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M. Rivers

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M. Rivers
Birth nameMark Kasprzyk
OriginHamilton, Ontario, Canada
Genresalternative rock
Occupation(s)singer, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar
LabelsEpic, Hollywood, Parts + Labor
Associated actsRedlight King, Kazzer

Mark Kasprzyk (born 1977), stage name M. Rivers, previously known by the stage name Kazzer, is a Canadian musician whose work has ranged from rap rock to alternative rock.[1] He is the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Redlight King, best known for their song "Bullet in My Hand",[2] which was aired regularly on MuchMusic and MTV Europe, played on contemporary hit radio, hot adult contemporary, alternative rock and mainstream rock radio stations in Canada. He is also an auto sports television personality.[3]


Kasprzyk grew up in Binbrook, Ontario near Hamilton. At the age of 8, he began learning judo and became part of the Canadian National Judo Team and was an alternate for the Canadian team in the 2000 Summer Olympics.[4] Being relegated to alternate status for the Olympics inspired him to pursue a career in music. At 16 Kasprzyk began songwriting, and after discovering hip-hop, took up breakdancing.[4]. Around this time, Mark produced a demo which made it into the hands of Epic Records (a subsidiary of Sony BMG).[5]

Solo career

Under his stage name Kazzer, Kasprzyk was signed to Epic Records in NYC and released his 2002 debut album Go for Broke in Canada, (Germany), France and Scandinavia. The energetic lead single, "Pedal to the Medal", was co-written with Brian West, Grammy-nominated producer for the likes of Nelly Furtado. The song was featured on the soundtracks of the 2003 remake of The Italian Job,[4] the 2004 film Catch That Kid on the television series Malcolm in the Middle, and in the Hotwheels Acceleracers movies. It was also featured in the opening "splash" animation and on the soundtrack of the Midway Sports video game NHL HITZ PRO. Additionally, his song "Fueled By Adrenaline" was featured on the Bugbear game Flatout Ultimate Carnage, as well as its PSP Port Flatout: Head On.

Kazzer was nominated for a New Artist of the Year at the 2004 Juno Awards.[6] He has toured Canada repeatedly including a 2003 MTV Campus Invasion tour which on some dates he headlined and on others opened for Gob. He has performed at concerts and festivals in Europe, and opened for The Roots in Chicago, and for a New York Jets game.

Go for Broke sold 25,000 copies worldwide in 2003. Epic Records went through an executive change and Kazzer found himself without representation, and he moved to Linus Entertainment, a leading Canadian independent record label distributed by Universal Records.

Kazzer's second record Broke was mostly recorded at Morph Productions and mixed at EMAC Recording Studios and released on June 28, 2005, featuring the lead single "Ordinary".

Redlight King

Mark formed a new project called Redlight King in 2009 with longtime collaborator Julian Tomarin, and signed to Hollywood Records.[7] Kasprzyk made news in 2011 for his success in securing permission from Neil Young to allow him to sample Young's 1972 song, "Old Man". The sample is included in the song "Old Man" (originally titled "Hardworking Hands") on his debut album Something for the Pain, released on June 28, 2011.[8] Old Man peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Alternative Songs and Number 26 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks.

Redlight King's most successful song and second single off Something for the Pain, "Bullet in My Hand", peaked at numbers 3 and 28 on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks and Alternative Songs charts, respectively. Redlight King was also a part of the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival 2012.

Redlight King released its second studio album Irons in the Fire on September 10, 2013. On July 9, 2013, they released a single from the album entitled "Born to Rise". The track appears in the end title credits for the 2014 film "Draft Day," starring Kevin Costner.[9]

"Born To Rise" has also been used as the pregame music for the NHL's Anaheim Ducks and their AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, and was the title track for the Feature Film "Draft Day" starring Kevin Costner.

M. Rivers

In 2017, Mark signed with Parts + Labor Records and released "Champion", a single produced by Jimmy Messer (Kelly Clarkson, Kygo, Awolnation).

