My name is Cody C Mineur (think "C-Minor"), known professionally as Charlie Hayz. Born and raised in Mays Landing, New Jersey, I am 29 years old and I have been producing music since 2008.
At the end of the day I have to say that I forgive you
Try to steer away from our differences to continue
Ask you to stay and you can pray if you need to
Sit at my table, chop it up and I'll feed you
I was first exposed to the back end of the music industry by my Uncle Nick, who was in an R&B boy band in the late 90s called Secret Weapon, and they were produced by R. Kelly (details here). Unfortunately, the project never saw release after R. Kelly embroiled himself in his infamous scandal. Fast forward about 6 years and my first experience actually playing any music was with my Ibanez acoustic guitar, which was gifted to me by my father, Scott, for my 16th birthday.
Back in the midst of middle school
I got knocked the f--- out!
Nothing but a dumbass little fool
I deserved it, no doubt...
I proceeded to sit in front of the TV for hours on end watching guitar lessons On Demand until I learned to play my first 2 songs: "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd and "American Pie" by Don McLean. After a couple years of strumming, finger picking, and writing my own melodies, I accumulated a fiery desire to get the sounds I heard in my head into a recorded form to share. I had absolutely no idea where to begin on that front, but then I met a local engineer through a good friend. I was introduced to an experience that would forever change my life and my goals --- a full length professional recording session in a sleek and fully stocked studio.
Morning after morning
After sleeping on it a second
I'm mourning my reflection
After the musical possession...
With the sound proofing foam on the walls, an enormous corner desk with physical rack effects and dynamics processors, the isolation booth, and various instruments lying around, I witnessed a bonafide recording process. As the engineer turned knobs I could hear the effect change in the Hip Hop instrumental in real time while the performer warmed up his vocal chords in the booth. It was a marvelously magical moment. At least, it was to me because when I got home that night, I had made the definitive decision to pursue music as my passion.
Things change with a blistering quickness
But the energy within cannot be finished
We're not defined by the lines in the cosmos
And when it's over we can bond with our everlasting love
At that point I had been working full time in the food service industry and had some cash saved. Without wasting any time at all, I went out and got myself a tiny keyboard and a pair of monitors from M-Audio, a copy of Propellerhead's DAW, Reason 2.0, an Avid DigiDesign MBox Mini audio interface with ProTools LE, and finally a simple yet powerful software synthesizer called Massive from Native Instruments, which I still use to this day. Occasionally though, the engineer I mentioned earlier was nice enough to let my friends and I utilize his studio!
To be alive and grinding,
surviving a rivalry with the mind
and the collective hive behind the rise of veritable disguises is a sign
that it's finally time to forgive, but maybe not forget...
As I slowly learned the production process through my own trial and error and any written material that I could find on the subject, I discovered that my older brother, Zach, and his best friends were all learning and grinding for the same thing I was: music! They are 4 years older and were already off on their own and in college while I was just about to enter high school. So, during their last semesters, we all got together and founded our first local record label, High & Mighty Entertainment.
Through the mathematics
and defeating the status quo
Reaching for the stratosphere
believing in a miracle
Trying not to get hysterical
but a little heretical
Now listen to the music let it heal you it's medical
Over the next three years all six of us were savvy enough to accumulate a massive portfolio of instrumentals and records, along with some local clout by working and collaborating with some of the best independent artists in the Tri-State. We adopted our own stage names too, of course. Mine was Kode Bloo, like "Code Blue", then we had my brother ProZach, and friends VersaTyle (Tyler), AlcaTrav (Travis), Prof-ecy (Anthony), and finally Stunny G (Adam). The five of them had a very similar vision of sound and production goals, which led to the formation of the powerhouse beat factory known as Top Scholars.
My existence can twist at the flip of a switch
As the DNA unravels from the hit of a spliff
From the stars to the edge of the galaxy
The gravity of my sound will be crushing the agony...
My musical tastes and sonic preference up to that point, as a producer, was mainly that of EDM like Dubstep, Psychedelic, and music suitable for synchronization in film, TV and video games. However, during my time at High & Mighty and making beats for Atlantic City rapper, Illogik from King's Vision Ent., my overall production sound began to cling more and more to the smooth yet gritty and gut busting sonic qualities of Hip Hop. I started to study the production of such legendary artists and producers as KRS-1, DJ Premier, Dr Dre, Rakim, Nas, Common, Scott Storch, The Notorious B.I.G., Pharrell, AZ, and Outkast to name a few.
