MIAMI – As Courtney Bigby stood on stage at Florida International University's third annual BayFest and looked at the crowd of more than 1,000 people, he could only think about his brother, Chris Morris.
"My brother is the one who got me into performing my raps,” Bigby, who goes by the stage name K-KiD, said. "I lost him last year in a motorcycle accident."
At Saturday's third annual event, which took place at the university's Biscayne Bay Campus, former Haitian President Michel Martelly performed under his stage name Sweet Mickey, along with Jamaican reggae and dance hall artist Mr. Vegas, and hip hop and rhythm and blues artist DJ Luke Nasty.
"We like to focus on music styles that cater towards many demographics," Fabiola Jean-Baptiste, the president of FIU’s Student Programing Council, said. "We also like to shine light on the local artist right here in the South Florida community."
Bigby, a self-proclaimed nerd, is an FIU student who is double majoring in computer science and liberal arts.
The 22-year-old started rapping when he was in the seventh-grade after Morris encouraged him. With time Bigby became comfortable in his abilities, and began to challenge Morris in rap battles.
"He did his own thing," Bigby said. "At first we were in the same group, and I was like 'I'm better than you."
When it was time for Bigby to hit the stage, he performed the song "Used To," which is dedicated to his brother.
"He told me, 'Don't rap about things you don’t know about,' and not to pretend to be something I'm not," Bigby, 22, said.
Basically, to rap about what he is used to.
"The song is about living a stress-free life," Bigby said.
Bayfest is known for its ability to draw in headliners and local talent, such as Bigby.
With his local vibe, Bigby, said he felt at home on stage, and even recognized some faces in the audience.
"It felt I was on the home stage," he said. "They gave me a good welcome."
And they noticed him too.
"It was my first time seeing Courtney perform and I was so hyped to support (him)," Zvestly Plantin, a former classmate of Bigby's, said.
After the show, Bigby celebrated with his sister and friends, who had come to support him.
"They tackled me after," he said with a laugh.
Bigby said he plans to continue to make music, while keeping his brother's memory alive.
"I gotta do it for him," he said.
-- Story by Local 10 News assignment editor Marcine Joseph