Growing up, Ezemdi always knew he was different from other kids his age.

While most children were playing outside, he was forced to stay indoors because his skin was sensitive to the sun. He, unlike his peers, had albinism.

“I…was looked at differently by not even just kids, but adults ,” Ezemedi told the AFRO in a recent interview. “So, I kind of always knew that I was different and I was uncomfortable in my own skin. When it came to with my , I always wanted to blend in with them and just be a normal kid.”

But the experience didn’t get him down. In fact, it actually worked in his favor. Now, the 26-year-old is a talented vocalist, producer and songwriter.

“I remember a time when I was in elementary school and because I couldn’t go outside, I started playing on an old raggedy piano that was there and just started messing around with it,” Ezemdi said. “That’s how it all started.”

The Nigeria native, born Ezemdi Chikwendu, came to the U.S. at the age of 4. By the time he turned 8, he was already brushing elbows with professional musicians as he played piano at his church in Harlem. Shortly thereafter, he began picking up more musical instruments and mastered each of them.

In high school he discovered another talent. After experimenting with his voice, he and two other friends formed a group that performed at school basketball games and local talent shows. Ezemdi later attended Berklee College of Music and formed his own licensing company and then landed his big break when label owner Mark Geohagan signed him to Crazee House Records.

Now, Ezemdi’s anticipating the upcoming release of his first single “Take Off,” which will appear on his debut album. He says By Your Side will be released in June and will be a musical blend of romantic ballads and urban mid-tempo songs catering to the fairer sex.

” will have good music with a positive message behind it,” Ezemdi said. “A lot of the songs on the album are geared towards women, reminding them that at the end of the day there are still some good men out in the world-you just have to look for them.”

In addition to crafting his own hits, he’s also in the midst of producing records for a string of national and international artists.

But while the talented musician is surely on the heels of success, he says his primary reason for pursuing a major career in the music industry is so he could serve as an inspiration to people across the globe who are also different from the norm.

“I’m what you would call the Whitest Black man in the world, but I’m doing what I love to do and you can do that, too,” Ezemdi said. “Anybody that feels uncomfortable in their own skin is who I’m trying to reach.”

“Ezemdi’s “By Your Side” will be released on June 14. For more information, visit: www.crazeehouse.com.

 

Gregory Dale

AFRO News Editor