What started off as a bet for Greg Gent has turned into what could be his big break in the music business.
Gent, who goes by GLitCH in the music industry, signed a record deal with SMG Global Network—one of the leading indie labels that is distributed through Universal Digital Music Group—four months ago and is getting ready for his first major performance this weekend.
Gent, 18, started rapping 8 years ago when he bet his friend, Justin, that he could rap. He started rapping with a group shortly after that and went solo when it fell apart.
"I decided to continue rapping because it helped me when I needed to vent," he said.
One day last year, the president of SMG Global Network was in the studio when Gent's engineer, Josh Scott, was mixing one of his new tracks.
"I got a call saying that I was going to be signed," he said. "It's one of those moments where your jaw drops, your phone falls out of your hands and you freeze up. It's a shocking surprise, an 'is this really going to happen' moment."
The first GLitCH single, "The River Runs," will be released digitally on March 26. It will be available on iTunes and Amazon. His first album, "Impervious by Design," also has been fully recorded. A release date for the album has not been announced.
Gent recruited fellow student Olivia Fischer, a Riverview senior, to make shirts for his fans. Fischer has her own customized T-shirt business, Fossette Clothing.
"This opens a whole new window of opportunity," she said.
Gent is happy the two can help each other.
"Music is a high seller for personalized merchandise, and it'll help get both of our names out there," he said. "It's great working with Olivia because she's funny and she gets the job done."
Fischer and many other Riverview students will be heading to the Iron Works to watch GLitCH.
Gent said he's happy for the support.
"On stage, I get kind of nervous, but its like that Eminem song, 'Lose Yourself,'" he said. "You literally lose yourself and you feel like you're just performing in your room.
"I've done a few shows, and the response has been amazing. It seems like people have faith in me. It makes me feel special."
To check out some for GLitCH's music, visit his Facebook page.