I’ve always been an underachiever. I grew up in a low-income family that did everything they could to help my sister and I have everything we ever needed to succeed. As a loner, outcast, and confused kid, I’d often find myself deep in the depths of my own imagination. I’d imagine myself as an astronaut going to the moon, a marine biologist working with dolphins and whales, and as an animator working at Disney.
I was what I considered, a “lost cause.” I had no social skills, didn’t know anything about pop culture, had nothing in common with my peers, and was bullied from grade 1 all the way to grade 11. It wasn’t until the age of 17 where I finally found something I could love.
Specifically, Hip Hop Music.
My parents were avid subscribers to Colombia House; a CD Distribution service that would send you CD’s every month. Music was always playing throughout my household and my parents did everything they could to help me learn how to have fun. They’d play every genre of music, loudly, and at all times of the day. Looking back, I can now say that it makes sense why I have a such a strong love for music.
At the age of 17, I started hanging out with the local poets and we quickly became a group of rappers. It was through the skill of developing my poetry that I became a lyricist. As a lyricist, I practiced every day for over 15 years. To this date, I still write, freestyle, and rehearse my poems and songs daily. At the age of 23 I went to college to become a Film Composer. It was there that I learned how to plan the piano and produce music.
Fast track to November 21st , 2015 and all those years of writing and loving music became my superpower. I entered a public speaking competition and competed against 21 other speakers. I wrote a speech called, “I’M POSSIBLE,” performed the speech over the song “Time,” by Hans Zimmer, and ended up winning that competition. Shortly after that win, as I rode the wave of popularity that the competition blessed me with, I entered another competition, “Speaker Slam.” For that competition, I wrote a speech called, “I AM,” and won that competition as well. It was the momentum that I generated from the speech, “I AM,’ that took my speaking career to new heights.
After winning Speaker Slam I took a 6 year break from competing and decided to get back onto the stage to see if I still had the chops to win another competition. On August 16 th , 2022, I competed at Speaker Slam for their “Comeback” concept and won again! This time, rather than the speech being titled, “I AM,” the speech was titled, “AM I?”
Between the influence of teaching myself how to play the piano, the passion for composing music, the 20+ years of writing poetry, the skill of freestyling through the art of rap, and the ability to blend these passions and skills into a public speaking ability, I have now established myself as a Keynote Concert Producer.
My reputation describes my unique abilities as someone that writes speeches that leave audiences speechless. I AM are the Two Words That Changed Everything for me. I Am, Am I, and I’m Possible become affirmations that have developed the belief systems that have helped me realize all my dreams. By owning who I am, celebrating my personal story, and producing impact-driven performances, my dreams have come true. Now I’m speaking in front of thousands of people, using music as the backbone to the inspiration that I get to produce, and storytelling as a means of creating a connection to my audience. This blend of unique abilities is what has now coined me as a self-proclaimed, “Artrapreneur.”
I often wonder what I would say to lonely, scared, and angry little Marcos if I had the chance to influence him. I’d probably say, “believe me when I tell you that your dreams will come true if you stay true where your value lives. Can you do that, buddy?”
He’d probably look at me and say,