Beltway Buzz

Virginia Policeman/Viral Sensation Mervin Mayo Drops First Tyscot Records Single

In 2020, Virginia policeman, Mervin Mayo, became a viral sensation when his performance of a gospel song garnered over a million Facebook views. The surprise feat also earned him coverage on CNN’s Headline News channel.  Now, Mayo has released his first Tyscot Records single, “The Best Friend,” which is available on all major digital platforms: https://smarturl.it/xbxbyu

In a time when many law enforcement officers are vilified for the bad actions of a few rogue cops, Mayo is one of the good guys. He grew up in Richmond’s tough Creighton Court housing projects.  “My dad was in and out of jail most of my life,” he recalls. I don’t think he ever had a job. He did drugs [heroin] his whole life. Everybody on my dad’s side – all of them were on drugs. There was a lot of drugs and a lot of killing around me. I could be out sitting on the porch, and somebody was just shot down the street. I just thought that was normal.  When I look back, I grew up in the Wild Wild, West, but I didn’t know it was.”

A now-retired police officer, Curtis Simmons,  became a role model to Mayo and other kids in the neighborhood during his youth. “There was an organization called the Police Athletic League,” he recalls. “They would pick people up from the neighborhood  and take us to basketball games, trips outside of the neighborhood. Curtis kept me out of trouble. He spent a lot of time with me, and I said if I ever become a police officer, I want to do for others what he did for me.”

After some time as a forklift driver, Mayo finally joined the police department in 2005. He faced almost every imaginable hazard. “I even had a guy pull a pitchfork on me,” he recalls. “I worked the streets 3 years and then I applied to work with the youth in the schools. It‘s not a school for bad kids but a school for kids who made bad decisions. They can relate to me because I’ve been where they are. I want to stop that school-to-prison pipeline. I’m here to make things better.”

Aside from mentoring kids, Mayo’s other passion has always been music. He grew up singing in church and later with an R&B group, CHARM  (Cool, Handsome, Attractive, Romantic, Men) circa 1991-1997. Later, he formed the gospel group, CHANGED, which performed on bills with some of gospel’s biggest names such as Yolanda Adams and Rance Allen. In 2020, he was at his church singing Marvin Sapp’s “The Best in Me” and posted it on Facebook. In days, the video had gone viral, and the post eventually garnered a million views. As a result, an executive from Tyscot Records spotted him and signed him to a recording deal.

Mayo’s first single for the recording label, “The Best Friend,”  is a simple piano ballad about Jesus being man’s best friend. It’s the perfect showcase for his old school soul vocals which slide from husky baritone growls to sweet falsetto sighs. It  should serve as a warm, comforting introduction of Mayo to the gospel world and the foundation for a long career ahead.

Not only can Jesus be man’s best friend, but Mayo feels police can be man’s best friend too. “People want to think police are trigger happy,” explains Mayo who is now a school resource officer. “ No, I think they are scared and many of them are not trained enough. Police just want to make it home.  The last thing a police officer wants to do is shoot somebody because if you shoot somebody your career is done for ever. Even if they don’t fire you or suspend you, you don’t work at full pay. Mentally, you’re messed up. And you’re gonna lose everything. That’s not what the average policeman wants. They just want to make it home.”

Sarah Hearn
the authorSarah Hearn
PositivelyGospel.com is a music news magazine that is quickly becoming the premier destination and trusted source for gospel music, news and information. The site covers all genres of gospel and inspirational music, including Contemporary Christian and Christian rap/hip-hop. The mission is to provide news and information on a positive note. Sarah Hearn CEO and Editor in Chief Sarah Hearn is founder/Editor-in-Chief of PositivelyGospel.com. She is a dedicated journalist, who believes her audience deserves more original reporting than repetitive content, Sarah founded PositivelyGospel.com to provide readers with the latest music news, concerts, reviews, and interviews with top ranking Christian/Gospel artists and emerging artists. Widely known for her on-the-scene reporting, her coverage includes the GMA Dove Awards, the Stellar Awards, Grammys on the Hill, Gospel Music Heritage Month Celebration Concert, McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, St. Jude Celebration of Hope, Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference and many more. Sarah participates in weekly White House Faith and Community Engagement calls where she gathers information relevant for dissemination to the Gospel and faith community. She recently launched the podcast, “On A Positive Note with Sarah Hearn” available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other platforms. For more than five years, Sarah served as the DC Gospel Music Examiner at Examiner.com where the site garnered more than 150,000 readers in the US and around the world. Sarah was named one of the Top Ten Heroes in Gospel Music in the Washington, DC area in 2012 for her extensive coverage, support and commitment to artists within the D.C. metro region. In 2016 she was named Person of the Month by IndiMogul Magazine. The site was recently named among Feedspot’s Top Gospel and Christian Music Websites. Sarah is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Gospel Music Association. Sarah resides in a suburb of Washington, D.C. Follow her on Facebook @PositivelyGospel.com, Twitter @PositiveGospel and readywriter on Instagram For coverage of your next event or to submit a press release for posting consideration, contact Sarah.
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