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THIS IS MY STORY.
My first foray in music came from a small performance in church. How small? I just barely remember it. I was about 5 or 6 years old at the time, living in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and the church that I was attending at the time was working on conjunction with a church off base close by on a Palm Sunday play. I had no interest in acting in it, but I decided to take part in one song for the choir. Which song? I don't remember. What I do remember is that I kind of enjoyed it, but it would take some time before I actually would fall in love with music.
Fast forward a few years. I'm now living in San Francisco, California and some of my views had changed. I was going through a slight phase where I wanted to be part of the "In" crowd. Also at the time, my feelings towards music had changed. I had a negative view about the art in general, because what I had grown up listening to, artists like Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, NKOTB, Prince, Color Me Badd, had mostly fallen out of favor for the gangsta rap and grunge movements of the early 90s. Grunge bands like Nirvana and rap stars such as NWA were looked at with more appeal from the mainstream audience. As a result, my love for music fizzled greatly. It wasn't until I got to middle school and I was rotated into an orchestra class that I found an intense love with music. I even remember crying hysterically after my classmates and I completed our rotation in orchestra and got placed into a typing class. It was then I realized how much I loved music, and how much I wanted to make it. Towards the end of my 8th grade year, my orchestra teacher came up with an idea; he created a chorus in which I was involved in. It was like somethings that come full circle. Years after that one off, I was back in a chorus.
Upon entering high school, I wanted to continue pursuing music. When choosing one of my electives in Freshmen year, I asked the counselors if there was an orchestra program. There wasn't but I had a choice between band, Jazz band and chorus. Going to a band class meant I would have to learn a new instrument, something I wasn't interested in at the time. I wanted to stick with an instrument I was familiar with, and learn how to reach its full potential. So I stuck with my voice and went into Chorus. Within a year, the constant practice made me a better singer than I was when I first entered. I would stay in Chorus classes for 3.5 years.
It was in high school that I began to think about a serious career in music. Not feeling comfortable enough to pursue a solo act at the time, I spoke to two of my best friends, Damien and Sean about starting a group with me. The idea behind the group was a high energy vocal dance group, taking cues from *NSYNC, and covering their songs and their choreography. Our big public debut was at our high school talent show. We paid a big due that night, however, we were under rehearsed, as we didn't decide on a song until a couple of weeks before the show, and rather than spending an hour or two to rehearse the song after school, we would split after the final bell rang.
Damien eventually moved to Las Vegas, leaving myself and Sean to find a replacement. Sean got the services of a close friend and neighbor Dale and we began working together. Everything sounded better, everything clicked better. Unfortunately, immaturity amongst all 3 of us got in the way of what success we could've had so we went our separate ways.
I would spend years trying to replicate what I had with Dale, Damien and Sean, often trying out different people with often mixed results. One year, I had regrouped with Sean and began working with another friend, Gus, and a friend of his Javier. The end result of our harmonies was awesome. We had toyed around with trying to find a 5th member of our group InFuzion, before deciding to stay a quartet. Creative differences arose however, and once again, a group with a ton of potential was disbanded before we had ever gotten off the ground.
Finally deciding I was better off as a solo act, I began working on producing my own beats and writing my own lyrics. I also attempted to emulate the sound of another Justin who a year prior had gone solo, Justin Timberlake. This garnered me a lot of laughter instead of a lot of praise.
I took a break from music in 2008 to find myself. I was also going through some personal issues at the time. Midway through 2008, I started thinking about a past relationship, took pen to paper and wrote the lyrics for Movin' On. While searching around through some of the beats I had downloaded throughout the year, I found one that fit the attitude of the song. I also noticed something else too: I wasn't trying to be Justin Timberlake. I was using my own voice, and I liked the results. The song won a bunch of praise from friends as well.
As I continue forward to finish Smooth, I look back on all of the trials and tribulations of my career with absolutely no regrets. I thank each and every individual I've worked with in the past. Would I ever work with you all again? Absolutely, but in conjunction with my solo career.
Much more music is on the way. Count on it.