Marco Antônio Araújo was not from a musician's family and only started thinking of being a musician when he was 15, when the first Beatles LPs arrived in Brazil. In 1967, he fell in love with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, becoming a brilliant interpreter of their songs.
His career started in 1968 as he played guitar with the band Vox Populi one lineup before it became Som Imaginário. He then recorded "Poi-Son," partning with Zé Rodrix, Tavito, and Fedrera, and also recorded a CD released by Bemol. In 1969, after "Strawberry Fields Forever," he abandoned his job (in a bank) and college and totally dedicated his life to music. He lives some months in Ouro Preto (MG) at Living Theatre, the theater community from New York directed by Julien Beck.
He moved to England and beyond other activities, he was a singer at Troubador (Earls Court). During this time, he met Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso and also was a fan of bands like Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin and witnessed the arrivals of Supertramp and Genesis.
In 1973, he came back to Brazil and studied composition with Esther Scliar, classical guitar with Leo Soares, and cello with Eugen Ranewesky and Jacques Morelenbaum at Escola de Música of Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Working and living in Rio De Janeiro, he made soundtracks, including Rudá and Cantares, played by Grupo Corpo. In 1977, he entered the Symphony Orchestra of Minas Gerais (as first musician) and became a friend of Marcus Viana (violin) who also played on it. Because of this activity, he permanently moved to Belo Horizonte (MG).
With independent productions, his gigs became popular and gathered a huge audience, even making three productions per year. In 1976, his brother Alexandre Araújo started studying with him and they made some shows together, the first one was called Fantasia. From this point, progressive rock was his main activity and the band Mantra was formed and played his compositions. The lineup was Alexandre Araújo, Ivan Correa, and Sérgio Mattos. Later, Marco Antônio Araújo joined forces and the band was completed by Mário Castelo, Eduardo Delgado, Antônio Viola, and later with Max Magalhães and Lincoln Cheib.
In Araújo's opinion, the Beatles and Stones were "classical music" and several homages were made to this bands. In one of them, called John Lennon Remember, the symphony orchestra of Minas Gerais took part at the Palácio das Artes theater.
In August 1980, Influências was presented more than 70 times and also become an independent LP. In November 1982, he released Quando a Sorte te Solta um Cisne na Noite and played in several great cities of Brazil. In 1983, Entre um Silêncio e Outro was released and was his most classical work. This time without Mantra, he invited Jacques Morelenbaum, Paulo Guimarães, and Márcio Mallard and formed another band, but it was a new lineup, with Fernando Campos, Zé Luiz, Gauguin, Alexandre Araújo, and Eduardo Delgado, that presented this work. In homage to this son (he also had a daughter, Ana), Lucas started to work. With his work, he played for the first time in the U.S. (New York, NY). Mantra came back and they started to work together again. Instrumental 85 resulted and almost of the main cities of Brazil were covered and saw a pre-release of this LP.
After his premature death in 1986, a show called Lembranças was presented in homage to Marco Antônio Araújo. He was also known as "the Gismonti of the '80s," in reference to Egberto Gismonti, one of the greatest musicians of Brazil.