X Factor Contestants Chris Rene, Marcus Canty and Astro Ink Epic Deals
All three artists were mentored by The X Factor judge, Antonio "L.A." Reid during the first season of the show. Epic sent out this info on each:
Chris Rene: Destined to be a musician, finalist Chris Rene won over America's hearts from day one with his inspirational story, charisma and original songs finishing third overall behind winner Melanie Amaro and runner-up Josh Krajcik. The road to success however has not been an easy one for the Santa Cruz, California native. Throughout his life Chris struggled with numerous addictions but with the support of his family and drive to change his life, made a decision to enter into rehab. With just 70 days sober under his belt Chris took a leap of faith to pursue his dream and auditioned for The X Factor performing "Young Homie" – an original song that he wrote and produced, which quickly became a fan favorite throughout the season. That original song performance of "Young Homie" garnered Chris a deserving spot in the live shows where he continued to showcase his unique talents. Rarely has an original song ever led to a spot on a talent competition. Confident in his writing, producing and vocal abilities Chris Rene then followed suit by penning and performing his second original track, "Where Do We Go From Here" garnering such fan appraisal that it saved him from elimination. Chris' introduction of original compositions has forever altered the model for these talent platforms. Since joining The X Factor, Chris Rene has seen over 20 million views on YouTube.
"I've dreamt about this momentous moment my whole life and now it's here," says Chris. "I'm more than honored to be an Epic artist. Working with L.A. Reid 'Big Homie' is a dream come true. He's a great man and I look forward to the opportunity to share my music with the world."
Marcus Canty: Marcus Canty, the 20-year old finalist from Bowie, Maryland, began singing at the age of 5 reciting his favorite television jingles and Disney movies. Raised by his mother who first exposed him to gospel music at church, he began performing publicly at the age of 11. His grandmother exposed him to the likes of Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Donnie Hathaway, and Stevie Wonder – the musical prodigy instantly grew fond of R&B music where his passion lies. With aspirations of pursuing a career in the music industry, following High School graduation Marcus was given a two year window to make that dream a reality. Determined, he auditioned for The X Factor just shy of that two year mark and blew the judges away with his rendition of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish." Marcus delivered unique soul-stirring performances each week that captivated viewers across the world. Marcus Canty is a true testament that with fortitude dreams do come true.
"I am very blessed and grateful to God for the opportunity to become a part of the Epic family," says Marcus. "I am excited about working with my mentor L.A. Reid, and I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. This is history in the making, let's go!"
Astro: Brooklyn bred 15-year old hip-hop phenomenon, Astro (Brian Bradley) rose to mainstream stardom following an impressive 10 week run on The X Factor. After making a lasting impression at his audition Astro secured his position as a prominent mainstay and kept viewers on the edge of their seats week after week with his original, prolific lyrics and high energy performances. As the only contestant to consistently write new material each week – which has never been attempted before -Astro took Grammy-nominated Eminem's "Lose Yourself," (a track that had previously never been covered) and made it his own. Honing his craft since the age of 10, Astro first burst onto the scene a few years back with his original composition, "Stop Looking At My Mom," which became an instant viral sensation.
About his signing Astro says, "I'm excited to continue my journey with L.A. Reid and his staff at the new Epic Records. The first time L.A. saw me he said I'd be a star, and I can't wait to get to work and prove him right. 2011 was Dope, but 2012 is gonna be Epic!"