Mark Reid began his music career in the Maldon Baptist Church in the hills of St. James, Jamaica, where he was a church leader. He formed a band called Slaves for Christ to represent that section of the community – his Maroon village Tangle River (not currently noted on the map of Jamaica – an island within the island bordered by rivers in upper St. James).
His mother was his musical inspiration. “She was the motivator. Mom walked music, talked music." She gave him his roots of sacred songs – the gospel songs she would sing and hum all the time. Growing up with the constant beautiful music around him, a young Mark began to incorporate rhythms in his head and music in his soul.
When he was twelve or so, Mom brought him a guitar. MasiV taught himself how to play guitars – both bass and rhythm. He began to coin phrases and wrote many songs. In fact, his newest single CD “Victory," a gospel work that he dedicated to his Mom, consists of songs he wrote when he was in his early teens. And though he attributes his mom’s heavy influence to his musical development, he found that his father’s side of the family is full of musicians also.
At Same Sharpe Teacher’s College in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Mark took formal music lessons and learned how to play keyboards under the guidance of Billy Cooke. He led a college band and wrote more and more often. His writing evolved from gospel to include cultural lyrics that relate to life and struggles. Throughout his life, he has amassed a large collection of original material.
He received a scholarship and left for the United States. He now holds Bachelor Degrees in Information Technology and General Education from the Connecticut State University.
While at school in the U.S., MasiV MarcuS helped the rock band “Skanksters" learn how to play reggae. He taught them how to get the timing and the rhythm. They introduced him to a Jamaican guitar player, Stretch, who would become his dear friend and “Mwasi" band co-founder. Mwasi (Swahili meaning “rebel with a cause") gained much local success. Mark Reid was an impressive vocalist and performer with such a “massive" stage presence, that they named him MassiV. This group eventually merged with Crucial, another great reggae band. It was after Stretch passed away that the members of the group decided to add Mark’s new stage name to the group name, thus, Crucial Massive. This created their theme that crucial lyrics are presented in a MassiV style.
MassiV is not just impressive and massive on stage, in all areas of his life he has this same powerful presence. Crucial Massive has been together since 1990. This longevity is due to Mark’s ability to hold a group of people together who have different agendas and emotional overloads. “In itself this is a massive achievement." Mark says.
Their first CD released in 1996 is comprised of music written and musical production Crucial Massive lead by MasiV MarcuS. “Reality Music is a masterpiece of reggae that encompasses expressions of life, love, and their realities. Most of the lyrics and lead vacals for their second CD is also done by MasiV MarcuS..
After finishing college in Jamaica, Mark taught music there. He recently ran into one of his former students, Taddy P, the bassist for Maxi Priest, and now works in collaboration with him. MasiV is the Executive Producer for works and performances by other artists – his brother George (GeeGo) and singer Tomaca Govan.
He said although he no longer sings gospel, his message in the music remains the same. And he keeps writing R&B, gospel, roots, soka, hip hop and jazz and looks forward to continuing with musical productions for Crucial Massive and others.