Introduction and the beginning rambling.
In order to hopefully make your life easier, I have decided to include multiple bios. The reason… there are bios for multiple purposes. Turns out… A bio is not supposed to be about me sharing my life and my emotional baggage. Lol…. I am not supposed to have grammar errors and run-on sentences. Really? I have met very few run-on sentences that I did not love… lol… You may ask why is the above important? I could sell you the illusion, buuuuut that is not my personality. I am a rambler! No, not the car…. That just means that I talk a lot sometimes aimlessly, buuuut sometimes I am just in the mood to talk and connect whether in person or over the internet. Like right now… If this style is not going to work for you, then you are going to be annoyed at everything that I do…. Lol…. Oh… the dot, dot, dots, just means that I have more to say, but I am trying to move on in order to answer your questions.
Alright… Here we go….
Mark Nash is the President of Nash Records and an indie artist from Houston, Texas. He creates music that is rhythm and blues and hip-hop/rap. His musical influences includes Luther Vandross, Gerald Levert, Brian McKnight, Will Downing, and Boyz II Men for R&B and for hip-hop/rap, his musical influences include 2Pac, Ice-Cube, X-Clan, KRS-One, and Public Enemy. He is a songwriter as well as a singer, rapper, and poet. He has been working in the music industry over 20 years. He writes and performs all of his songs. He also creates all the instrumentals, works as the engineer in order to lay all the vocals and does his own mixing as well as mastering of the songs. His key achievements include a one man live classical and jazz concert and producing three albums and two poetry books. He is currently working on a new rap album.
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. We moved around a lot, but for the most part I grew up in Third Ward. The youngest of four and my parents are both teachers and I was raised by my Mama. My home life was simple. We did not have much, but I never knew that because for the most part I always had what I needed. I would say that I grew up in isolation for the most part. I was not old enough to hang with the older kids and not young enough to play with the younger kids so I just did my own thing for the most part.
For middle and high school, everyone on my block went to the local middle and high school and I chose to go to school across town. My family moved again and my only real connections with my new friends from middle and high school were over the telephone and events. By the way, I had a happy childhood, but I am giving you my journey so you may have a little more insight on why I am such a goofball. Lol…
So as a child, I had always enjoyed singing and making, what we called back in the day, slow tapes. These slow tapes had the most beautiful love songs. My artist of choice was Luther Vandross. It seemed that, at that time, he consistently created songs that directly related to what I was going through concerning love. I guess you can say those slow tapes would be my first introduction to singing. I actually did not become interested in rapping until later. If you are waiting for me to tell you that I have been singing all of my life; I guess that is a true statement, but not really. I was never a lead vocalist. I sung in the gospel choir, but nothing more than a member of the choir. Not only that, in high school, I was told consistently not to sing because I was that bad…. Lol….In accordance with that, I had been told all of my life that I did not have the talent to sing. Actually, I was not able to hold a decent note or display any real vocal control until after high school. I even became the cadence caller in 1992 while I was in the military. Over time, I would find that, always in some capacity, I was working on music in some way. I was either purchasing equipment for my studio or visiting places where singers hung out.
Oh, let me cover some of the usual suspects meaning some of my influences. I call them the big 5 – Luther Vandross, Gerald Levert, Brian McKnight, Will Downing, and Boyz II Men for R&B. The list is too long to tell you why, but there are so many artists that I enjoy or love their body of work that since I am writing, I feel an obligation to mention. Some of them are R Kelly, Joe, Peabo Bryson, James Ingram, Teddy Pendegrass, Prince, Coming of Age, Dru Hill, Az Yet, Shai, Silk, Atlantic Starr, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cook, Lou Rawls, Betty Wright, Millie Jackson, Anita Baker, Sade, and I would say those are the big ones that come to mind. I am mostly influenced by male soloists and r&b harmony groups.
As for rap/hip-hop, my influences include 2Pac, Ice-Cube, X-Clan, KRS-One, Public Enemy, Common, Mos Def, Dr. Dre, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Scarface and the Geto Boyz, LL Cool J, and Kool Moe Dee. Now those are the big names, buuuuuut there are some honorable mentions in terms of artists that have either created a song or music that influences the way that I look at creating music. Some of the artists include Fat Pat, Big Moe, Lil Keke, ESG, 8 Ball and MJG, Bustdown, Mystikal, Tim Smoothe, 50 Cent, Nas, Jay-Z kinda (long story lol), Yo-Yo, MC Lyte, Salt N’ Pepa, Kid N’ Play, and Z-ro.
