If you like Frankie J, Natalie, Avant or MC Magic, you’re going to love Marcos Hernandez. There are very few artists who can demonstrate versatility in both their musical range and vocal abilities, but 23-year-old Marcos Hernandez can. He’s a natural in an industry where a studio typically makes up for a lack of talent, and he’s doing big things that all come naturally to him.
“I’ve been singing since I was born,” recalls the Mexican American heartthrob who has an old soul that he attributes to growing up on Motown. “We [Marcos and his three siblings Monique, Leticia and John] would perform for our grandparents and every time we’d go to family gatherings, people would just expect us to perform. We were like the Mexican Sound of Music.”
Performing for friends and family would eventually turn into a lifelong passion. Born in Phoenix, Arizona, and raised in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas, Marcos made the conscious decision to go pro in his adolescent years. At a time when most kids are thinking about playing with video games, Marcos wasted no time in jumpstarting his calling. “When I was about 12, my mom and dad gave me an ultimatum-football or music,” recalls Marcos, whose dad coached football and wanted him to take full advantage of his athletic abilities. The multi-talented Marcos went with the latter. “Football was not that big of a thing for me.”
Marcos developed his own personal style by listening to a variety of artists and musical genres. His Latin upbringing exposed him to the traditional sounds of mariachi, while he also gravitated to the rhythmic sounds of Motown artists like Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder, and the popular classic tunes on the Top 40 charts. The Temptations and The Platters were earlier inspirations. “Their songs had strong melodies, they sang them effortlessly and they knew how to perform and deliver a song,” Marcos says.
Inspired by entertainers from “back-in-the-day,” Marcos made sure to also focus on his showmanship. Every chance that he could, he performed in front of an audience, whether it was at a karaoke bar or local jam session. These opportunities prepared him to enter a local radio station contest judged by 106.1 KISS FM’s Kid Kraddick, who was putting together a boy band, which became the Dallas-based group Sons of Harmony. “They were having a crazy contest at a mall for a boy band,” remembers Marcos. “I was really nervous and one of the last people to sing. I got picked and we stayed together for two years.”
Sons of Harmony toured as the opening act for artists including 98 Degrees, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, Pink and Jon Bon Jovi, as well as opening on a multi-city tour with the Grammy Award-winning group, Destiny’s Child. Marcos soon caught the attention of seasoned manager, Tommy Quon (Vanilla Ice), which eventually led to signing with independent powerhouse TVT Records. The album C About Me and the hit single “If You Were Mine” quickly followed and are ample proof of his talent and versatility.