AUBURN | At just 17 years old, Cameron Sanders can't drive and has yet to get his license but he's already traveled across the United States.
Sanders is living his dream and was back in Auburn on Sunday afternoon to share it with friends and family at the Casey Park playground. A fundraiser in honor of the young rapper featured a live performance, face painting, food and giveaways to help kick off his upcoming national tour. It was a fun afternoon to support the young teenager who is on the road to achieving his dreams.
Those closest to him know Sanders as a fun-loving momma's boy, who can't stand the sight of bugs, and has a soft spot for country music. But over the last few years people have started to see a different side of the small-town teen. The music industry knows him as Siege, a young aspiring rapper with a knack for rhyming when given the microphone and this fall, people all across the country will have the chance to learn more about him and his music.
Sanders started rattling rhymes at a young age. And those around him say his hard work, dedication and the support of his parents led him to the major milestone he's reached at just 17. In September, Sanders will embark on his first national tour, performing alongside major recording artists, The New Boyz.
A tour bus, a live audience for 40 days on the East and West coasts and the thrill of sharing his music is about to become a reality.
But all of Sanders' success hasn't changed him. Those who work closely with him still say he's the same kid they knew and loved when they first met him. Daryl Clark of GNT Muzik/Beat Doc productions, started working with Sanders when he was 11 years old and knew right away that he had talent.
"I was shocked at what I heard at first, but I realized what a true talent he is," Clark said. "He is revolutionary and he's going to change how hip hop is heard."
Mike Brown travels everywhere with Sanders as his tour manager. He was aware of Sanders' talent in 2010 when he heard him for the first time.
"People are just drawn to him. He has natural talent and a real presence on stage," Brown said. "You see him and he's doing what 30 year olds are doing right now and he's only 17."
Sanders walked across the park in shorts, a white T-shirt and a throwback Atlanta Braves cap — looking like any other high school kid. He was laid back, personable and talked lovingly of his hometown.
It didn't take long for him to get up on stage. Within minutes he was rapping and working the crowd. His songs are driven by his own experiences, from what it's like to be on the road and "Onstage" to his hometown in "Upstate" that he said, he's never forgotten.
After a full day of fun it's back to business for Sanders, Brown said. They'll be back on the road getting ready for the tour. It's only the beginning of the next step for the artist. Despite all of the major change, the trips to California and Las Vegas, the upcoming tour and two new song releases this fall, Sanders is still just 17.
The stage doesn't scare him, he said, but an upcoming cross-country tour has him a little nervous.
"I'm definitely nervous for that," he said. "But I love this. I love what I do."