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Episode 26 | Music Artist MARK Universe Exclusive Interview

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Today’s guests on I Am Refocused Podcast Special Edition is music artist MARK Universe!

Bio

Daemar Montrez Williams (born June 9) better known by his stage name M.A.R.K Universe is an American songwriter, recording artist, and producer from Mobile, Alabama. The founder of his own record label Own Heir Music LLC in 2012, Daemar’s career has seen him emerge as a noted figure within the Alabama Hip Hop scene.

Early life

Daemar was born to Faith Williams in University of South Alabama hospital, in Mobile, Alabama. Having a lifelong interest in music, Daemar cites Outkast and Hot Boyz as big influencers on developing his early love of rap than began at 6. Raised principally in Alabama, Daemar’s family also moved a number of times when he was young, allowing him to experience life growing up in New York and California as well as Alabama, and Daemar has cited the diversity of this experience as a key influence on his early interest in music and art.

At 14, Daemar began rapping, first by himself, before joining a number of Mobile-local acts, including Million Dollar Team, and Straight Loaded

The Atlanta Years

Daemar’s grew strong recognition in Mobile and Huntsville during his years performing there but ultimately felt in 2006 the desire to move to a bigger market to test himself with new challenges, and grow his career before a new audience.

Moving to Atlanta in August of 2006, Daemar began work on his first professional project “Ima Superstar”. The 5 track EP was well received among the Atlanta rap scene, with particular praise given to the humour and quirky style of its lead track “Box of Chicken”.

Development of the Mark Universe Stage Name

Daemar developed the Mark Universe stage name in 2007. MARK, an acronym for Made A Righteous King and the use of Universe intended to signify one verse, Mark has cited the combination of the two names as an ongoing source of inspiration, and of the possibility and potential for all other artists around him.

Tomorrow Starts Today

Of the albums released across Daemar’s career, his 2017 LP Tomorrow Starts Today was especially significant. Hailed as evidencing a new level of skill and depth by the impassioned rapper, Tomorrow Starts Today also served as a springboard to a new level by Daemar. 
In the same year, he placed as a finalist in December within the IGNITE URBAN National Finals, and seeing Daemar recognized as one of the United States’ most exciting emerging rappers.

Founding Own Heir Music

Daemar founded Own Heir Music in 2012 with a goal to provide a label ‘by artists, for artists’. One that would also serve as a platform for collaboration between Daemar and artists he admired. Alongside Darmar’s works, Own Heir has notably been associated with graphic artist and rapper Rico Knight. 

Having had over 1 million plays on Pandora throughout his career, Daemar’s label has been increasingly sought after by local artists seeking to build their own music, and understanding of how to build a successful music career in the digital era.

Personal life

Daemar is a believer in God and proudly maintains a Christian faith.
Daemar is married and a father of three

Discography

Ima Superstar EP
Above and Beyond LP
Tomorrow Starts Today LP

Further Reading

https://www.markuniverse.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Own-Heir-Music-LLC/109499425738467

A rising star on music scene, emerging as one of the progenitors of Hip Hop in the music arena, MARK Universe synergizes the message of meaning and freedom with Hip Hop beats and movements coupled with a fluid musical style and flow.

“I refer to my music as fire”, with a penetrating energy” Acknowledging the current sense of meaningful music as an urgency, coupled with the need for change.” MARK Universe is blazing, and his energy is intoxicating. MARK has grown as an artist, and so has his music. He is constantly evolving.

“I want my music to make a difference in the life of my audience and keep them humming and feeling good long after I have left the stage.” That is the essence of good music.” says MARK musingly.

To see MARK Universe on stage is to experience a transformation that will cause you to both sway to the rhythm and enliven your senses. You will find yourself being caressed by his lyrical flow.

“There is no one out there like MARK Universe” Says Cynthia Walton-Jouber’t of BURST Agency PR & Media Group. The unique blend of his signature voice and the originality of his songs and rap flows cause this artist to step into a class all of his very own.

So, the question begs, “Is he satisfied?” And he answers, “No, because the sky is the limit.”

Powerfully anointed, Daemar “MARK Universe” Williams was born and raised in Prichard, AL, a small town outside of Mobile. By the grace of God, he is a gifted lyricist, songwriter, philanthropist, entrepreneur, media mogul, entertainer and all around trailblazer.

MARK, is on track to leave an awesome legacy of breaking molds, limits and barriers and leaving his Mark on the Universe.

Strong, concise, loving and armed with hope, MARK is a bright and shining star on the Positive Hip Hop scene, and is currently working on a new, exciting musical project.

