NEW YORK — Drudging up painful memories from the past might seem a strange thing to do for someone who's got the #1 song in the country, but don't tell that to Mario.
The singer is following up his smash "Let Me Love You" (see "Mario Sings About His Nikes And His Honeys On Turning Point") with the heartbreaking ballad "How Could You."
"This single is about a relationship I was in with a young lady and, basically, me getting hurt in the relationship," Mario said on the set of his video in Brooklyn. "The video describes the whole situation that went down with me and the young lady. It starts off by one of my friends coming to my car and telling me that he's seen my girl kicking it with some other dude. It surprises me because [I think] we're on a good basis, but obviously she sees something in him that I don't have. Throughout the video, I just show my emotions on how I feel about that.
"The song means a lot to me," he added. "It's something I really experienced, so I thought that I could do a great job in expressing that in the video. And [video director] Benny Boom wrote a great treatment that really matched my situation, so that just added up to a great possibility."
A host of extras, crew members and screaming fans braved freezing temperatures in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn for the video shoot. Among those in attendance were Mario's labelmate Cassidy and actor J.D. Williams, who plays the "other man."
"I'm playing Mario's man and showing him some support," said Cassidy. "He went through something with his girl. She was cheating on him — doing him dirty. So I put him on to that and let him know the whole situation, and I let him know that if he had a problem with the homeboy that she was cheating with that he could come holler at me and I'll hold him down in the 'hood.
"Mario is my man," he added. "We go back a couple of years. We're both on J Records, so we see each other all the time, so whatever he needs me to do I'm holding him down. It is what it is."
With "How Could You" on the way and "Let Me Love You" still topping the singles chart, Mario said he's already contemplating the up-tempo "Here I Go Again" as his third single.
"[It] kind of has a rock appeal to it," he explained. "It's a real upbeat song. 'Let Me Love You' is a mid-tempo, and 'How Could You' is a ballad, so I think it would be time to come out with something to hit them hard and make them rock their heads a little more."
Given the young soul singer's success, Hollywood has come knocking. Mario said it's a transition he's looking forward to making.
"There are a lot of different scripts coming in. Actually, I am reading something right now that I am looking forward to doing with Cedric the Entertainer. I've always been a fan of his, so we'll see how that works out. Nothing is promised, but there are a lot of different things that I want to do as far as movies."
Amidst the flurry of opportunities that success has brought with it, Mario continues to count his blessings because he remembers how unsure he was about how fans would react to his latest album, Turning Point.
"Every time I do something, I think back to my success and it helps me to keep that newfound glory there," Mario said. "It's been fun, but at the same time I was a little nervous. I didn't know how Turning Point was going to do out here in this big world. It's my 'turning point,' so I didn't know how it would be accepted or if people would really care. Of course, my real fans caught on to it, and 'Let Me Love You' ended up being ... a timeless record that everyone can relate to."