You're a reflection of me
but a little clearer
Your words are free
but don't go fogging up the mirror
Unfortunately in the latter half of 2012 and early 2013, the hunger for a successful label and music career had taken a steep dive as our members and collaborators became increasingly distracted by an important question, "Should we continue and possibly fail, or move on into a more practical career path?" Eventually, equipment and instruments were being sold before High & Mighty Entertainment was tragically dissolved. Although we all went separate ways, my appetite and passion for music was still palpable and I knew I needed to make a move and keep going.
Now something is amiss
Try not to jump in
Cause they can make a slight incision
On April 19, 2013, I packed everything I could fit into my 2010 Chevy Malibu and traversed the country from Atlantic City to Los Angeles. Zach came along for the road trip, stating he definitely wasn't about to let me drive across the contiguous United States on my own. So with the car packed to the brim, we left in the early evening and made it non stop to Denver, Colorado in less than 24 hours. From there we had a couple spontaneous stops, the first at Zion National Park in Utah for a 13 mile hike through the wilderness, and then in Las Vegas, because, well... of course! Finally, we made our way through the final stretch and I had arrived to what I would call my new home.
I'm really getting tired of sitting in the silence
It's like a virus, minus the shitting and violence
Contaminating my mileage
Navigating with no signage...
Once Zach caught his flight back to New Jersey, it was official. I was on my own in the mecca of the Music and Entertainment Industry.
There was certainly a period of time when I was just exploring and getting myself acclimated to the new culture and economy. However, it wasn't long before I was thrust into a whirlwind of new experiences and opportunities that would eventually help me define my professional values and better understand my personal vision for the paths I chose through this insane spiral of musical growth.
You gotta be ready to put up with the bullies in the belly of the beast before you end up deceased after the feast
After extensive research, networking, legal consultation and paperwork, I was able to find a way to monetize my portfolio and establish a perpetual royalty stream through placements in commercials, licensing catalogs, independent content creations, and with local recording artists. This accomplishment helped feed my motivation to do more and go even farther, and it helped me realize that a major record label or major studio is no longer needed to be successful in this industry.
I don't mind going to hell,
it's probably empty
cause all the demons and devils
are standing right here with me
The independent music economy is alive and thriving without any help from major players. Now, the ingredients for success in this evolving industry are persistent dedication, consistent progress, true passion for your craft, and most importantly, PATIENCE. A strong business acumen is also good to have, but this tends to develop on its own, over time through experience. With these attributes I became more organized as a professional, setting attainable goals to learn and experience new musical capabilities for me to inject into my work. This brings me to the next phase in my own evolution as a music industry professional; the addition of lyricism and performing as a recording artist.
Somebody had to tell me that I had to make a choice
Either grip that knife, or lift your voice
But of course I chose the latter cause the edge of the blade Makes the mad hatter flip in his grave
The lessons and experiences I had access to out West are invaluable, and so it was time to put them to work in a different setting and location. In 2016 I moved back to the east coast, this time down south to Florida. Being only a five hour drive from either Atlanta or Miami, new opportunities and lessons awaited. It was a fresh start for my mental, a new mindset with larger production and business goals. The addition of lyrics served as not only another creative avenue, but also a marketing and promotional advantage that I didn't have before; the human voice.
With the temperature dropping silently when the heart starts stopping violently, I can still see the shadows pass the windows out of the darkness and follow me
The sonic effects of well executed vocals add a powerful and dynamic element of connection between the art and the listener, basically making it easier to grab the attention of potential fans. However, it took some time for my voice and confidence to become useful. When I first began to record my written material, I was pretty uncomfortable! Hearing my own recorded voice was weird and gave me anxiety at first, but after laying a few tracks down and released them to good praise, I realized it's something that could actually work. Overtime I was able to "find my voice" as a recording artist and, with the help of my sister, Chelsea, switched my stage name from Kode Bloo to Charlie Hayz.
Look, I've never been afraid to die
All I ever really wanted was a way to fly, waking up in the sky and looking over the horizon...
Speaking of the stage, I was finally as prepared as I felt I could be. It was time to take my music to a live setting and perform, but it was an incredibly daunting feat to overcome the spot light that first time in Miami. It was a packed house for an open mic, and I had time for two tracks, "Must Be the Cannabis" and "Know Regrets". I was sweating and nervous the entire time, but apparently I didn't let it show because the end of my set was met with applause and praise! It was an incredible feeling, and helped me validate all of the aspirations I've been holding on to for all of these years. Performing live was a milestone that opened up yet another slew of new things to learn and much higher confidence in my ability to succeed in this saturated industry.
All of this ultimately led me to this moment. I built this website and wrote this short bio, now I'm just waiting to see what new opportunities the future holds.