First, Ne-Yo found inspiration in the electro blasting throughout clubs overseas, dabbling with the sounds on his last album, Year of the Gentleman. Then Will.I.am, Kelis and a slew of other R&B acts followed. Consider Mario the latest act hooked by house music.
"The new album right now, I'm just focused on the album," the singer told MTV News backstage at [article id="1639310"]Chris Brown's "Virginia Stand Up! A Call to Action"[/article] benefit concert on Saturday.
The Baltimore native explained that the genre's grooves were just too appealing not to flirt with on his upcoming project.
"Stay tuned. I just came back from Europe — it's crazy out there," Mario said. "I just did a DJ/ house [music] tour in Europe; I did like 10 days. It was a huge thing, like 15,000-seat venue. It was incredible to see how many people are into house music and R&B music, and how house music influences R&B nowadays. You know, [it has a] real strong presence ... over there."
The collection, due this summer, according to Mario, would be his fifth album and the follow-up to last year's set, D.N.A. That project spawned the hit "Break Up," featuring Gucci Mane and Sean Garrett.
Mario's yet-untitled album is tentatively slated to include a guest appearance by Chris Brown, though nothing has been confirmed so far. Mario said the two crooners recently spent time together in a Los Angeles studio — though admittedly Brown was working with Keri Hilson and not him — and the pair have high hopes to get something recorded between them soon.
"For the ladies," he said with a smile.
Are you excited to hear new music from Mario? Let us know in the comments!