He’s the soulful deciple of P. Diddy who’s got a new #1 song with “Watcha Say.”
I was always watching Michael Jackson on television when I was a child. I was so intrigued by him. For hours and hour on end. I was always different. I didn’t have a lot of friends, I was always into my music. My mom sent me to a performing arts school where I was studying music – Jazz, tap. I always wanted to express myself. When I was 16, I got my first job with a major artist and I started writing songs for a lot of people in the music industry since then I’ve written for Cassie, Diddy and Sean Kingston among many others.
At first, it was kind of strange. I’m not a star-struck person. I really love working with talented people. I really love my work but I’m never satisfied. But I didn’t want to be the words behind the voice, I wanted to be the one singing. I just found out I’m #1 on the Billboard charts. So I’m really happy.
It was amazing. I remember someone asked him once how he became so successful, and he said, “No sleep!” I’m the same way – play everything over and over in my head. I always feel like I’m missing something.
Nothing really happened for me after that. I did the Apollo in 2006 and it wasn’t until 2009 that I got signed.
I was pushing my songs in my hometown. I wanted everyone in Miami to know who I was. I was handing out CDs to everyone and their mother. I was going to clubs under-aged and handing CDs to the DJs. The future started to look really good. Over time I had 5 labels knocking at my door. Beluga Heights wanted to sign me as a writer. They flew me to LA to sign a writing deal with me. When [producer] JR Rotem and I got together I never felt anything like that before and he hadn’t either. He said, ‘Are you an artist?’ I said, ‘Yes! I’m an artist first and foremost.’ I didn’t leave there without signing a deal with them. They are great people. That was what was important to me – having people who are genuinely excited about having me.
That happened about a week later. [American Idol's] Kara DiGuardi got ahold of the project and that was a really big push for me. She’s one of the greatest songwriters of all time, but she never tried to overstep, and that means the world to me.
I’m trying to have totally different songs on each track. “What If” is a song I’m telling this girl what if three years from now we’re married with children and we live in a log cabin. There’s a song called “Love Hangover” – you went to a club and had fun and got drunk with a girl and then woke up the next morning and like was like, ‘What happened? Whoa, but hey it’s alright!' It’s ok to have a good time. It’s a well-rounded album – if you’re in love for the first time. There’s a song for that.