Deacon Profile: Mark Sucoloski

Balancing the academic work required at Wake Forest with his musical passion, freshman Mark Sucoloski has already established quite a presence on campus. As the artist behind the EP titled Just Can’t Wait that was released on Spotify this year, Sucoloski has brought his musical passion and talent to the Wake Forest campus through performances at both Zick’s and Shorty’s. He also sings in Wake Forest’s all-male Christian a cappella group, Chi Rho.

When did you begin to realize your passion for music? What styles of music or which musicians particularly inspired you?

I began to realize my passion for music when I was two years old and my dad put my first guitar in my hands. I started writing little songs around age four and would sing them on my fireplace in Ashburn, VA. My parents always encouraged me to follow my dreams and my dad in particular encouraged me to pursue music.

I have always been influenced by classic rock, R&B and country music. This is the music I grew up listening to and it shows in my musical style today. I always enjoy listening to great acts such as The Eagles, The Commodores and the Zac Brown Band, but I also grew up listening to my dad’s band play. I played on stage for the first time with my dad when I was six years old and I have never turned back.

What style of music do you perform? What instruments do you play? Do you typically perform solo or in a band?

I typically perform classic rock, “yacht” rock and country music. I sing and play guitar, bass, piano and drums. I typically perform as a solo artist, but I played in the Baltimore rock band “Stuck in Reverse” for all four years of high school. I also played in a jazz combo and will be singing with a wedding band in the near future. I gig during the summer from Pennsylvania all the way down to North Carolina. You’ll often find me in restaurants and live music venues in many East Coast cities.

How long have you been working on your EP Just Can’t Wait on Spotify and what inspired you? Is this your first one? If so, do you envision creating more in the future?

Just Can’t Wait was a culmination of four years of writing. Produced by SandCrawler Studios out of Baltimore, Just Can’t Wait is a stripped-down version of rock, pop and country all in one. I write songs through life experiences and this music is what helped me through the best of times and the worst of times. This is my first release and it has been doing well on platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes.

Hopefully in early December, I will have a Christmas single released. In fact, I just finished laying down the tracks this week. I hope to keep releasing music in the future and singing on other artists’ records like I’ve done in the past.

You’ve performed at both Zick’s and Shorty’s this semester. What was that experience like and what do you hope to improve upon or have to look forward to in future performances?

Performing at Zick’s and Shorty’s has been unbelievable. In the short amount of time in which I’ve been playing there, I have been able to bring music to people that quite frankly weren’t expecting to hear a live show. The crowds have been amazing as well with great requests, participation and applause. I hope to bring a more diverse array of music to Wake Forest. We all come from different places and I would love to bring a taste of everyone’s musical influences into my show. I am very much looking forward to finishing out this year at Shorty’s and Zick’s, gigging around Winston-Salem and playing on campus for years to come. This is a very exciting time of year as we start booking for the upcoming year. 2019 has some great things in store and I can’t wait to share.

Are you involved with any musical groups on campus? If so, how has this impacted your freshman experience?

Yes, actually. I sing in Dr. Gorelick’s Concert Choir and in Wake Forest’s all-male Christian a cappella group, Chi Rho. Chi Rho performs all over North Carolina and around campus often. This has been an amazing impact on my freshman experience and my life in general. It’s been great to get to know all of the guys in the group and sing with them every week.

How have you balanced your musical and academic endeavors as a Wake Forest student?

Balancing my music and school work has been difficult at times. There’s a reason they call it “Work Forest” and why we’re a top-30 university. The workload, coupled with gigging two nights per week, is a lot, but it can be done. Planning and working ahead of time are key and if you can get that done, all you have to do is show up.

Do you plan to pursue music through either majoring or minoring in music at Wake Forest, or what do you plan to study?

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea. I am currently thinking of majoring in Business and Enterprise Management. I will continue to pursue music both at Wake Forest and professionally.

What are your future musical goals?

I’m enjoying what I have right now. My goal was to do this as my job both over the summer and during the year and I have accomplished that. I would like to continue booking shows up and down the East Coast, but I would like to expand bookings all over the country. I’m also hoping to reach 10,000 plays across all media-sharing platforms by the end of 2019. There’s always room for growth and I hope to keep expanding both with my online presence and by playing shows.

Mark Sucoloski’s new EP titled Just Can’t Wait is available on Spotify. Keep up to date with his music through his social media accounts: Facebook at Mark Sucoloski Music, Instagram @Mark_Acoustic and Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes at Mark Sucoloski.