The world is ready, and is in need of the freshness that is MARK UNIVERSE……

Hear this podcast on Googleplay, TuneinRadio, iTunes, Spreaker, Youtube, and iHeartradio

Podcast weekly broadcast location:

Rockafellas Barber Shop (Owner: Rico Rodriguez)

1733 Babcock Rd. San Antonio, TX 78229

Sponsors:

I Am Refocused Podcast Sponsored by River City Donuts San Ant
1723 Babock Rd. San Antonio, TX 78229

I Am Refocused Podcast Sponsored by Bay Bay McClinton of All Sports Speed and Conditioning

http://www.allsportsfitness.net/

All Sports Speed and Conditioning is the top sports performance training gyms in San Antonio, and has produce many collegiate and professional athletes since opening. All Sports was founded in 1997 by Bremond “Bay Bay” McClinton. All Sports is based out of the beautiful city of San Antonio, TX. Having accomplished his own career in professional sports; starting a company like All Sports was a natural transition for him. Bay Bay is a native of San Antonio, TX. His 100 meter dash in High School at Roosevelt High in San Antonio was not broken until recently. In college Bay Bay played opposite the great future hall of famer, Darrell Green. He went on to sign a professional career with the Houston Oilers, Dallas Cowboys and played 7 years in the European Leagues before returning to his home town to finish his career “San Antonio Texans”. In 2006, his company, All Sports administered the strength and conditioning program for the East vs West Shriners’s college senior bowl. In 2008-09, All Sports administered the strength and conditioning program for the Division II college Senior Cactus Bowl All Star game in Kingsville. Today All Sports Speed and Conditioning continues to train athletes to elevate their athletic performance to the next level in all sports.

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Refocused Magazine was created to inspire people to refocus themselves and discover their true purpose in life. Each story is a source of inspiration to empower the reader to regain their focus. Our talented writers are dedicated to providing content that will inspire you to grow and find your focus in life.

Entertainment

Music Artist Gary Burk III

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Guest: Gary Burk III

Bio

Hailing from Western Pennsylvania, Gary Burk III’s musical journey began at age 9, while riding along with his dad to their family camp. There was a song playing on the radio…some old-time country tune that touched Gary in a way that would change his life forever. Drawing inspiration from his biggest influences, Alabama, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, Gary fronts his 3 piece band of outlaws, performing at events across the region.

Gary’s extensive collection of guitars includes a Custom Built Signature J&B Customs Tele-Style, as well as a Gibson Les Paul Robot Series In Manhattan Blue. He uses a Line 6 M16 module played through an Egnater Tweaker 40 amplifier.

When he’s not touring or recording, Gary enjoys spending time with his twin boys and two daughters.

Gary Burk’s new single, “Friday Night” is being released on MTS Records this spring.

www.garyburkiii.com
https://www.facebook.com/thegaryburk/

MEDIA CONTACT:

Michael Stover
MTS Management Group
michael@mtsmanagementgroup.com

Hear this podcast on Googleplay, Spotify, TuneinRadio, iTunes, Spreaker, Youtube, and iHeartradio

Podcast weekly broadcast location:

Rockafellas Barber Shop (Owner: Rico Rodriguez)

1733 Babcock Rd. San Antonio, TX 78229

Sponsors:

ENGAGE! publishes the Christian Community Calendar weekly.

www.facebook.com/engagesa

Prosperitus Solutions is headquartered on the Southwest side of San Antonio, Texas and serving the Department of Defense since 2011. Prosperitus employs more than 100 staff nationwide with footprints in over 8 states.

Mission Statement: To attract and ignite talent resulting in prosperous solutions for our customers and community.

Our skill-sets cover:

• Medical Services
• Information Technology
• Logistics
• Finance
• Marketing
• Human Resources

We have put together a Lean Experienced Corporate staff with one mission, to provide Exceptional Service to our customers and foster long lasting profitable partnerships with our teaming companies.

www.prosperitussolutions.com/prosperitus/

I Am Refocused Podcast Sponsored by River City Donuts
1723 Babock Rd. San Antonio, TX 78229

I Am Refocused Podcast Sponsored by Bay Bay McClinton of All Sports Speed and Conditioning

www.allsportsfitness.net

All Sports Speed and Conditioning is the top sports performance training gyms in San Antonio, and has produce many collegiate and professional athletes since opening. All Sports was founded in 1997 by Bremond “Bay Bay” McClinton. All Sports is based out of the beautiful city of San Antonio, TX. Having accomplished his own career in professional sports; starting a company like All Sports was a natural transition for him. Bay Bay is a native of San Antonio, TX. His 100 meter dash in High School at Roosevelt High in San Antonio was not broken until recently. In college Bay Bay played opposite the great future hall of famer, Darrell Green. He went on to sign a professional career with the Houston Oilers, Dallas Cowboys and played 7 years in the European Leagues before returning to his home town to finish his career “San Antonio Texans”. In 2006, his company, All Sports administered the strength and conditioning program for the East vs West Shriners’s college senior bowl. In 2008-09, All Sports administered the strength and conditioning program for the Division II college Senior Cactus Bowl All Star game in Kingsville. Today All Sports Speed and Conditioning continues to train athletes to elevate their athletic performance to the next level in all sports.

