Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I am a Piano Virtuoso, who has been playing piano now for over 40 years! I started at the age of 5 years.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
Piano Virtuoso Mengesha Issac Francis is of Ethiopian/American descent. He goes by the stage name “Mystro” that was given to him by Rap Producer “Battlecat.” He also goes by the moniker “Black Liberace.” At the age of 13 years old Mystro was being managed by 80’s Actor Corey Feldman’s father Robert Feldman. Mr. Feldman aided Mystro’s acting career with TV Shows and commercials for Frosted Flakes and Corn Pops.
Mystro is a native of South Central Los Angeles and started playing piano at the tender age of five years old where he was classically trained. He also learned and developed a playing style of Gospel, Hip-Hop, and Jazz. Mystro’s Piano and Keyboard influences range from Stravinsky, Thelonious Monk, Billy Preston, and Herbie Hancock, and Liberace. As a teenager, Mystro attended Washington Prep. High School in South Central Los Angeles where he was schoolmates with film producer F. Gary Gray, rap artist YoYo, Ice Cube, and WC Music Producer Johnny J. and actress Wendy Raquel Robinson.
After graduating High School in 1989 Mystro attended UCLA and West LA College and was discovered by music industry professionals. After continuing his training he worked as a music teacher with Heavenly Vision Christian Academy from 1991-1995. Mystro worked professionally with seasoned Rap and R&B recording artists Jodeci, The Luniz, and Warren G, and Janet Jackson. Mystro has also been a member of The Professional Musicians Union Local 47 since 2000. Some of his musical production work can be found on MCA Records; Capitol Records and Virgin Records. In 2013 Mystro got an endorsement deal with Nord Keyboards, a worldwide musical keyboard company in Stockholm Sweden.
In 2011 Mystro produced a Musical Medley Piano video tribute honoring Michael Jackson titled: Michael Jacksonology. Mystro won rave reviews for his piano performance and has got the attention of The Michael Jackson Estate.
Mystro currently has done a Piano Hip-Hop / Jazz Instrumental EP Titled “Mystro Black Liberace” that will feature a Piano Tribute honoring NBA Legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant. Release date soon 2020.
Mystro’s uncle is Sheldon Reynolds of “Earth Wind and Fire”.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Keep moving forward even if they tell you No.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I met Michael Jackson when I was 13 years old I ditched school one day and stood in front of his house. He can out in his BMW and saw me and asked why was I not in school I told him I ditched and he refused to give me an autograph and said to never ditch and he then invited me to the “Jacksons” Baseball games at Balboa Park on Sat. and said if I never ditch school again he would give me the “Tour” Jacket from his latest tour 1986 “Jackson’s Victory Tour” and when I met him and the brothers at the “Balboa Park” that following Saturday, they gave me the tour book signed, and Michael gave me the “Victory Tour” Jacket! I will never forget that moment.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I often mentor up and coming artist from my neighborhood “South Central Los Angeles”.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
To thine own self be true. ~William Shakespeare
How can our readers follow you on social media?
My Instagram is: mystro_blackliberace and my Facebook is: “Mengesha Mystro Francis”.