My belief is that every artist, whether I have heard one song or their body of work, whether from Midnight Starr to Count Basie to Hillbilly Blues to Thelonious, Coltrane, Sonny Stitt, Sonny Rollins, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, to Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, the Motown singers and groups, Stevie Wonder and truthfully the list just goes on and on especially since I listen to a lot of music; I am influenced by all of them and there is an element of every one of them in the music that I create. The nice thing is that… all of those influences make me me…. and if you are trying to figure out what makes my music unique and why should you listen to it over anyone else’s….. Easy. I am me and they are them. I tell a story and it may or may not resonate with you. That’s it. Music is completely subjective. I wish I had something clever to tell you like I can talk about love better than anyone or I am simply the greatest rapper ever. Well… Those things are only true because the nature of music is subjective. That point is important because as a poet, I want and do talk about everything and not just simply the human social condition. Much longer story… Just listen to my music for the details…lol….
Quids (Questions with answers that I want to share.)
I am convinced that I am a trendsetter. I just made up this term called Quids. Quids are not the same as FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions, because no one has asked me these questions. Buuuuut I am convinced that I have followers who do not buy my music, but follow me to get new ideas. lol…
The funny statement is that I am an artist first and a music merchant by circumstance. Lol… Alright, I figured I should answer some typical A&R items.
Who are my influences?
What kind of music do I make?
Rhythm and blues (R&B) and hip-hop/rap. Truthfully, those are the categories for merchant sales, but I just make music that has those elements, but I would say that it is closer to my version of spiritual music in an R&B and rap package.
How many people do I draw to a show?
I have one major concert under my belt and there were approximately 20 people that attended the event. I opened with two classical pieces and then sung 7 jazz standards.
I primarily sing cover songs on YouTube and have over 45,000 views. Even if we say 35,000 of those are just me clicking on my own videos, lol…. that still leaves 10,000 views! I get excited about the little things.
How many cds have I sold?
I initially mass produced a bunch of cds for my second album, Booty and Bull, and then decided to go away from that idea and opted for online streaming and downloads. I have over 500 combined streams/downloads. For me, that is a lot, but I love the art and unfortunately being a one man shop if you ask me which do I prefer creating more art or marketing, well… I tend to opt for the art. By the way, I am in the mood to talk as I am writing this. I would create and continue to create even if I never sold another stream/download. I do it for the love and the need for expression and the sales are just icing on the cake.
How long have I been singing/rapping/poeting?
Over 20 years.
Where have I sung?
Primarily on the internet on my YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/mnash3). I have also sung at local clubs around town during Open Mics such as West 57th and The Red Cat Jazz Café. I also have done a recording at St. Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church and some random singing at University of Houston, the Shrine of the Black Madonna, poetry clubs, and karaoke venues.
How many shows/videos per year?
For YouTube, I sing 10-30 cover songs per year and upload the video to my channel.
For live performances, I try to get them in when I can as I do more than just sing.
I sung What’s Going On overseas and got a standing ovation. I sung James Ingram Just Once at a bar in Boston, Massachusetts. They played the sung in its original key and a fell on my face. Lol… Also, at West 57th, I crashed and burned on My Funny Valentine. I lost in a singing contest at a club in Norfolk, Virginia to a guy mumbling over a reggae beat. Lol… Buuuut when I lived in Rochester, New York, I used to sing with a live band and I sung Everyday I have the Blues and My Funny Valentine including a skat and we used to rock the house!
Alright that is it for my bio…. I know…. different than traditional, buuuuuut I wanted to share my personality with you. If it was a presskit or something, I would either use the more formal bio above or just write a new short one for that purpose. The purpose of the informal bio, besides me rambling, was really to share with you how I became me. Annnnd of course, as you explore my website, I am pretty sure that you will find that I have a bunch of odd experiences and of course I write about all of those in my music.
Sooooo…. Definitely support the arts and click on my homepage and scroll down and you can buy my music from the homepage.
Thanks for stopping by and support the arts.