Aspiring rapper Michael Fiore, 22, of Hauppauge, will get the opportunity in the next few weeks to record his rhymes at KMA Music, in Manhattan, the same studio where superstars such as 50 Cent, Beyonce and Alicia Keys have recorded. And he's also set to tour next year as part of a group of rising artists.
Fiore, aka FiO Baby, could also be the next big reality star - if the pilot he just wrapped filming gets off the ground.
It all started July 10, when Fiore, who is graduating with a business management degree this month from Adelphi University, went to a studio in Manhattan to try out for what he thought was a performance showcase, and was only told about plans for a reality show competition, called "Hip Hop 16 Bars," when he was selected as a contestant. He filmed in the city on weekends through October.
The project, which has yet to be picked up though two seasons have been filmed, is part of a larger mission, said producer J. Hamilton, to find budding talent and arm them with a knowledge of the music industry and the tools to succeed. The artists that make it to the final round of the show - Fiore included - record an album and tour together under the "16 Bars" label, Hamilton said.
Fiore said he started writing rhymes at age 10, and starting self-recording when he was in high school.
He said his experience with "16 Bars" has been almost unreal, and it's put him on a path that he's not soon to fall off of.
"Now, this is the only thing I want to do in life," he said.
No guarantees on whether the show will reach the airwaves, but here's a clip of Fiore performing a verse he wrote, and the one that won over the "16 Bars" producers.