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Students, locals compete for homecoming opening act

By Da'yona Mclean
On October 9, 2013

  • Winner,Edward Gerald, performing at Battleground auditions. Photo by Alexis Hall
The final round of the third annual homecoming Battleground auditions took place 7 p.m. Sept. 30 in K.R.Williams Auditorium.
The purpose of the auditions was to find an opening act for this year's homecoming artists: Ace Hood, Dom Kennedy and August Alsina.
The auditions were open to Winston-Salem State students and the Winston-Salem community.
In order to have advanced to the final round participants had to submit their audition tapes via email or perform live at the first auditions, which were Sept. 10 & 12.
Adreanna Williams, vice president of Campus Life Marketing Committee and Battleground coordinator said about 50 people came out to audition.
Williams is a junior mass communications major from Durham.
Chelli Broussard, Marketing and Promotions coordinator, said CLMC was strict on this year's Battleground auditions which made the participants more serious.
The host for the event was comedian, Tyler Does, from Los Angeles, Calif.
Round one consisted of eight acts which included: Edward Gerald, senior English education major from Tabor City; former WSSU student and local rapper, Keheeez (Raheem Gray), and 2 Cool Tiff (Tiffany Davis), sophomore music business major from Charlotte.
Some of the talent performed remixed versions of popular songs while others sang self-written music.
Five of the eight acts made it to round two which included: 2 Cool Tiff; Taylor Hope, sophomore music education major from Durham; Edward Gerald; Kheeez and Shareef (Rayshon Green), sophomore music business major from Boston.
Edward Gerald was the winner of the competition with his slow ballad in round two called "Pink Matter" by musician Frank Ocean.
Gerald won free studio time on campus, an opening slot for homecoming and free tickets to all events.
The judges for the event were handpicked by Williams: DJ Trell (Montrell Davis), a junior marketing major from Winsett, N.C.; Burke singer, Brandy Woods, a senior health management major from Shelby, N.C. and DJ Diesel (DeShawn Turner), a former WSSU student.
Broussard said this year's event was approximately $3,000.

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