AFTER failing to advance to the live round of American Idol in 2018, dancehall singjay Marcus Antonio has learnt from that experience.
Rebranded and with a new moniker, he is now ready to advance his career to the next level.
“Well, American Idol was a fun and life-learning experience. I went through a few rounds, but due to bad preparations for the audition, I didn't advance to the live show. I look back and think I should have made better decisions, for example, not partying the night before. However, that experience helped me to always aim for more,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
Born Mark Williams, the singjay is the son of Mark “Dragon” Williams.
According to him, his father, as well as other musical legends like Bob Marley and Shaggy, inspired his career choice.
“I was inspired by my father, as well as my mom, to do music. My father is also a legend in the music industry, Mark Dragon from the inner-city sound system. So, I grew up in and around music,” he added.
His stint on American Idol was an eye-opener, according to him. Marcus Antonio has used the lessons he garnered to propel his career.
“Although it was a fun experience, it also taught me to be more prepared and organised for a project. In my career today, I have learned to not procrastinate and plan things out ahead of time,” he explained.
“It taught me to focus more on what's important. It taught me to minimise my distractions when it comes to my artistic craft. I use that focus now when I'm in the studio to knock out my songs and albums easily,” he continued.
The show's original line-up featured co-hosts Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman and a panel of judges consisting of former pop star Paula Abdul, music producer Randy Jackson, and British music executive Simon Cowell.
One of them made a lasting impact on Marcus Antonio.
“When I was on the show, it was three judges from different areas and backgrounds. There was a country artiste from the town of Nashville. I don't remember his name but he stood out to me,” he said.
As a youngster, 'Young Marky' caught the eyes of veteran producers Collie Buddz and Bobby Digital. He released his first song, Future, in 2013. He followed up with Girls all Around and Your Love.
However, he took a five-year hiatus from the scene.
Since his re-emergence, Marcus Antonio has experimented with multiple sounds, which he believes makes him stand out.
“I would describe myself as a multi-talented artist. I don't box myself to one genre of music because I can do many different, like pop, R&B, EDM, country and of course reggae and dancehall…and rock & roll if I feel like it because I love music,” he explained.
The singjay is currently promoting his latest single, Trouble, which premiered on February 22, produced by his own King Recordings Entertainment.
He is pleased with the reception, so far.
“Well, so far, it's been wonderful. It has been received well by my fans. I've been getting a lot of feedback from social media and my record label, King Recordings Entertainment, saying it's definitely a hit song. The song is now spreading across the states and the Caribbean as well. Hopefully, as I rise in my career, my other songs will do just as well,” he said.