Ugochukwu Onyianta, originally from State College, is a recent transplant to Williamsport. He was drawn here by DyHard Entertainment, a new label and recording studio in the Pajama Factory.
Onyianta believes Williamsport is on the verge of a musical breakthrough, and he is excited to have found a home at DyHard.
"Musically, Pennsylvania is known for Philly and Pittsburgh. Our goal is to corner those two big cities eventually, but for now we're focusing on smaller college towns like Williamsport and State College," Onyianta said.
Onyianta believes that the local music scene is becoming more varied.
"Most people think the local music scene is just these little bands stuck playing at small venues. But we've got world-class talent coming out of here," he said.
He was originally drawn to the city after hearing the work of Chris Hayes, executive producer at DyHard.
"When I first heard about this place, I didn't believe that someone like Chris, who has worked with some major talents like J-Z and Dr. Dre, would be working out of a small town like Williamsport," Onyianta said.
"Then I came here and was blown away, every beat he mixes is better than the last. The quality of his work is incredible," Onyianta said.
The positive reaction Onyianta has received so far makes him confident that Williamsport is a the perfect base of operations for his career.
"When you see people on the street, they are talking about this studio. There's a lot of positive energy and forward momentum," he said.
"The following is gathering. The plan is to start here but the end goal is to take the industry by storm," he added.
Onyianta, who performs under the name "The U," released his first collection with his new label in April. He describes the project, titled "No Days Off," as a "mix tape of all-original music." It features several local artists also signed to the label, including feverCEZER and Ali-Z.
For Onyianta, this project served as a musical graduation, a step forward in his artistic journey.
"This mix tape is kind of the culmination of me taking the next step as an artist. When I began, I just rapped over beats. I didn't understand what a song is made up of, how to count bars and mix layers of sound. Now, I don't just make music, I make art," Onyianta said.