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"American Idol 2012 Singer David Leathers Making Fayetteville Proud"

Wednesday night David Leathers Jr. kicked off American Idol 2012, and if he is any indication of what is in store for viewers, it should be a great season. People haven't stopped buzzing about Leathers since his audition this season on Idol (airing on channel 10 in Scottsdale), and it seems quite likely he will be doing well this season. Fans are anxious to learn more about this 17-year-old from North Carolina, and on Friday FayObserver.com did a great piece with some fun tidbits.

Leathers currently attends Seventy-First High School in Fayetteville, along with fellow American Idol 11 competitor Ariel Sprague. David is currently a senior at the school, and his principal is thrilled about two of her students progressing to the Hollywood round. Both David Leathers, Jr. and Ariel Sprague have performed in local competitions, and both were featured in the 2009 contest “Rip the Hallways.” This is the competition that Leathers referred to in his chat with Ryan Seacrest, where he made the final two for his region with American Idol winner Scotty McCreery.
Watch David Leathers - Remember The Rain - American Idol 2012 - Savannah Auditions
Watch David Leathers - Remember The Rain - American Idol 2012 - Savannah Auditions

During his package Wednesday night, Leathers gave the impression he bested McCreery in the competition, but FayObserver.com indicates that Scotty did take home the top prize, with David finishing second. The school's choral activity director Monique Butler-Woodard says that she's had previous students audition for Idol, but this is the first time anybody has made it to Hollywood. Butler-Woodard went on to say that what viewers say of Leathers during the audition perfectly captures his spirit. She said, “He's always smiling, has great presence and loves to sing. If he's not singing, there's something wrong.”

Knox Ewers, who created the “Rip the Hallways” competition, says he knew both David Leathers, Jr. and Scotty McCreery were special as soon as he met them. He shares he was blown away by David when he first saw them, and “It was the greatest joy to see David's face just light up when he got put through to the next round.” David also had some help from Hellas Restaurant & Sports Bar in Hope Mills, where he rehearsed and practiced singing in front of family and friends to familiarize himself with sound equipment and being in front of a crowd. Apparently some of these performances are the same ones posted on David's YouTube channel.

While part of David's persona so far is that of a “ladies man,” the owner of Hellas says he's “a real good kid, real humble... He's definitely got the personality and the voice [to go far].” Leathers doesn't just focus on his singing, either, as the principal at his high school, Vanessa Alford, says he's also a great student. Alford also says both David and Ariel are “just genuine kids, great kids, who don't flaunt their talent.” Fayetteville is already thrilled for them, and from the sounds of it, many American Idol 2012 viewers will be getting behind them soon as well.

Tune in Wednesday and Thursday nights to see David Leathers, Jr. and the other contestants battle for spots on the live shows this season. American Idol 11 airs on Fox, channel 10 in Scottsdale, at 7 p.m. - Examiner.com

"Emperor Listening Party Friday"

Fayetteville duo Emporer will give fans a chance to preview their upcoming album, Without Prejudice, Vol. 1, on Friday at Via 216 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The duo, G-Terra and Saint Michael, formed in 2011 and have patterned themselves to be a Jamaican-version of Outkast. G-Terra was born and raised in Jamaica, Saint Michael comes from a Jamaican family. Together, they’ve taken strides to do more than just the dancehall, R&B and rap many would expect.

While listeners sample their debut album, the pair will be using a text message polling system that allows anyone in attendance to anonymously give feedback on the tracks that are playing as they happen.

Emperor is looking to release Without Prejudice Vol. 1 in March and will use the feedback from the show to decide what makes the final cut. “She Want It Hard” is the first single from the project.

Their 2012 single, “Kawasaki,” was co-produced by Jamaican dancehall producer Jon FX, who also has tracks with Akon, Shabba Ranks, Gyptian and Mavado under his belt. The video landed for that song landed on MTV Tempo.

Via 216 is located in the Tallywood Shopping Center in Fayetteville. - Fayetteville Observer

"The Hip Hop and Reggae Duo Emperor"

local music

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Published: 12:00 AM, Thu Nov 24, 2011
Listen Up: The hip-hop and reggae duo Emperor
By Jessica De Vault

When two talented artists come together, magic is bound to happen. Which is what happened with locally based hip-hop and reggae duo Emperor.

The group, consisting of producer Knox "Saint Michael" Ewers and Gareth "G-Terra" Hay, has created a buzz with their multigenre sound.

"We were already seasoned artists before we came together to do this, which is what makes this so compatible. It meshes," Hay said. "Everything is right, like putting Pro Tools on the right Windows. You can't tell which one is us because we project the same sound. It makes our flavor distinct."

Emperor has already released singles that have received thousands of plays on YouTube, such as their remix of J. Cole's "Can't Get Enough."

