Some of the biggest household names in hip-hop started as part of the workforce, struggling to make ends meet or pursuing other endeavors not necessarily connected to making music.
Professional fitness coach Madd Mark proved to be another walking testimony that if you are committed to overcoming the challenges in life, even when things get tough, you’ll eventually attain your goals—no matter how far and tricky the destination is.
Madd Mark bested six (6) aspiring hopefuls with his knockout delivery of “Kakaiba” during the finals of Rap Up: Rap and R&B Competition, held at Fin & Claw Grill in Timog Ave., Quezon City, on July 27, 2023. The urban competition, which was presented by Tunecore and Urban Gathering, provided a platform for up-and-coming Filipino artists to harness their creativity and potential in a bid to penetrate the increasingly inclusive but competitive global music scene.
Spitting fiery bars with remarkable confidence and stage presence, the rookie rapper and producer got the crowd pumped up and hollering for more, as he owned the night’s performance like the star that he’s destined to be. With a background in theater and freestyle dance battles, the hard-working multi-hyphenate embraced various disciplines of art in his performance and used it to his advantage in molding a persona that is entirely his own—gimmicky on first impressions, but eventually part of what makes the whole package incredibly unique and exciting.
Madd Mark, who goes by the name of Markie Laderas in real life, will represent the Philippines at the Tunecore stage of the AXEAN Festival in Singapore this October 2023.
Aside from his work as a personal trainer, Mark has recently found his way into hip-hop as an independent musician, experimenting with various sounds and genres, and exploring his own skill set in the fields of rapping, songwriting, and singing.
After three years of navigating the uncertainty of his place in the game and taking time to learn about the ropes of DIY in the music industry, he eventually released his debut album, Zirkulo, which features collaborations with established acts such as Kjah, Mike Kosa, Pino G, and Yuridope.
“In my three years as a hip-hop artist, I am most proud of Zirkulo, my self-produced full-length album,” Mark explains. “I curated 12 hip-hop instrumentals, then teamed up with the finest local rappers and seasoned R&B artists to arrange, compose, and bring full song sections to life. As of this writing, three of the tracks in my album have already gotten their own music videos.”
Outside of the star-studded collaborations and pitch-shifted, soul-sampling production, Madd Mark’s first outing is a confident piece of work filled with sonic surprises and evocative lyrics. His debut album presents the reflective journey of a young man who has a lot to say about life and struggles in general, and who isn’t afraid to express himself. There is beauty in the unfiltered, and Mark gets it on his first try.
“My music is often described for its infectious grooves, clever wordplay, and relatable lyrics, with a raw energy that harks back to the golden age of hip hop and blends of contemporary sound,” shares the promising newcomer. “I usually write songs that are reflective and introspective, touching on themes of self-discovery, personal growth, social justice, and triumph over adversity.”
Madd Mark’s debut album, Zirkulo, is out now on all digital music platforms worldwide, and is supported by Tunecore, a digital music distribution service for self-releasing and independent artists.
He will be performing at the AXEAN Festival in Singapore on October 28-29 2023, alongside some of the music heavyweights in Asia.