Mario Gonzalez was born in Lima, Peru. He and his family immigrated to the United States at a time when Peru was on the verge of a civil war. Like many other families, Mario’s sought the “American Dream”; having to learn a new language and adapt to a culture different than theirs. He became interested in the art of Hip-Hop when he was in high school, where he made friends from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds, many of who like his family, had immigrated to the United States seeking a better life. His friends exposed him to a lifestyle he wasn’t familiar with, where he lived a wide range of experiences. Mario found comfort in music, which soon became therapeutic. He learned he had a talent soon after immersing himself in Hip-Hop, and this lead to him focusing most of his time working on his craft, spending time in the studio and writing about everything he was going through, and bringing his vision to life through music videos. Mario became devoted to creating at a young age, and continues to do so.
As Mario grows as a musician, he simultaneously grows academically and professionally, working towards his Associates degree in psychology and working as a mentor for at-risk youth throughout the city of Pomona. Mario goes by the stage name HOPE, which stands for Helping Other People Evolve. This comes from his passion to inspire others, and providing an outlet for others to find healing and knowledge through music, just as he did. 2017 marked the year when Mario began to grow artistically, becoming the recipient of the Best Music Video Award at both the Long Beach Indie International Film, Media and Music Festival and the Culver City Film Festival. Mario was also awarded with the Young Urban Filmmaker Fellowship by the Long Beach Indie, which kicked off January 2018, and where he will be collaborating with fellow artists as well as mentors to continue to make his visions come to life.