The 808
Gig Seeker Pro

The 808

Concord, NC | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Concord, NC | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Pop Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Lake-Sumter Alumni Releases Debut Album"

Ryan James Edwards has traveled far and wide to achieve his dream of becoming a musician, but he points to Lake-Sumter as the starting point of his career. “Lake-Sumter,” he says, “is, [educationally], what kick-started me to even [think] I could do this. They prepared me, gave me at least the beginning tools to say, ‘This is how you can manage yourself. This is how you can basically live this dream out.’ It equipped me. Starting here equipped me to do what I’m doing now.”

Edwards dual-enrolled at Lake-Sumter during his senior year of high school in 2006, taking several business classes and as many music classes as possible, mostly with Professor Peter Arcaro. Edwards says, “He was amazing. I probably took almost every class, by the time I was done here, that he offered because I really, really liked what he was doing. I would even say that because of a lot of the stuff he taught me, he allowed me to become who I am now in music... He knew what he was doing.”

He moved on the Seminole State College in 2008. He describes the period after college as something like a rollercoaster ride. He spent five years on tour with Kadesh, a Christian band from Lake County that garnered considerable attention in the Christian community. Besides touring numerous countries including Peru, the Dominican Republic and western Canada, they also performed at Disney’s Night of Joy for three years in a row.

In 2011 he fell in love and moved to North Carolina to pursue a career in music. He met up with Remedy Drive, a band that had formerly worked with Fireflight, and asked if they needed his help with anything. He ended up leaving a few days later for a six-week tour, proposing to his soon-to-be wife hours before being dropped off at the bus stop to leave.

When he returned, he was offered a full salary job working with a start-up record label. The gig lasted ten months before collapsing. He made money by playing background roles in small movies and commercials until he was offered a position running the sound system for Providence Road Church of Christ in Charlotte, North Carolina.

It was there that he learned how to produce his own music and gained the skills he would need to make his dreams of independently publishing an album a reality.

In 2013 he created a Kickstarter campaign with the help of a photographer and friend Kelly Rae Stewart. The Kickstarter company itself took note of his project and gave it special promotion on their website. He ended up exceeding his goal of $7,000 by $370 with 115 backers. His album was officially released Nov. 11 and is now available on websites such as iTunes, Amazon MP3 and Google Play.

Lake-Sumter showed him that this dream was possible and gave him the skills to pursue it. He passes this idea on in his advice to current students. “Try to pick up skills, even if you don’t feel like they’re ideal; they’re going to apply. If it has to do with what that you love… do it, because it probably is [going to] help you in the long run. Push. Make connections; make friendships. Be happy with what you’re doing, because if you’re happy with what you’re doing, people are going to want to be a part of that.”

His final advice is to “Learn as much as you can. Never stop learning. Never.”

Edwards aims to leave a legacy of positive, refreshing music that uplifts those who hear it. While his work is not specifically Christian music, he has taken much inspiration from the genre. All the bands he has worked with were Christian bands, and he cites a cappella singing as part of what helped him learn what was possible with musical chords.

“This is a whole album of pursuing a dream,” he says. To current students who are still deciding what to do with their lives, he adds, “Don’t back down… That’s my biggest thing. Be happy with what you’re doing, because if you’re happy with what you’re doing, people are going to want to be a part of that.”

To purchase “The 808”or learn more about his journey, visit or his Kickstarter page at - Katie McCay, Lake-Sumter State College


Still working on that hot first release.



The 808 is the creative world of singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Ryan James.


Google Play:



Band Members