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"In such a competitive industry, what I look for is a unique sound. YOU don't sound like anyone else and that's such a good thing!" - Legendary Empress of Soul, Gladys Knight
"You run into artist sometimes that are so unique, that all you can tell them is "Do yo thang" and your style is so unique!" - Legendary Hip Hop Mogul, Doug E Fresh
These were the words shared with Chicago's own recording artists/singer/songwriter, Mark J. P. Hood as he competed on B.E.T.'s Apollo Live in New York.
Hailing from the Southside of Chicago, Hood has worked tirelessly to create his own unique sound in music. With influences ranging from Usher to Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Rascal Flatts and Michael Jackson, he aims to create good, clean music that deals with love, and tackles
real life situations. His highly anticipated single "Ain’t Gone Change" has not only been played on Chicago's largest radio station's 107.5 WGCI and Power 92.3, but has received air time in several other markets across the US as well.
Hood is natural performer who's rich vocals and profound lyrics have earned him a Refuge Best Male Vocalist Award, and resulted in him becoming a Chicago Music Awards Emerging Star Finalist. Though he’s still on the rise himself, one of his greatest joys is taking advantage of opportunities
to give back to children, in efforts of helping them reach their dreams. Not only has he served as the vocal coach for WGCI’s own Demi Lobo’s Most Talented Under 12 National Competition, but
he also headlined the Stop the Bullying School Tour.
Mark has sang with Grammy nominated artists Vashawn Mitchell and Case, Stellar Award nominated artist Todd Dulaney, Stellar Award winning producer Percy Gray, American Idol Finalist Paris Bennett, and a host of others! Opening up for one of his musical heroes, PJ Morton of Maroon 5, with the Shocking Truth Band was definitely a moment that he’ll always keep close to his heart, as well as his performance on the world famous Apollo Theatre stage.
In addition to singing, Hood is also a rising actor, having been seen on NBC’s Chicago Fire, Dreamgirls and The Color Purple, which were both directed by Chicago playwright and director, John Ruffin, as well as Hoodoo Love, under the direction of Nelsan Ellis of HBO's TrueBlood.
He's doing everything he can from singing and acting to giving back, in efforts of making Chicago proud. This is only the beginning for him, and with his drive and work ethic, he’s bound to accomplish so much more in his promising future.