He may have started off as “Just A Friend,” but these days R&B singer Mario and his sultry voice are all grown up and preparing to take the world by storm. High off the release of his sexy debut single “Let Me Help You,” from his forthcoming album “Cosmo 17,” EBONY caught up with the global romantic to talk all things travel, and find out why Australia is the one place in the world he can’t get enough of.
EBONY: As an artist you are constantly on the go, what’s your favorite bag to travel with and why?
MARIO: My favorite back to travel with is my black Louis Vuitton backpack. It’s unexpectedly spacious inside giving me room to carry all of my must-haves including both of my laptops.
EBONY: How would you describe your travel style?
MARIO: My travel style is urban, sophisticated and cool with the touch of comfort for the traveling stress.
EBONY: What pair of sneakers are currently a must in your carry-on bag?
MARIO: My Fear of God sneakers are my favorite travel shoes because they feel like boots. They support your ankles and they are very comfortable. Also the Balenciaga sneakers shoes are really really dope for a casual cool look.
EBONY: It’s so hard to find products that work well on Black men’s skin, but yours is always popping. What skin care products are always in your bag?
MARIO: LOL. It’s funny because my male friends asked me this all the time. I think skin is 80% genetics and 20% how you take care of yourself. These are my remedies – Charcoal face and body soap, coconut oil body lotion, Tea tree face lotion and argan oil for the skin and face.
EBONY: A great smelling man is a must, what cologne do you always keep on deck?
MARIO: I don’t wear cologne because I’m sensitive to some of the chemicals. Instead I use different oils as a concoction for my scent. Most of them have sandalwood in the ingredients but it varies from time to time.
EBONY: What do you do to get through long haul flights?
MARIO: My remedy for long flights is reading, sleeping and writing poetry.
EBONY: How do you stay fit on the road?
MARIO: Staying fit on this Australia trip has been really tough because I’ve had shows every day and I did a bunch of traveling at the beginning of the trip. Once I arrived in Melbourne, I had time to work out every morning. Running is great here because of the fresh air.
EBONY: As a musician I’m sure music is never too far from your grasp. What music equipment is always by your side when you travel?
MARIO: You’re 100% right! My studio equipment is important for me when traveling. My traveling equipment consists of: Audio Technica headphones, TLMU 87 microphone, MacBook Pro for all my recording software and an audio Apollo twin interface.
EBONY: What are your must have travel apps?
MARIO: Apps are very important for traveling. They allow me to handle my business on the road and creative endeavors as well. My go to apps are Microsoft Word Processor, Currency Exchange app, Calculator app, Sudoku game app, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and my Digicam app so that I can see how well my dog sitter is taking care of my dog at home LOL.
EBONY: You’ve said that Australia is your favorite country to visit. What brings you back to the country time and time again?
MARIO: Australia’s just an overall beautiful place. It’s not heavily populated and has amazing landscapes. Not to mention the beautiful women.
EBONY: Where do you find inspiration in Australia?
MARIO: I feel like Australia is not intrusive at all. There are many places you can find time and space to yourself where there aren’t many people. I also feel that the atmospheric energy is less heavy than a lot of the other countries I’ve visited.
EBONY: What’s your favorite Australian food to eat?
MARIO: Well, when it comes to food, I had it tough because I’m pescatarian. However, Australia has many vegan restaurants including a place called Sister of Soul in Melbourne, which is currently my favorite.
EBONY: What are a few must see/do tips you can give a first time visitor to Australia.
MARIO: In Australia, be sure to check out Queensland, which is amazing, and obviously the bigger cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. If you like outdoor adventure, you should visit Rock Hampton in Queensland for the Crocodile Farm. Lastly, without a doubt I would suggest to fly from Australia to New Zealand because it such a short flight to see amazing landscapes and the beautiful nature.