If you were a teen (or tween) in the early 2000s, you probably remember when Mario Barrett hit the scene with his hit single “Just a Friend 2002”. The song, inspired by Biz Markie’s 1989 hit, was an uptempo song that quickly became popular. Some people may have thought Mario would be a one-hit wonder, but he proved he had many other great songs where that one came from. He continued releasing successful projects through the late 2010s and became known to countless people worldwide. In 2022, Mario received renewed attention after competing against R&B singer Omarion in a Verzuz battle. Mario’s fans are looking forward to seeing what he does next, and he’s excited to show them. Keep reading for ten things you didn’t know about Mario Barrett.
1. He Started Singing as a Kid
Many people spend their entire lives trying to figure out what they want to do, but that wasn’t the case for Mario. He fell in love with singing when he was around four years old, and it didn’t take long for the people around him to realize that he was very talented. By age 11, he had already landed his first record deal.
2. He Likes to Stay Active
Singing may not be a sport, but it still requires a good amount of physical fitness. After all, running back and forth on a hot stage while trying to keep your vocals strong isn’t an easy thing to do. As a result, Mario is very serious about keeping himself in shape, and he loves hitting the gym and getting a good workout in.
3. He Enjoys Traveling
Mario’s success as a singer has opened the door to an entire world of opportunities. Throughout his career, he has traveled extensively, and he’s always enjoyed visiting different places and learning about what they have to offer. He will likely be traveling even more within the next several years.
4. He’s Always Been Very Private
At this point, Mario has been in the music industry for more than half of his life. However, even after all of that time, he has never been one to open up about his personal life. He prefers to lead a private lifestyle, and as a result, there isn’t much information out there about him outside of things related to his career.
5. He Likes Giving Back to the Community
Mario didn’t have the most straightforward upbringing. His grandmother raised him primarily because his mother struggled with substance abuse issues. He has made it a point to use his platform to help others who come from similar situations. At one point, he even started an organization called the Do Right Foundation, although it’s unclear if it’s still active.
6. He’s Written and Produced for Other Artists
Mario’s career as a performer has earned him the most attention, but many fans may not realize that he’s done more than put out his music. He was also a member of a production team called Knightwritaz, including Sterling Simms and Marsha Ambrosius. Knightwritaz wrote and produced for big names such as Chris Brown, Usher, and Jennifer Lopez as a group.
7. He Plays the Drums
Anyone who has heard Mario sing will probably agree that his vocals are incredible. However, that isn’t the only musical skill he has. He is also a talented drummer and loves playing whenever he gets the chance. He also has a half-brother named Derryl “D.J.” Barrett Jr., a professional drummer.
8. Mario Barrett Started a Record Label
There’s no doubt that Mario has the creative side down, but he’s also a business-minded person. In 2016, he founded a record label called New Citizen LLC. As of now, Mario has not released any full-length projects through the label, but it seems likely that his next album will be part of the label.
9. He’s Working on a Book
Mario is the kind of person who isn’t afraid to step outside of his comfort zone, and he plans on taking a giant leap in the future. He is in the process of writing a memoir called Life In Exchange. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any information on when the project will be released.
10. He’s Passionate About Animal Rights
Mario is a proud dog dad, but his love for animals extends far beyond his pups. He is a believer in the importance of animal rights. In 2009, he teamed up with PETA for a campaign called “Ink, Not Mink,” which urged people to stop killing animals.