Meet Nashville’s Rising Stars: Mark Lorenzo of Southbound 75

I wish someone had told me to not play it safe and to take more chances. Don’t worry about what people think and that you will be a big success. Alternatively, I wish someone would’ve stressed the importance of only working with good people. There was a great yearly show that we lost because of a crew member a few years ago. That was a lesson that was tough to learn. 

As a part of our series about Nashville’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mark Lorenzo of Southbound 75. 

Southbound 75’s story started when Radio Promotion legend Bill Scull heard lead songwriter Mark Lorenzo’s tune “Little Breakdown” for the first time at an ASCAP demo review session. Scull, who had worked in the industry for years, including with Clive Davis, singled Lorenzo out, and signed him. Playing their first show in 2018, Southbound 75 has steadily grown a large fanbase throughout their home state of Florida, with numerous live shows from Key West to Cleveland, Ohio. In October 2021, the band will release their highly anticipated debut album, Tales From The Black Swamp, produced by Nashville hit-maker Bill McDermott, and being released on Bad Jeu Jeu Records via The Orchard. The newest single from the album, “Spilled Champagne,” exclusively premiered by SCENES Media and also featured on CMT’s weekly Spotify playlist The Roundup, is an upbeat, radio-friendly country rock song with a somewhat laughable backstory about spending entirely too much money on a girl that is just way out of your league. Lorenzo’s songs have been used on TV shows, sports programming, DVDs, Cartoons and more such as; “ESPN College Football;” “Shark” (CBS); “90210” (CW); “Threshold” (CBS); “Girlfriends” (CW) and “3lbs” on (CBS). 

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up? 

Myparents got married in Northern Minnesota and my dad’s job as a toy/craft inventor got him transferred to Toledo, Ohio where I showed up on the scene and grew up. Only-child, some say spoiled, I say I was left alone to come up with plenty of hobbies. I played every sport possible, spent plenty of time creating art and learning how to play music. Eventually, I wrote songs and recorded them by playing all the parts. 

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path? 

My first obsession with wanting to play music was when I was walking down my street as a kid around 11 years old and my neighbor's garage door was open and there was a band in there playing they were having such a great time I couldn’t believe my neighbors were playing music. I never looked back! 

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career? 

I have been following a weird Prince path. I got to meet him backstage at a show in Cincinnati, I recorded at Sunset Sound in the same Studio that Prince used, and my production manager and Monitor Engineer toured with Prince for years. I am still friends with Prince’s old monitor guy and I still can never get enough of the old Prince Stories. 

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that? 

I was playing drums in a festival in South Florida in the stadium, as I was sitting on my drum riser my seat/thrown broke and I fell off the back of the drum riser. Don’t buy cheap gear. 

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? 

Right now we are working on releasing our first record as Southbound 75 and we really have met some great people doing this record. From working with Robert Morelli, the former President of Sony Red Records to working in some of the best studios in Nashville with the best players in the world. The amount of talent that has helped us on this record really just causes me to pause, look how far we’ve come and be thankful. 

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture? 

I don’t believe in Diversity for diversity’s sake but I think being more inclusive brings in different points of view to any production. If those ideas are allowed to be explored, they will naturally reach a wider audience. And while exploring those different points of view or opinions, one can learn how to reach outside of their comfort zone. Very few great things are created within an artist’s comfort zone. You need to push the boundaries, get a reaction, good or bad, to be memorable. 

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each. 

I wish someone had told me to not play it safe and to take more chances. Don’t worry about what people think and that you will be a big success. Alternatively, I wish someone would’ve stressed the importance of only working with good people. There was a great yearly show that we lost because of a crew member a few years ago. That was a lesson that was tough to learn. 

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

You have to play the music that you love — or in the real world, do what you love. There is nothing that will kill your love of music faster than playing a style of music you hate just for the money. 

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-) 

It would definitely be in the area of healing — I love the idea that frequencies, music, vibrations can heal. Maybe that is why I have been drawn to music. Music can bring people together, get people fired up or make them move. There is just something about music. 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that? 

There are a ton of people who have helped me when they really had no reason to. Jan Seedman has been my publisher for years. For many of those years, I didn’t make him enough to eat lunch but he has always offered to help me whenever I needed it, in whatever role would help. Mike Stuckey gave up more time, money and effort than even I did to help make my shows the best possible. And Craig Diable has been our Yoda behind the scenes. He continues to help every day to put us first in this crazy world of music. 

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life? 

When I was working at the advertising agency, the owner, Jim Cooper, always said, “Keep it moving.” I find myself using it all the time. If something bad happens, you can’t quit, just “Keep it moving.” If something great happens, “Keep it moving.” The point is you don’t stop, you may pause, but always “Keep it moving.” 

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-) 

I would love to have lunch with John Varvatos. He has created his own lifestyle. From the clothes, he designs to stores, to his record label and the way he incorporates music into everything. It’s a vibe, it’s a Detroit thing, it’s a cool thing. I just love the way it all fits together as an artist. 

How can our readers follow you online? 

You can find us online at Southbound75.com and the band is on all the social media sites, instagram.com/southbound_75 

facebook.com/southbound75music 

twitter.com/sb75music 
youtube.com/southbound75 

tiktok.com/southbound75_ 

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success! 

 

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