The 6-foot-9-inch aspiring rapper did not need anyone to push him into the music industry. It was something he wanted to do.
James “Charlie Sky” Genwright, a senior business administration student from Jacksonville, believes it is his calling.
“I always liked music,” Genwright said. “My dad is a gospel singer, and I feel like I can tell my story through songs and reach out to my generation that is consumed by music.”
In 2010, Genwright decided he wanted to take his music seriously. He created the music group Leaders Of The Dreamers, LOTD, and is one of the group’s four artists.
“My inspiration comes from everyday life, people’s opinions on aspects of life and me witnessing what other people go through in life,” Genwright said. “I embody that in my music.”
Genwright has more than 200,000 views on his YouTube channel, “Charlie Sky.”
“I remember the day I started to see my fan base increase, and it really allowed me to see how much people really listen to my music,” Genwright said.
His latest album, “The Black Rose Collection,” was released in July. It totaled more than 300 downloads and thousands of plays.
Genwright has performed in more than 50 performances in Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Orlando. He has opened up concerts for celebrity artists such as Curren$y and Ace Hood.
“His stage presence is awesome,” said rapper Sele Birchwood, a senior social science student from Brooklyn, N.Y., at Florida State University. “He really takes his songs and lives it through his movements. I definitely see us collaborating in the future.”
The man behind the music is more than what meets the eye. He records, produces and engineers his music all from his bedroom closet. Between classes and work, he spends an average of eight hours a day in his studio.
Genwright is expecting his spring semester to be quite busy. During spring break, LOTD will be doing high school music tours and concerts around Florida, promoting its movement of being the leaders of dreams.
“Charlie comes ready to execute what he was born to do,” said Cal Hankerman, the founder of the Tally Show, an annual event where local artists come together to showcase their talents. “He is easy to work with.”
Genwright categorizes the genre of his music under alternative hip-hop and R&B.
“If I had to choose between being a hip-hop or R&B artist, I would choose R&B because I play with the creativity instead of hardcore rap itself,” Genwright said.
After graduation, Genwright’s ideal career would be working in the marketing side of record labels and companies to promote the next popular music artists.
“Your future is only as successful as how much you learned from the past,” Genwright said. “My mom always said I was going to use this big ‘tank head’ for something great one day.”