He was born in Inglewood, California to Nigerian immigrants Richard Eze and Chika Emerueh Eze. He has a younger brother, Obinna, and an older sister,Odochi. He began singing when he was 13 years old. He attended high school at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies in West LA. Before auditioning for American Idol, he was a Transportation Security Administration screener and a cashier. He spent the 2004-2005 academic year at Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas. He also studied singing at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California.
He previously auditioned for the show’s sixth season and made into the Hollywood Round, where he was cut before the top 40. He was good friends with Danny Noriega, who was also in the Hollywood Rounds for Season 6.
Holding number 613, Chikezie successfully auditioned again for Season 7 of American Idol and made the top 24 and then the top 12. He was eliminated from American Idol on March 26, 2008, coming in tenth place.