Using an ironing board as a keyboard stand and inexpensive equipment to produce music, this isn't exactly a rags to riches story. "It's not about what you got, it's who uses it."
But, in the last two years, Aleric Banks' life has done a 180. "I was homeless two years ago, I had nothing. But an Emachine and a computer to work my music with."
Fortunately, there's just one place you can go from rock bottom. And that's up. It all started when Banks got a job at Macy's, where he met classically trained pianist Monique Hines. "Just seemed like the magic of Macy's."
Together they started Starstrukk Productions and produced the music for this Saturday Night Live Digital Short with Rihanna and Andy Samberg. So how'd Banks go from the streets to this? "At first it just come from me not charging no one. Like, I got a CD full of tracks, here. Giving them out left and right, until the right person came across.
The "right person" just happened to be looking for music to air in a Saturday Night Live skit. Banks just didn't know how it would be used, that lyrics would be added, or Rihanna would be singing it. His reaction was something like this: "Play it over play it over, play it over again."
And recently, they've been given another reason to celebrate, over and over and over again. "When I got the phone call we got the nomination, I immediately started crying."
On August 29th, Banks and Hines will be attending the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. The song is nominated under the category, outstanding original music and lyrics. "The only thing now is to win the award, and i'm 100% sure we're going to win."
If they do, Banks isn't sure where he'll display the Emmy. His partner thinks it will be where everyone can see how far his music has taken him. "I have a feeling it's going to be on his hip, he might make a belt out of it maybe, cause it's going everywhere for a while."
Visit www.nbc.com to view the video. Search "Shy Ronnie."