Raised mostly by his grandparents, CJ was introduced to music by his grandfather when he was 6. He is also close to his mother despite her having spent time in prison when he was a child.
CJ later tried out for both The X-Factor and The Voice, not making it on either show. He had even tried out for season 9 of Idol but didn’t get past the first round of auditions. He cites former Hootie and the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker as well as Usher as some of his musical influences.