When he told his parents about his vision
and plan to drop out of college, they were
the idea and helped their son get an apartment
with a couple of friends in Atlanta’s Blandtown
neighborhood. Just days before Sharrieff moved
into his apartment, in an amazing stroke of good
fortune, Billboard Studios Atlanta opened its
doors right next to his building. Sharrieff quickly
became a regular visitor and eventually secured
an internship at Billboard Studios, befriending
major producers Randy Lanphear, P-Nasty, and
“I learned so much about studio etiquette and
how to present yourself as a producer,” he said.
“And basically, I ended up meeting all the people
that led to my successes throughout my career.”
In December 2016, Jazze Pha linked Sharrieff
with a young rap duo, two brothers named Ayo
and Teo. The brothers rapped on a BL$$D beat
called “Coast to Coast.” The song became known
as “Rolex” when it dropped as a single in January
20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the music
video currently has over 750 million views on
some of the biggest names in hip hop, such as
Young Thug, Future, and Lil Uzi Vert. Later in
2017, his collaboration with Lil Yachty, “Say My
Name,” reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 200,
making him a double-platinum producer.
In 2018, he and friend Aaron Reid started All
Pop International, a production company based
in Los Angeles that signs young artists, producers,
and sound engineers and helps them break
into the music industry.
“All you’ve got to do is believe and trust that
God is going to take you there,” Sharrieff said.
“Great things and miracles happen.”
34 JESUIT PERSPECTIVES • SPRING 2020
C hris Watson ’08 is a soulful
singer-songwriter with an innate
likeability who has been closing in
on that big breakthrough for years.
If you turned on ABC on a Tuesday
night recently, you may have witnessed
that big breakthrough yourself, as Watson was a star contestant on the
ABC reality series, “The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart.”
slated for May 18) was billed as “The Bachelor” meets “A Star is Born.”
Watson impresses with his music chops and performing skills, meets
record professionally and release a music video.
After graduating from Jesuit 12 years ago, Watson attended the
University of Miami and earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism
and Creative Writing. Following graduation, he moved to Brooklyn to
pursue a music career.
Watson started off busking – playing music in public for donations –
in New York metro stations. He eventually earned residency at No Fun
Bar on the Lower East Side of Manhattan
participate on “The Voice” in 2013.
That big breakthrough didn’t happen on
“The Voice,” and in 2014, his father, Dr.
Patrick Watson, passed away in Tampa.
(His brother, Reginald Watson ‘04, is
Regulatory Compliance Counsel with an
association of credit unions in Washington,
D.C.) Watson returned to New York
and continued to establish himself in the
EP, “Part of a Man,” and followed it up
with the 2016 Till the Sun tour along the
Watson now lives in Los Angeles full
time, and he starred in a 2019 Amazon
Prime documentary called “The Unknown Tour.” In it, Watson travels
in a bus-turned-recording studio with four other guys, scouring the
U.S. for untapped musical talent.
His ascension to prominence has continued in 2020. Prior to his star
turn on “The Bachelor: Listen to You Heart,” Watson was featured in a
“For me, inspiration is everywhere,” Watson says in the commercial.
“But getting there can mean a lot of closed doors, waiting for that
window of opportunity to open. But when it does, there’s nothing else
“Creating something for myself that might end up moving someone
else? That’s what connects us all. That’s why I do what I do.”
More Musical Alumni
Watson stars in
Listen to Your
→ Songwriter Lloyd Miller ’92 founded The Deedle
Deedle Dees in 2003, a Brooklyn-based, critically
acclaimed band that has performed at venues
across the country. Their music is inspired
by history and science, and their “rock-n-roll
classroom” educates children.
→ Singer Diego Garcia ’95 fronted the New York
City indie rock band Elefant in the early 2000s.
He was called the “Sexiest Lead Singer” by New
York magazine before embarking on a solo career
and releasing two albums.
→ Singer/guitarist Adrian Barrera ’96 formed the rock band The Hiss in Gainesville before relocating
and reorganizing in Atlanta from 2003-08. Their hit song “Clever Kicks” was featured in the 2004
movie Catwoman and in several video games.
→ Violinist Trent Watkins ’03 works for Gables Realty in Miami and also is an accomplished fiddler
and sound engineer, playing the fiddle with local bands.
→ Multi-instrumentalist Alex Spoto ’07 once toured with Blues Rock artist Benjamin Booker and is
now living in San Francisco as an events manager for the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts. He also
writes for Los Angeles-based music blog Aquarium Drunkard and its Sirius/XM radio show.
→ Saxophonist Bradley Schilit ’11 teaches private music lessons in the Winston-Salem, N.C. area.
→ Acoustic guitarist Ryan Tharin ’11 lives in the Tampa area and releases music under the name The
Kind of Joy.
Chris Watson '08