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Ellis making music

By Michael Butler

Channing Ellis is a 2009 graduate of Tallassee High School. Now 30, Ellis - a singer, songwriter and rapper - has become a part of the Atlanta music scene.

"My granddad (Randy Cole) was in a band, so I grew up watching him," Ellis said. "Luckily I had a friend group - Dylan Baker, Jordan Cunningham - I was around in my high school days. Mr. (Jerry) Cunningham built Jordan a studio. We were kind of in and out of the studio just practicing. It kind of started there."

In 2014, Ellis put out his first CD.

"I sold them in the local gas stations, at Five Points and all of that. The city of Tallassee has always been supportive."

Ellis then moved to Auburn.

"I got the local deejays playing my songs. It went from there to me dropping one of my biggest songs, "Switch it Up." That song was the turning point for me as far as recognition. That's the song they played behind the Tiger Walk video of the Auburn vs. Arkansas game debuting in Jordan-Hare Stadium."

Now in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Ellis continues recording and performing.

"I've been in Atlanta for two years. The music scene is enormous. Anywhere you go in Atlanta is filled with culture. It's a lot more opportunity here. Anything is possible. I moved here and made the song, "Nothing Like You." It's got now over 400,000 streams. I remember when I had zero streams."

The music Ellis records is under the name - The Mance.

"When I was younger, my mom used to do this thing with me. I was a toddler. She used to ask me, 'Who's the man?' I used to point at myself. I made an e-mail for myself with the man - ce. My roommates' girlfriend went to log in on the computer and said, 'Who's the mance?' That's the first time I heard it put together. I always referred to it as - the man - ce - Channing Ellis. At that moment it kind of clicked for me."

Music from The Mance is available on SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.

"I recently did a live performance with a song that I'm going to drop soon that is called, "What's Left." That's going to be my next single."

Ellis is studying for a venture into real estate while continuing his passion in music.

"I used to define my success based on how popular that I was. I flipped my perspective. The popularity really doesn't matter as much to me anymore. I get to wake up everyday and do things that are really important."