We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Joseph and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mark, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor is to be 100% myself and to do it unapologetically. It’s important to know who I am and not shy away from that, because THAT’S my brand. My authenticity. People know when you’re faking the funk- when it’s not authentic. They can see it, feel it, and hear it. The mantra I live by is, “take up space.” I take up space as a Gay, Black man by choosing not to water myself down to make others comfortable.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets me apart from others is that I don’t want to focus so much on just one aspect of my identity. For example, being a gay recording artist, there’s expectations that I’d talk a lot about that in my music. But I’ m not making that aspect of my identity core to my music. I’m a recording artist who happens to be gay, AND I want people to get know all the other sides of who I am as well. I’m Haitian. I’m passionate about mental health. I love a good party. I’m empathetic. I love to laugh. The list goes on and I’m excited to share about who I am through my music, and for people to get to know me beyond the surface.
I’ve gotten to where I am today by being stubborn about my dreams. I didn’t let people convince me to prepare and fall into a plan B. I’ve always known that this path with my music has been the one for me. I also keep myself from comparing my craft to others’ because there’s room for all of us. We’re all unique, and comparison can keep us from flaunting what makes us different.
Something I want the world to know about me is that I wasn’t always a strong singer. I’ve become the artist I am today by pouring so much effort and heart into creating my music.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to Cajun Seafood House in Thai Town- hands down one of my favorite restaurants in LA! We’re definitely ordering the Cajun Fried Rice when we get there. Afterwards we could get drinks at Idle Hours- this bar with architecture that makes you feel like you’re in a giant treehouse.
If we’re trying to catch up outdoors, I’d head to Hollywood Park and bring a blanket to picnic and catch up. Venice beach is another great place to be outdoors and catch a vibe by the beach. There’s so much great food on the boardwalk and it’s a great spot for people watching. Then we’d hit up Lucky Strike, a bowling alley with live music that features incredible talent.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My high school chorus teacher, Ms. Knight, for pushing me and believing in me more than I believed in myself. My drama club teacher, Mr. Hogan, for using the arts to push me so far out of my comfort zone and helping me own my personality. My close friends, for providing safe spaces where I can connect, learn, and be heard.