I Am Refocused Podcast Sponsored by D.W. Brooks Funeral Home
2950 E. Houston St.
San Antonio, TX 78202
Email: info@dwbrooksfh.com
Phone: 210-223-2045
Website: dwbrooksfuneralhome.com

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Music Artist Refocused Spotlight: Durmond Glanton

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What or who inspired you to become a gospel artist?

Durmond: John P. Kee made me fall in love with gospel music because of his showmanship and Troy Sneed motivated me to be an artist by constant encouragement and wisdom.

In the Gospel Industry today, what artist would you like to collaborate with and why?

Durmond: There’s a lot of artists I would love to collab with but if I had to choose one, which I can’t (LOL), my top 2 are John P. Kee and The Walls Group. John P. Kee because he is the “Godfather of Gospel”, who wouldn’t want to collab with him. And The Walls Group because they hold a special place in me becoming “Undefeated”.

What advice would you give to one just getting started in gospel music?

Durmond: Keep God first, remain humble and remember, all it takes is one yes.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years?

Durmond: In 5 years I would like to see myself at my full potential and reaching ultimate goals musically, changing the world one song at a time.

Revelation 12:11 “We are overcome by the words of our testimonies.” I have survived 3 strokes, drug addiction, homelessness, beginning stage lung cancer, the loss of a child and literally was minutes away from committing suicide. I refused to be defeated because I knew no matter what my circumstances were that if God was fighting for me, victory was already mine. I am a great example of overcoming all odds and allowing others to see that ONLY through Jesus Christ, we are “Undefeated”.

The “Undefeated” Story of Durmond Glanton

My story begins on Thursday, July 14, 1977, a miracle named Durmond Lavell Glanton was introduced to  the world only weighing 4 pounds 2 ounces. However, since the announcement of my arrival, the enemy had plots and schemes to try to eliminate me. At 6 months old the first attempt on my life was halted when the best friend of my mother, accidentally slammed the trunk of her car on my neck so hard, my mother thought my neck was broken.  After checking me into the doctor, it was determined that my neck was only “badly” bruised, but I would be just fine. Mission Failed.

At the age of 4, I fell in love with the drums, but because my parents or grandparents couldn’t afford to buy me a drum set, my grandfather was determined to make sure I did. So what he would often do is tear 2 limbs from trees in his backyard, then turnover pots and pans on his kitchen floor, sit me in the middle of them, and allow me to “Bang Away”.  It was then, at the age of 4, when I taught myself rhythm, and how to play the drums. I would practice on a real drum set every Sunday playing at the church (Redeem COGIC) right up the road from my grandparent’s house in Willamson, NY. By the time I was 6, I was the church drummer and very skilled at it. Some spectators from visiting churches would be amazed at this “little boy’s” drumming skills at such a young age. For that reason alone, I remained faithful as a drummer to Redeem COGIC.

The second attempt on my life happened when he was 8 years old. I was standing at the bus stop with my older brothers in the freezing cold in Webster, NY. It was snowing hard and I remember it piling up so ridiculously. That’s when a car lost control coming around the corner and struck me going close to 40 mph on an icy road. I remember being strapped to the gurney being asked NOT to move. I was rushed to the hospital and my mother, Evangelist Clara Harrell, was told by the doctor that I had no broken bones, no bumps or bruises, and the snowbank that I landed in HEAD FIRST was the reason for no serious injuries. Mission Failed.

So you may ask, “Durmond, is this really your story sir?” No not at all. These are early testimonies as reminders to me that the Devil ALWAYS had a PLOT, but God ALWAYS had a PLAN! I could really keep going on with testimonies of my life as a teenager and young adult, and i promise when I have the time I will share it with you all, but I really wanted to share the part of my story that really brought my “Undefeated” campaign about.

