Mario, the Grammy Award-nominated voice behind the R&B/pop hits “Let Me Love You” and “Just a Friend,” is back with a new single. “Drowning,” whose video exclusively premieres today (July 20) on Billboard, is from Mario’s long-awaited fifth studio album Dancing Shadows.
Mario’s signature tenor and its soaring falsetto shimmer against a sultry track that tells the story of a man grappling with the age-old struggle between infatuation and lust versus love. “I’m sinking, I’m not swimming,” sings a torn Mario. “Please stop me from drowning.”
“This experience was an intense one for me,” Mario tells Billboard. “And sonically, the bittersweet chord progressions match the emotion of the story I’m telling.”
Watch “Drowning” below.
Dancing Shadows is Mario’s first album since 2009’s D.N.A. The new project is set for release this fall on the singer/songwriter’s New Citizen label in partnership with Empire.
Mario claimed his career breakthrough in 2002 with the No. 4 pop/R&B single, “Just a Friend.” He’s racked up 15 entries on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, three more of which also reached the top 10: “Let Me Love You” (No. 1 for 11 weeks; also No. 1 for nine weeks on the Billboard Hot 100), “Crying Out for Me” (No. 5) and “Break Up” featuring Gucci Mane & Sean Garrett (No. 2). His four albums—Mario, Turning Point, Go and D.N.A.—all reached the top 4 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. To date, Mario has sold 2.3 million albums, 4.8 million downloads and earned 591 million streams in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music.