EDITOR’S NOTE: There have been photo corrections to this story as of Oct. 10, 2015. The first photo is credited to Chris Stanton at www.ChrisMStanton.com.
By Marquis Lawson
Some say that great things come in small packages. Well, that’s not always the case. Chikezie Okorie, a dynamic, soulful, up and coming R&B artist is 6 feet 7 inches tall. It’s no question that he has a big voice to match his tall stature.
Okorie was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but raised in Reno, Nevada. His love of music began when he participated in local talent shows throughout elementary and high school. Okorie’s voice began to blossom tremendously when he performed “Billy Jean” at his high school talent show and took the audience by storm.
After Okorie graduated from high school he figured he wanted to do music and play football. He packed his bags and made his way to Southern California, the perfect location for up and coming artists. There he was accepted into the football program at Fullerton University. While playing football at Fullerton, Okorie had his other passion in mind as well as music. Okorie auditioned for “American Idol” in 2007. The following year Okorie went on a tour of shows called “Movin’ in Motown.” As time passed he also auditioned for “The Voice” and made it into the second round of call backs.
Okorie then decided to move to Las Vegas where he finished his final year of college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, but was unable to walk on to the football team due to NCAA regulations. Although football had become a distant memory, Okorie’s musical craft continued to grow and reach higher levels.
The music business was starting to work in Okorie’s favor. He was presented with the opportunity to cross paths with legendary West Coast DJ, DJ Franzen. DJ Franzen, Rap Sheet included working with known artists such as Tyga, Drake, Jay Z, Justin Bieber and plenty others.
Okorie was now in the mix. He began to do shows with artists such as Brandon Rogers, YG, Baby Bash, Love Rance, Sage the Gemini, Color Me Badd and most recently Adrian Marcel.
Okorie is also heavily involved with his charity, “Chikezie is Coming to Town,” which will take place right after Thanksgiving. The second annual toy drive helped over 200 kids in Reno receive toys last year. The locations for the toy drive include Westergard Elementary, Billing-Hearst Middle School and Robert McQueen High School. Aside from singing Chikezie has been working with kids for 10 years and a behavior analyst for two years. He has become a male role model for many young men who did not have their fathers in their life.
“My three principles to the young men are the following: hard work, community service and to be a gentleman,” Okorie said.
Okorie’s principles stem from the organization Men of Distinction and the Great Fraternity Kappa Alpa Psi of which he is a member. Chikezie is Coming to Town is sponsored by the Children’s Cabinet.
Be on the lookout for America’s new R&B artist. He has heart, humility, a gift and truly what it takes to be a star.
Q: What made you get into music?
Okorie: I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. As I got older I took the necessary steps to turn a dream into reality.
Q: What is your magic word for success?
Okorie: Consistency. You have to be consistent and you got to have the talent and you got to have … you just have to have what they want, you know these … these labels or what not. You got to make money for them, you know what I’m saying, they see you as a product. You have to be a product. You have to believe in your own product as well. So believe, have faith and stay consistent.
Q: What was it like to share the stage with Ginuwine?
Okorie: I’m still shaking when I think about it. Meeting that dude was very oh-so humbling, being able to speak with [him] and his management. I am so thankful for that opportunity that they gave me and it was something that I never imagined ever happening and took advantage of the opportunity.
Marquis Lawson can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter at @Gamechanger916.