"[At the time] I had a job at Blockbuster. It was like the worst thing because what you see in the TV shows is how it was. I was in Blockbuster with headphones on singing as I’m putting up movies. People would ask me how to find a movie and I would get annoyed. People would go to the manager and they would be like, 'That kid over there really has a voice!' And the manager would be like, 'He’s over there singing?! How do you know he could sing?!' They'd be going off on me like, 'You can’t keep doing that!' I ended up quitting.
When I quit Blockbuster, I went and said a prayer, ‘I’d like to do what I love and not be chastised for it.’ I never fasted ever so I was like, 'I’m going to fast.'
"When I quit, I went and said a prayer, ‘I’d like to do what I love and not be chastised for it.’ I never fasted ever so I was like, 'I’m going to fast.' I was already skinny as hell and I’m like, 'I’ll probably die! If I miss like half a meal, I would probably disappear' but I was like, 'I’m just going to do it.' I fasted for literally three days...My dad was so supportive that he did it with me. I kid you not, we fasted for three days but we were drinking like juice and Ensure because if not, I would probably be dead! The day after we fasted me and my dad raced to the refrigerator and were pulling out little ham slices. Two days after, I woke up one morning—and this is when MySpace was popping—my MySpace was filled with messages from lower level A&Rs saying, 'Please contact us ASAP! The vice president of A&R at Atlantic Records is trying to sign you!'
"When the [A&R first reached out], I’m not going to the name the exact person but they were like, 'Is he really writing these [songs]? He seems like a great artist but who wrote these songs?' My dad was like, 'He did,' and they were like, 'But who really wrote them though?' He was like, 'He did!' Long story short, they ended up flying to Florida because they had something else going on in Florida and were like, 'Ok, we will meet you guys and do this at the same time.'
Without them saying it, it kind of felt like [the A&Rs] were saying you can’t really prove that you wrote these songs but we believe in you as an artist so we will still pursue that.
"They were like, 'Hey, write this song!' and they played a beat and I just froze. My dad was like, 'You don’t do this to a kid! He’s never been around an A&R and this is his dream and you're just throwing him a beat and saying, 'Here.' That went to hell. Without them saying it, it kind of felt like they were saying you can’t really prove that you wrote these songs but we believe in you as an artist so we will still pursue that. At that time, Trey [Songz] was recording his album. While Trey was recording his album, we went over there. My dad took the light bill money and paid for my trip to Atlanta, I signed to Songbook and his lights were out for a little while because he had quit his job and I had stopped doing YouTube videos.”