I served as a musician at church every since I can remember. Even after the Lord saved me and filled me with The Holy Ghost. I also served as an Elder on the ministerial staff at the church. I was called into evangelism and traveled to various churches around the country to preach at conferences and revivals in various states. I was serving the Lord, serving my Godfather Superintendent Henry Prior at my home church, and serving other ministries on the road as an Evangelist. LIFE WAS GOOD. Then all of a sudden, all hell broke loose in my life. (Can I just be transparent and tell the truth?) I started to experience real life struggles at home, at work, EVEN at church. The warfare was REAL Ladies and Gentlemen. It seemed like I was fighting demons EVERYWHERE I went, and honestly, I wanted OUT.  So I made myself disappear. I figured if I stopped preaching, singing, and playing (Drums and Organ), and doing the “church” thing, maybe the struggle would stop. It ended up being one of the BIGGEST mistakes I’ve ever made in my entire life. In an instant I lost my job that I had for 13 years, I left a home that I had spiritually established, and found myself walking the streets of Rochester, NY, homeless. Before I knew it, I was selling cocaine, addicted to cocaine, drinking alcohol excessively every day to not only numb the spiritual pain, but to also “Prove” that I’m not that “church boy” that everybody thought they knew. I knew the Saints that knew me were praying for my deliverance, but I really was going through it y’all. It had got so bad, that I was sleeping in shelters, and on park benches, and I really didn’t like the person I had become.  I decided on one Thursday night, “I’m going to church this Sunday, get prayer, leave the church and go back to the streets and find a way to end my life.” That was my plan from that moment heading into the weekend, and attending church “One last time”. And let me tell you, that weekend before the final Sunday, I partied like I was a crazy man on Friday and Saturday. I figured since this is it, I might as well go all out. The “friends” I was hanging with had NO idea where my mind was.

So here it is, the final Sunday. I woke up early, shaved myself clean (thinking that when my body is being viewed in my coffin, my head would be nicely shaved). The Devil really had my mind. I got dressed, got picked up by my boy Ced who was the church drummer at the time, and headed out to Redeem-Bethel COGIC one last time. There really isn’t much I can remember about the service that day, but I do remember my GPops along with the rest of the church praying for me at the altar. I remember crying so hard at the altar because I knew by the following Sunday I would be just a memory. After church I hugged just about everyone I could get my hands on to say my goodbyes. As I was leaving the church to go back to the streets, then the shelter, and then death, my Aunt Michelle Odita, who was also the church choir director stopped me and Ced in the parking lot of the church before we pulled off and handed me a blank CD and said “Durmond if you don’t do ANYTHING ELSE, please listen to this song on here”. I told her ok and put the CD in my pocket not even thinking about it. So i got back to Good ol Clinton Ave, called Mother Irene Nowlin for some encouragement, got a few drinks to numb myself, chugged them all, and headed for the shelter to take a bottle of pills and die in my sleep (I’m in tears writing this). As I got to the shelter, I chilled in the lobby area where there were about 8 others there with the boombox playing. I don’t know why, I can’t even explain til this day why I asked the brothers there if i could listen to a CD real quick before going to bed which they agreed to. So I injected the headphones, popped in the CD, and pushed play. Let me tell you!!! I couldn’t stop crying listening to this song. I felt like God Himself was talking DIRECTLY to me. Yes, the song that was on that CD SAVED MY LIFE!!! (For the respect of the artist I won’t tell y’all what song it was) I made up in my mind that I didn’t care how long it took me, I was going to GET UP, and get my life BACK together again. So you know the Devil was mad, right? The very next day, I had a stroke and was hospitalized for 6 days not being able to use my left side.  When you are flat on your back like that, there’s not really much to do but pray, and write. And that’s EXACTLY what i did. I promised God that if He gave me another chance, I would do His will and share my story to help others “get through it”. I started writing a poem that i named “Undefeated “. I am a Lefthander, but remember, my left side was out of commission. So what did I do? I wrote it with my right hand (let that sink in). That tells me that even at my weakest moment, I can still do ALL things through Christ that strengthens me (Philippians 4:13), that makes me UNDEFEATED. Mission Failed.

I’m now a skillful Minister of Music at the WOW (Winning Over the World) Church in the Atlanta area.  I’m an accomplished songwriter, vocal coach, music teacher, music producer and recording artist. My main goal in Kingdom work and in life, is changing the world “One song at a time”.  I plan to give back to less fortunate churches in their music department to help build strong bible based musicians for Ministry. I’m a great example of overcoming all odds, and allowing others to see that ONLY through Jesus Christ, we are “UNDEFEATED”!

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Nipsey Hussle Fans in San Antonio, TX Speak During Visit at a Mural Created by Colton Valentine

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Refocused Magazine gets words from Nipsey Hussle fans in San Antonio, TX visiting a mural created by local artist Colton Valentine.

Mural Artist: instagram.com/colton_valentine_

Shop The Marathon Clothing: themarathonclothing.com

Nipsey Hussle on Spotify

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