Millennials in Music [Reloaded]: Mark Hood MADE January 12, 2016 MADEMusic MADE by: AJ Linton This Chicago sensation garnered huge fame on Season 9 of NBC’s The Voice. No stranger to entertainment he is using the platform to build an even larger brand in 2016. On January 17th, Mark Hood will be having a homecoming show with a surprise guest from The Voice at the Black Ensemble Theater. Tickets can be purchased at MarkJPHood.com. MADE: Mark, 2015 was a year of big emotions for you. You garnered huge fame with your Season 9 opening audition of Use Me by Bill Withers where all four judges turned around for you. You successfully ended your journey on The Voice as a Top 12 finalist. What did you learn about yourself professionally during your time on the show? MH: I learned so much about myself. I learned this career isn’t as easy as it looks. We were working hard out there (in regards to NBC’s The Voice), learning so many songs, studio sessions with Pharrell and crunch time was all the time. I also learned that doubt is very real throughout this process and alot of people don’t like to talk about it because they think other’s will believe that they have low -esteem. MADE: What was the best advice that Pharrell gave you during your time on The Voice? MH: I learned through this process not to doubt myself. Doubt is just a distraction. Doubt distracts us from what were supposed to do. I’m so grateful for that lesson because I can apply it to everyday life. MADE: Many of our readers may not know that you’re not new to the stage. You’ve been in many productions through the Black Ensemble Theatre in Chicago and you’ve also appeared on shows like Sirens, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire and you’ve recently finished a Slim Jim commercial. Are you picking back up the acting hat or will you continue to pursue singing full-time? MH: I wear one hat and that cap encompasses two things which is acting and music. I never put either hat down. I can absolutely be that Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Brandy or Tyrese who often swap between the two. I enjoy doing them both and I couldn’t imagine trading one for the other. MADE: Now that you have an established clothing line, Help Me Holy Ghost, as well as an acting and music career. How do you believe that you are living your purpose? MH: I believe that my purpose and the reason I was put on this Earth was to entertain people and to help people. I am living that daily. I was able to garner a big stage and uplift people through The Voice. I just love people so much and encouraging any way I can even if it’s through a tweet. I believe that the show set me up to do that even more. MADE: What does 2016 mean for you? MH: 2016 means total world domination, it’s takeover time. The Voice really set me up for a slam dunk in 2016. So happy with the way things are going post-show. At the same time, 2015 was epic so 2016 is a big act to follow but I know that it will. MADE: Finish this sentence, the best gift that I can give to the world is… MH: My spirit. Above anything that’s what lives forever. In 100 years I want people to remember my music and my kindness, that’s what’s most important to me.