Other media

He has appeared in film and television, including a cameo appearance as a redneck in the 2004 MuchMusic comedy road movie Going the Distance. He was also one of many collaborators on Sports Car Revolution, aired on the US-based specialty television channel Speed Channel in 2005 and 2006. He has owned a 1962 Ford Thunderbird, a 1949 Mercury and a 1930 Ford Model A. Mark currently hosts a live streaming show called "MuscleKingz Lounge" on Facebook live[10].


As Kazzer


  • Go for Broke (2002) (Epic Records)
  • Broke (2005) (Linus Entertainment)


Year Song Peak chart positions Album
2002 "Pedal to the Metal" 71 26 Go for Broke
2005 "Ordinary" Broke
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

As Redlight King


Year Album details Peak chart positions


2011 Something for the Pain
  • Released: June 28, 2011
  • Label: Hollywood
  • Formats: CD, DI
3 50
2013 Irons in the Fire
  • Released: September 10, 2013
  • Label: Hollywood
  • Formats: CD, DI
152 4 45
2015 Helldriver (EP)
  • Released: June 9, 2015
  • Label: Redlight King Inc.
  • Formats: DI
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.


Year Song Peak chart positions Album




2011 "Old Man" 13 19 17 26 24 Something for the Pain
"Bullet in My Hand" 35 15 28 3 12
2012 "Comeback" 18 36
2013 "Born to Rise" 31 9 30 Irons in the Fire
2014 "Times Are Hard" 21 10 31
"Devil's Dance" 34
2019 "Lift the Curse" Moonshine (unreleased)[19]
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Music Videos

Year Song Director Ref.
2011 "Old Man"
"Bullet in My Hand"
"City Life"
2012 "Comback"
2013 "Born to Rise" Strati Hovartos
2014 "Times Are Hard"

See also


  1. ^ Chesler, Josh (March 11, 2018). "M. Rivers is a Champion of Indie Soul". OC Weekly. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  2. ^ Lambert, Molly (2012) "The Top 10 Songs … IN ACTIVE ROCK!", Grantland.com. Retrieved 20 October 2013
  3. ^ Ross, Mike (2003) "Yo, it's judo rapper", Canoe.ca. Retrieved 21 January 2010
  4. ^ a b c "Kazzer to rock London at 'House Party' event", London Free Press, June 14, 2003. Retrieved 21 January 2010
  5. ^ "Rock in self defence; Hamilton-area judo expert Mark Kasprzyk, (Kazzer) is rising fast on the hip-hop scene", The Record, April 22, 2003
  6. ^ Rockingham, Graham (2004) "Hamilton all but shut out at Junos", The Hamilton Spectator, April 5, 2004
  7. ^ "Redlight King". Redlightkingmusic.com. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  8. ^ Project Rhythm Seed, "Redlight King Samples “Old Man” And Neil Approves…Gasp", April 12, 2011. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  9. ^ "Redlight King". Redlightkingmusic.com. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  10. ^ "MuscleKingz Car Show & Concert | LOUNGE". MuscleKingz Car Show & Concert. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  11. ^ Austrian peak
  12. ^ Canadian peak
  13. ^ "Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  14. ^ a b c d Peak chart positions in the United States:
  15. ^ "Canadian Active Rock & Alt Rock Chart Archive: Alternative Rock – June 7, 2011". Canadianrockalt.blogspot.com. June 7, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  16. ^ "Canadian Active Rock & Alt Rock Chart Archive: Alternative Rock – September 13, 2011". Canadianrockalt.blogspot.com. September 13, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  17. ^ "Canadian Active Rock & Alt Rock Chart Archive: Active Rock – July 5, 2011". Canadianrockalt.blogspot.com. July 5, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  18. ^ "Canadian Active Rock & Alt Rock Chart Archive: Active Rock – January 10, 2012". Canadianrockalt.blogspot.com. January 10, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  19. ^ "Redlight King". Parts + Labor Records. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
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