There are very few artists that can demonstrate versatility in both their musical range and vocal abilities. However, 23-year-old Marcos Hernandez has the talent and training to do both, and it happens to come naturally.
The handsome vocalist can easily switch music genres to cater to the mood of his audience whether it’s invigorating Pop, the rhythmic sounds of R & B or serenading ballads, Marcos’ debut CD, C About Me has something for everyone.
“I’ve been singing since I was born,” recalls the Mexican-American heartthrob who has an old soul he attributes to growing up on Motown. “We’d [Marcos and his three siblings— Monique, Leticia and John] would perform for our grandparents and every time we’d go to family gatherings, people would just expect us to perform. We were like the Mexican Sound of Music.”
Performing for friends and family would eventually turn into a lifelong passion. Born in Phoenix and raised in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Marcos made the conscious decision to go pro in his adolescent years. At a time when most kids are thinking about playing with video games, Marcos wasted no time in jumpstarting his calling. “About 12, my mom and dad gave me an ultimatum—football or music,” recalls Marcos, whose dad coached football and wanted him to take full advantage of his athletic abilities. A multi-talented Marcos went with the latter. “Football was not that big of a thing for me. I chose music.”
Marcos joined his junior high school choir and began formal vocal training. “I took vocal lessons from 12 to 18,” Marcos proudly recalls. “I went every week for nine months at a time. I trained with a vocal coach and voice teacher. One taught me how to sing and the other taught me what to sing. Both went hand and hand.”
Marcos developed his own personal style by listening to a variety of artists and music genres. His Latin upbringing exposed him to the traditional sounds of Mariachi, while Marcos also gravitated to the rhythmic sounds of Motown artists like Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder, and the popular classic tunes on the Top 40 charts. “It was groups like The Temptations and The Platters,” Marcos recalled of his earlier inspirations. “Their songs had strong melodies and they sang them effortlessly It was all about the songs. These groups knew how to perform and deliver a song.”
Inspired by entertainers from “back-in-the-day” Marcos made sure to also focus on his showmanship. Every chance he could, he performed in front of an audience whether it was at a karaoke bar or local jam session. These opportunities prepared him to enter a local radio station contest judged by 106.1 KISS FM's Kid Kraddick who was putting together a boy band, which became the Dallas-based group, Sons of Harmony. “They were having a crazy contest at a mall for a boy band,” says Marcos. I was really nervous and one of the last people to sing. I got picked and we stayed together for two years.”
Sons of Harmony toured opening for artists including 98 Degrees, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, Pink, Jon Bon Jovi, as well as opening on a multi-city tour with the Grammy Award winning group, Destiny's Child.
Marcos soon caught the attention of seasoned manager, Tommy Quon (Vanilla Ice), which eventually led Marcos to signing with independent powerhouse TVT Records.
It’s evident that some of Marcos’ biggest influences today are in the current Latino music movement. “I admire Pitbull’s aggressiveness, Enrique Iglesias’ and Ricky Martin’s stage performance and Christina’s vocal abilities,” admits Marcos. “I am also a big fan of No Doubt, Incubus, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Timberlake, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Musiq Soulchild, Brandy, Timbaland, Aaliyah and Missy.”
The first single from C About Me, “If You Were Mine” produced by Eliot Sloan, Robi Menace and Wayne Stalling is currently climbing the Pop charts. “ This album is a reflection of the music I grew up listening to. All the Motown stuff, 80s Pop and Rock as well as music I like today, “ says Marcos, whose debut album contains soothing, serene, tranquil, peaceful ballads alongside energetic and contagious dance tracks. I want my music to remind you of good times. I want my words and phrases to mean more than something cliché.”
Marcos’ passion and vocal abilities have attracted an impressive roster of producers including Dallas-based Jerome Harmon (Kirk Franklin), Magic (NB Ridaz), Richie Blaze (Diane Warren), Scott Storch (Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Xzibit) and Steve Morales (Enrique Iglesias). Marcos co-wrote more than half of the 15 songs on the album.
Entitled C About Me, (a “pickup line” he uses when asking girls to come check him out,) exposes Marcos’ sensitive side and his true feelings about love, romance, breaking up and getting close. Upbeat and contagious rhythms like “Get Personal” and “Lovely Girl” become Marcos’ way of paying close attention to women with using compliments instead of aggressive behavior. C About Me has become Marcos’ flirtation anthem, while tracks like “Bitter Sweet”, address how twisted guys can get over sweet, attractive girls with sour attitudes. Confessions of love will ring true in devotional ballads like “The Way I Do”, “If You Were Mine”, “If I’d Known” (a romantic apology), “Call Me” (yearning to have someone close), “Best of My Love”, “Say” or “Endlessly” for inspiration. Better yet, set the stage for your tropical fantasy with cumbia/reggaetón track “Bailamos” or tropical pop track “Latin Escapades”. With a blend of Spanish guitar, soulful vocals and the influences of the music he grew up on – you get Marcos and C About Me.
10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOWN KNOW ABOUT MARCOS
On Career: He has had vast career ambitions. He loves to cook and once considered going into the culinary arts. He studied Fire Protection & Investigation in school and hoped to become an arson investigator. His love of helping people, made him become a certified EMT.
On Sports: Marcos was named the fastest swimmer in high school. A certified lifeguard, he worked for two years with "Aqua Kids" teaching kids three months to 14 years of age how to swim.
On Community Activism: Marcos was a spokesperson for the American Heart Association. He helped raise awareness in the Latino community about the correlation of dieting and heart disease.
On Health: Marcos once weighed 240 lbs. He lost weight and made a lifestyle change because both his grandparents’ health was compromised. He went on the Atkins diet for three months, which helped him change the way he eats.
On Family: Marcos has three siblings; Monique who is 27, Leticia who is 25 and John, who is 31, married with one child. Leticia used to sing Tejano music. Marcos’ parents have been married for 34 years.
On Hobbies: Marcos has recently taken up snowboarding.
On Reading: Marcos is a Harry Potter Whiz
On Tunes Playing Right Now: Guerillas, The Doves, Embrace and Incubus.
On Favorite Artists: I discovered Alejandro Fernandez’s music after returning from a trip to Guadalajara, Mexico.
On Own Album: My favorite songs are “That Thing You Do,” a feel-good
track and “Lost,” which Marcos, wrote after listening to someone else’s