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Andre Harrell Finds His Superstar

The Andre Harrell Superstar Soul Search gathered some of the nation’s top up-and-coming R&B/Soul artists and pitted them against each other for a shot at success. The finals took place in Atlanta on July 31st, and—after a long and fierce competition—Mr. Ayers was declared the winner. We sat down with Mr. Ayers and the man himself, Andre Harrell, to find out more about the competition and the finals.

Mr. Ayers recalled for us the atmosphere in Atlanta. “The competition was a lot of fun. Full of so many talented artists. It was also tense as HELL! I was the first person on the list to perform! Not the typical place to be if you want to leave an impression with judges. It worked out in my favor though. When I was onstage in front of the judges, the few times I looked at them they were stone faced! They just stared at me. I thought that I dropped the ball a few times. I just focused on the crowd and my performance.” Andre Harrell discussed with us some of the things he was looking for from the artists, and why he felt Mr. Ayers was the right fit. “I was looking for people to sing about relationships. I think love has been missing from the music. Overall, Mr. Ayers had better songs and a better point of view. When you listen to his songs, he’s a romantic crooner. He put his emotion into the songs and he understood who he was and who he wanted to be. It’s very important for an artist to have point of view.”

In addition to praise for Mr. Ayers, Harrell had good things to say about the other artists at the competition. “There were a lot of standout performances. Amaye had a huge voice. Her performances were some of the best. Frank Sirius had a great voice and a great ability to perform. Nicoya from Houston had a great voice, good look, great records. I plan to put all these artists on a Superstar Soul Search compilation album that I’m going to make.” Aside from featuring these artists on the compilation, Harrell also plans to set them up with established producers the likes of R Kelly, Robin Thicke and Rodney Jerkins (Beyoncé, Mike City). “I want to match up these young artists up with producers who can help them structure their production and their songs to the best of their ability. They will keep the songs they have, but just bring up their production, giving them the education they need to bring them to the next level.”

Check out highlights from the SuperStar Soul Search Competition in Atlanta in the video below (courtesy of Radio One) and be sure head over to Mr. Ayers’ OurStage profile to listen to his superstar sound.

50 States In 50 Weeks… Week 28: North Carolina

OSBlog02_50States_NCFun Facts: State Flower; Dogwood, State Bird; Cardinal, State Song; “The Old North State”

Home of: Earl Scruggs, Ben Folds Five, Daughtry, Ryan Adams, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Nina Simone, Randy Travis, Annuals

The Venues:

The 1,000+ capacity Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte, NC is a popular stopover for national artists in the indie rock, punk, hardcore and metal genres. Their sister venue, the 325 capacity Casbah is a great place to see local and regional up-and-coming talent.

In 2008, Rolling Stone named the Orange Peel Social Aid & Pleasure Club in Asheville, NC one of the five best venues in the USA. The club has hosted acts like Blondie, The Flaming Lips, Bob Dylan, Sonic Youth and The Smashing Pumpkins. Asheville is also home to The Christmas Jam, a annual music festival organized by Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule with proceeds going to Habitat For Humanity. This year marked the 21st anniversary of the festival and featured Ani Difranco, Counting Crowes, moe. and Gov’t Mule.

The Music:

QFYMKETXRZOL-320x240Amaye – While Amaye has only called North Carolina home since 2005, she’s made a big impression on her adopted state, touring all over NC as the lead singer of an R&B cover band at her school, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. Check out Amaye’s radio-ready R&B jam “Make Up 2 Break Up,” which won her the Coke and Radio One “My Formula. My Chance” Channel Grand Prize: A collaboration single with Trey Songz!

PSSZCRGHMVNL-320x240Mark Kano – You may recognize Mark Kano as the former frontman of alt. rock band Athenaeum, who recorded and released 2 albums for Atlantic Records in the late ’90s/early ’00s. These days, Mark’s music is more in the singer-songwriter vein. His song “Telling You I Love You” from his debut solo album Walking On Broadway topped last month’s OurStage Singer-Songwriter (Male) Channel.

KNJCFSQJGHXM-320x240The Lo and Beholds – Hailing from Charlotte, The Lo and Beholds are a 5-piece alternative/indie rock group. With such a mature sound, it’s hard to believe that all of the band members are only in their early 20s. Take a listen to the melodic vocals and dynamic guitars of “North.”

MichaelMichael Thomas – With six Top 10 finishes and three Number 1 channel prizes, 23-year-old Michael Thomas has been making quite a name for himself on the OurStage Country Channels. Dedicated to the old-school country sound, Michael released his first album Bonafide Country Boys last year. Check out the album’s title track in the playlist.

Check out these artists and more great North Carolinan music in the playlist below!

Who’s your favorite OurStage North Carolinian? Where do you like to see live music in North Carolina? Let us know in the comments!


OurStage fans judged over 1,500 entries in the second contest of Coke and Radio One’s “My Formula. My Chance” Talent Search series. At the top of the charts was Amayé’s hot R&B track, “Make Up 2 Break Up”. This radio-ready, mid-tempo jam about love’s frustrations struck a chord with fans while showing off the rising diva’s golden set of pipes. Aside from adding the Number 1 Channel ranking to her resume, Amayé can also claim the contest’s Grand Prize: working on a collaboration single with superstar Trey Songz courtesy of Atlanic Records! Amayé began her entertainment career as a dancer in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. After attending Baltimore School of the Arts and performing in several dance companies she moved to Greensboro, NC to attend North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. While in college, she honed her frontwoman skills while singing in a R&B and hip-hop cover band with fellow students.

Amayé is currently working hard to emerge from obscurity as a solo artist, drawing inspiration from artists such as Toni Braxton and Anita Baker. When asked what she liked about promoting her music on OurStage, Amayé said “I love the Electronic Press Kits. They’re really the best thing for an artist; very convenient and best of all, free!” Now thanks to OurStage, Coca-Cola, Radio One and Atlantic Records, Amayé will be rubbing elbows with one of the industry’s brightest talents in a state of the art recording studio. Congratulations!


Earlier in July, OurStage and Radio One joined forces to find the hottest new talent to open up for the Russ Parr Bus Tour. Thanks to the help of fan judging, the best emerging artists in Hip-Hop and R&B rose to the top and were selected to kick off concerts in select cities. Check out the winning artists and the songs they’ll be performing below!


“I can’t believe it! I’m so excited to be part of the tour!” – CaineMoe

August 3rd, Cleveland, OH – Cleveland Music Hall

Mz. Nicky“Caked Up”

August 4th, Dayton, OH – Sinclair Community College

Slick Watts - “Yes We Can”

August 5th, Cincinnati, OH – Music Hall

Lyric“Dolla Bill”

“Thank God, Thank You the fans…to everybody who voted for us, we love Ya’ll”, It’s a honor to be a part of the Russ Bus tour” – Lyric
August 6th, Louisville, KY – International Convention Center

Bradley Russell“Still Go To Church”

August 7th, Washington DC – Warner Theater

Rob Young“I Can’t See You”

August 12th, Raleigh, NC – Dorton Arena

FaT ft. DZK - “Hip Hop”

August 13th, Richmond, VA – Richmond International Raceway

Amaye“Make Up 2 Break Up”

August 14th, Fayetteville, NC – Fayetteville State University


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