Meet SAMA Nominee Mario Ogle

Mario Ogle is the new kid on the block, achieving great things on the SA music scene. His music is an energetic soulful journey which includes radio hits, feel-good tracks to slow jams and easy listening. The 21 year old from Pietermaritzburg, is the fast rising R&B singer whose debut album ‘Can’t stop loving you’ has just been nominated for a SAMA (South African Music Award) in the category Best R&B / Neo-Soul Album. The Socialite paid Mario a visit to find out more…

What has been the highlight of your career to date?

The highlight of my career to date is definitely when I was nominated for a SAMA. The nomination really highlighted the fact that hard work does pay off. Whether I win or not. I intend on working even harder to reach new heights, Grammy’s here I come! (Laughs).

Your music collection consists of?

I listen to a lot of music and it ranges from Jazz to the Classics. I enjoy anything that has good melody and lyrical content – other than that most of my collection consists of Stevie Wonder CD’s.

On weekends we’ll find you?

If I’m not working on selling my album or performing at a gig, I normally just hang out with family and friends.

Your greatest indulgence?

It has to be music! I can’t seem to get enough of it. Whether it is singing, working in the studio, writing, or performing, I’m wrapped up in music. I also really love biltong. (Laughs).

How do you prepare for a performance?

I relax and do as little talking as possible. I prepare mentally by going through how I will execute the show and what I need to say in-between songs and then finish off with 15 minutes of humming exercises. Then I’m good to go.

Is performing in front of home audiences more of a thrill than playing at away venues?

To be honest I really do love performing to a home audience because they relate to you more and it doesn’t seem like a performance, but more of a family gathering. (Laughs). Away venues are also really fun, as the audiences respond well and show their love for good music. I think performing on a whole is just a huge thrill for me.

Favourite local artists?

Locally, we have so many amazing acts and I couldn’t possibly choose. My list would fill up a whole page. I just appreciate all local content that uplifts and adds to our industry. I think local is definitely lekker.

What music did you listen to growing up?

When growing up my Dad was a mobile DJ, so I was exposed to a lot of music. At home though, there was a lot of Jazz and R&B/Soul. The likes of Michael Franks, Fourplay, Maze & Franky Beverly, Gladys Knight & The Pips… The list goes on and I still listen to all that today.

Future plans or projects in the works?

The future is so exciting for me. Right now, I’m just focusing towards my own personal goals. Which are winning a SAMA and getting my Gold Certification (20 000 units sold). Other than those two personal goals, I’m working a lot in studio for other artists’ projects – writing, producing etc. I’m also getting my second album ready in-between all that.

Best advice you ever received and who was it from?

“Work hard my boy, the rest will all fall into place” – My parents. Hard work has been 90% percent of everything I have achieved to date. Thanks Mommy and Daddy! (Laughs).

A Few Fun Facts:

1. Phrase you use all too often?

I tend to use and describe everything as awesome.

2. Last song you sang out loud?

A new song I wrote for my new album, it’s super exciting.

3. Your favourite party spot?

I don’t really go clubbing as I tend to stick to more chilled lounge-type venues. My favourite is definitely Yossis. On a Sunday they have an awesome acoustic band playing while you relax with friends.

4. If you had the power to annihilate all recordings of one song, what would it be?

There’s quite a few of those songs around! (Laughs). I can’t think of one in particular, but anything that’s disrespectful to women and just darn right rude. There’s no need for all that in music.

5. You can’t leave the house without…

My Blackberry

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