AUBURN, Ala. -- Eagle Eye TV recently sat down with local artist, Channing Ellis, better known to fans as "The Mance."
Just a few weeks ago, Ellis entered Atlanta's Patchwork Studios "Tight 32" contest in which he was given the chance to write 32 bars in just one day, competing among 12 other contestants. Ellis went into the studio to record his verse in only 15 minutes, having to put everything he had on the table.
"I'm going to be honest, I put everything I had into it," said Ellis. "I was kind of at a point where I was questioning a lot of things-- with music and my life-- and I just told myself I was going to go in there and put everything I had into it."
Ellis went on to win the contest, which thankfully gave him the boost that he needed to stick with music and not give up on his dreams. When the people at the studio told him not to quit, Ellis said everything kind of hit him at once.
"When he said that, I just knew that at that moment, it was meant for me to be there and it was meant for me to win," said Ellis.
Ellis hasn't always been known as the Mance, however. People often ask him how he came to get his performing name.
"They think it sounds cool, but they don't know where I got it from," described Ellis. "My mom used to do this little thing with me, when I was a kid, and she used to go 'Channing, who's the man?' and I would point to myself."
The man, combined with his first and last initials, brought him to "the Mance."
"It represents me-- who I am-- I'm not really for all the making up rap names," said Ellis.
Ellis grew up in Tallassee, Alabama, a town about 40 minutes west of Auburn. He has been writing songs since he was 13, and moved to Auburn when he was 23. He has since been pursuing his music.
"To paint a picture, four years ago I was really sitting at my house and I was writing on a notepad," said Ellis. "I was kind of dreaming about putting a song out."
Ellis had a determination to make a great song that would be played around Auburn. He knew he had to work hard and meet the DJ's to get the support that he needed in order to get his career going.
"Fast forward to now, I put some music out from my hometown," said Ellis.
This allowed him to meet the different DJ's who play at events and venues around the Auburn area. He then got the opportunity to head to Atlanta to begin recording songs that he could share with fans.
Ellis has looked up to several artists who have similar musical interests as him, including rappers J. Cole and Drake. However, a lot of his inspiration comes from his dad, who used to always rap to him growing up.
"My family is 100 percent supportive of everything that I do," said Ellis.
Ellis also cites his friends for being major catalysts in his successes. He hopes that his ability to succeed gives his friends the confidence to follow their own passions.
Recently, Ellis has found himself reflecting on the reason he started writing music in the first place: to write about his life and to relate to people.
"I want people to know that everything I do with music is genuinely me because that's my passion," said Ellis. "It's real."
Catch Ellis's full interview with Eagle Eye TV here.