality has exploded onto the rap scene in the last year. It almost seems like he came out of nowhere. Thanks to strategic management and more importantly, a rabid Internet fandom, Miroj has created a name for himself and the hottest up and coming artist ffrom the south.

When Miroj tweeted a provocative political statement of an mixtape promotional trailer earlier this week, a lot of people assumed his new project was coming soon. They weren’t paranoid: Last night, Miroj surprisingly released a fresh song called On the Way, his first song release since project since his 2014 song entitled Martial ArtsMiroj tweets the eleven-track project has zero features; which is unusual for a artist who have been featured on a number of other independent artist projects such as Phresh Ali, Clay James, Southern Playaz and King Jai. The On the Way release comes after the artist came out of hiding for his latest feature on Domani debut of “Black Lives Matter,” a single dedicated to the recent tragedies in todays justice system.

We caught up with indie artist to discuss his recent plans in the music industry and what’s been the hold up on his latest project. Miroj says, “Its important for me to take the adequate amount of time to create music that no one else is creating. I want people to turn on the radio and undeniably know that hey that’s Miroj.”

Although, Miroj has not announced an official release date fans are still quite hopefully that the smooth lyricist will continue to make more releases and announcement within the next few weeks. For more information on the latest and greatest Miroj news be sure to follow him on all social media networks @Miroj_Satie.

Kota Santez Performs The Anthem On the Record

Chicago native Kota Santez premiered his latest single, live on  “At 16 years old ,Kota Santez’s future started to take shape as he began writing and rapping consistentlyhile attending school at Cedar Grove High School. Kota says, “ That’s when I realized I had something great for the world to hear.” From that point on ,he began to cultivate his talents.

Influenced by many greats, such as Nas, Biggie, Andre 3000 and Jay Z,Kota Santez is nothing less of a soulful rapper with a passion for creating dope lyrics. In his latest single “K to the Izzo also referred to as “Kota Santez creates a feel good tune but also delivers a strong message about promoting social consciousness. Kota says, “ I wanted to make a song that you can listen to at anytime because “it has such good energyut still gives the people something to think about.”  Riding the up tempo beat with a melodic hook, Kota sure knows how to creates positive vibrations.

“Before Kota premiered his song to one of the toughest indie crowds in Atlanta through On the Record, he was nervous. His nerves stemmed from the show’s reputation for having well-informed audiences.”

On the Record has been a staple in the indie music scene for the past 3 years and has been credited as the underground 106 & Park. Hosted by Chianexo and Amani every other Wednesday, the show gives the audience as chance to engage in social conversations and enjoy live sets from some of Atlanta’s most promising up-and-coming stars.

Backed by a full band Third Shift Generation,Kota began to look at ease as he showed off his latest lyrical masterpiece. The addition of the band really gave the performances a nice vibe and intensity. Santez hopes the band will join him during his performance at the All Three Coast music festival this coming fall.

After getting a lot of buzz his “that was released last year, Kota decided  to give his fans something new in 2016 with his new self-tilted mixtape “Kota Santez”. Hosted by Atlanta DJ’s DJ Iceberg DJ Grady, the new mixtape continues the theme of Kota’s soulful melodic sound” and it’s safe to safe to say after this performance that this tape will be something worth listening to The tape even features artists like Miroj, Breezy Castilleo and Nino Blaq.

Kota Santez: The Road to SXSW

Many music fanatics and aspiring musicians attend South By Southwest music festival in hopes to see their favorite artist rip showcase stages and gain knowledge from industry professionals during panel discussions. For independent artist this festival is a platform to promote and network amongst the masses; but every artist true dream is to perform on a showcase stage during the festival. For Kota Santez that dream will be fulfilled during the 2016 SXSW.

Right before Kota Santez takes the stage at Apache Cafe.
Right before Kota Santez takes the stage at Apache Cafe.

On Saturday, March 19th the Atlanta native will be performing in front of thousands of festival goers on the 2016 Radio Day Stage presented by ROK Mobile. Kota Santez will be performing amongst a line up of hip hop heavy hitters such as Kat Dahlia, Tyga, Yg and Dej Loaf.

“To be able to go across the country and perform in front of thousands of people is something that still amazes me,” said Santez, who at 23 has already made a name for himself in the south east region through local showcases and being featured on V-103’s Frank Ski and Wanda morning show.

As a child Dakota gained a liking for hip hop & r&b from being around the speakers a little to much, from his parents playing their Tupac, Bob Marley, & Outkast albums, to watching his cousins pursue their own music endeavors, Dakota developed an amazing drive and passion for composing music.

“Ever since singing in the elementary school choir he started developing a creative talent in producing music, singing different melodies, & writing songs” Angelina Jones, Kota’s mother said. “I’ve watched him spend years working on his craft and his ability to entertain.”

With a mixed sound of street, club, rebellion, & soulful tunes Kota Santez uses the style of symbolic imagery to help the people see his vision, the pictures of his youth, or what he calls “the vision of the Kid Out The A.” The multi talented artist says, “this opportunity is really my moment to show people who Kota Santez is and show them where I’ve come from.” Leading into the festival Kota Santez is doing just that.

In preparation for South By Southwest Kota Santez have been releasing videos as apart of his doc-series entitled; Kota Santez: The Road to South By Southwest. The first episode which was released Tuesday, February 22 follows Kota puts his performance skills to the test at Atlanta’s popular Apache Café Open Mic night.

To follow more of Kota Santez as he rise to stardom and to see what he is up to in Austin,Tx  you can subscribe to his youtube channel @KotaSantezTV or on all social media platforms @KotaSantez.