Hay has built an underground following as a solo reggae and hip-hop artist, while Ewers is known for his production work and his Rip the Hallways Teen Vocalist Series competition in 2009. The producer was one of several judges to choose Scotty McCreery, the most recent "American Idol" winner, to be a finalist in the statewide contest.

"We auditioned him up in Apex at a library, and he had the glow about him," Ewers said. "It made me really happy to see that young man do what he's doing now."

Now the duo is focused on getting their music to the masses. The two artists joined forces only two months ago and are working on a first album, which they say will be a double disc.

Emperor chatted with the Weekender Street Edition about their music and what the world can expect to see from their work.

Weekender: How would you describe Emperor's sound?

Hay: It's probably the most diverse sound ever. The fact that we're involved in so many different genres of music, we just love every style of music.

Ewers: We're always grounded in our culture - Jamaican culture, reggae culture. That speaks volumes because reggae culture is so diverse; especially when it comes to dance hall. You hear dance hall artists on rock beats, pop beats.

Weekender: Who are some of your musical influences?

Ewers: Dennis Brown. He was the family on my mother's side, my sister's Godfather. I never met him, but knowing that those types of people were connected to the family, it changed my life as a kid.

Hay: My biggest influence was definitely Bob Marley. When I was raised in Jamaica, it was just Bob Marley every day and all day ... I knew all the words. After a while, I liked the Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Shabba Ranks - Yellowman, the old school, the new school.

Weekender: So why the name Emperor?

Ewers: He's the king of kings.

Hay: We wanted to use something that would be appealing, leave a question in someone's mind. It sounds like one person but it's actually two kings and one crown - Emperor the brand, the duo. It has a lot of meaning. ... We came together to form a duo and do something that's powerful, like the new Outkast but on another level.

Ewers: That's what a lot of the old G's are saying to us - that we're a Jamaican Outkast. And their work speaks for itself and they're talent is out of this world.

Weekender: Wow, that's a compliment.

Hay: You know how they dropped that album "The Love Below"? Our first album is going to be a double disc. We'll both be on both discs, but one disc is my idea, my name and the other disc will be his idea his name. We'll market to all of the fans, who have been following G-Terra and Saint Michael all at the same time.

Weekender: What sort of music can we expect to hear on this double-album?

Hay: Since we came together, every song we make has been a hit. At least that's how I feel personally. So what we're doing right now is recording song after song after song and recording nonstop. And the songs are going to be diverse and sound different with hip-hop and reggae and dance hall music. After we finish doing a vast amount of work, then we're going to compile them and see what's going to be there. We're making nothing but a hit album.

Ewers: With the reggae and dance hall culture, normally the artist hardly drops albums like that. You'll hear 100 singles from one artist before you even get an album on the shelf. So I think we're just fusing the cultures. - Fayetteville Observer


Still working on that hot first release.



Combine two crossover songwriting super-talents with boatloads of culture and independence then you'll begin to understand the crown of the Super-duo, EMPEROR. Consisting of the international celebrity songwriter / Produer, Saint Michael hailing from the city of Fayetteville, NC and the Spanish Town, Jamaica born and bred G-Terra, this dangerous duo literally has it locked from all angles.

From cultural chanting, rapping, sing-jaying, dancing and more you must understand that you simply will not know what to expect from the brothers. The only thing to know is that you will enjoy your experience with the Emperor duo. Their diversity places them far away from other acts excluding Outkast, but the powerful Jamaican presence in their music places them far away from Outkast and other Jamaican artists in the same breath. Emperor truly have found a gray area.

Although they are new to the global marketplace Emperor has a sure catalog of hit songs that will grace the airwaves in due time. The smoking hot debut single for Emperor is catchy tune by the name of "Kawasaki" and features the likes of Multi-Platinum selling artist DJ Unk. The energetic video was produced & directed by Saint Michael and captured between Myrtle Beach, SC and Fayetteville, NC.

The brothers have been working with talented and accomplished producers to include Chris Flame (Jay-Z, Gorilla Zoe), Jon FX (Sizzla, Gyptian, I-Wayne), Natural Disaster (Soulja Boy, Lil Wayne), Saint Michael (Young Jeezy, Juvenile) and many others.

It's a difficult task to categorize this bilingual phenomenon. Despite the short time the group has been together they have managed to produce Radio Bangers ranging everywhere from Hardcore Pop, Rap & R&B to New School & Old School Dancehall.

Saint Michael and G-Terra's lyrical ability, delivery and energy compliments each unbelievably and they can only be described as each others mirror. What's interesting is G-Terra started as a reggae artist and crossed over into Hip Hop, Pop and other genres. Conversely, Saint Michael started as a Hip Hop artist and crossed over into Reggae, Pop and other genres. Now these two Kings in their own right have merged their Kingdoms to fall under one crown."Emperor To Di World!!"