Meet Adrian Battle
Adrian Battle attended last year’s StarQuest auditions on a whim. His roommate mentioned the try outs to him the day before they began, and after debating whether or not he wanted to wake up early and head to Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza before 10 a.m., he decided to go for it.
“It was an amazing experience,” Battle fondly recalls. “He [Battle’s roommate] told me it was at ten in the morning, and I’m not a morning person. For me to get up and be there at 10:00 was crazy. When I won I was so surprised, because I’m not one of those types of people that are super into themselves or someone who feels like they can beat anybody. It was great!”
Since the competition the Richmond, California native has been doing big things. His latest feat is a scheduled performance alongside his swing band members in this month’s Playboy Jazz Festival on June 15th.
“I have rehearsal for that [the Playboy Jazz Festival] later on today,” he shares, “so I’m meeting up with my team for that.”
The cross genre artist has also been performing with his Doo wop band.
“We perform all over, but we do private gigs as well,” says Battle. “We did have a regular show downtown at the Edison. I’ve really been working with them just doing some writing and getting back in the studio.”
Ever since Battle can remember, singing has been his life. He grew up singing in the church as a boy, and continued to do so throughout his adult life with very little vocal training.
“I’ve been singing my whole life,” says Battle. “I started singing in church, and I used to be really shy singing in front of people, so my mom would always have to pray with me because my stomach would get butterflies. Then I started singing at a junior college, where I took maybe two classes.”
It was while in college that his talents caught the eye of a professor from UC Berkeley who happened to be listening to him singing one day. The professor promptly recruited Battle, and he went on to perform in UC Berkeley’s choir from 2001-2005.
Today he resides in Los Angeles and is ready to make it big.
“I want to be a successful musician, singer, songwriter/producer, dancer, director—I want to do everything!” he says with a smile. “Five years from now I want to definitely be a well-known artist.”
It would appear that he is well on his way!
Meet Beau Williams
Beau Williams is no stranger to winning singing competitions. Some years prior to winning the Taste of Soul 2012 StarQuest last year, he was declared the winner of television’s Star Search.
“I was a national champion years ago,” says Williams. “I won Star Search and that was electrifying. This guy Sam Harris had been winning for 13 weeks and had built up such a fan base around the world. So for me to defeat him, that was major! But a lot of people were introduced to Beau Williams because of StarQuest. To sing in front of 300,000 people that knew nothing about my background was awesome. I was grateful that God gave me this huge platform to reach these people.”
Williams won StarQuest last year with his rendition of Danny Boy, a classic Irish song written by Frederic Weatherly. Williams chose to perform famous soul singer Jackie Wilson’s version, and says that it was a combination of Wilson’s pop sensibilities and his own personal flare that that ultimately helped him to win.
Today, he travels back and forth between his hometown of Houston, Texas—where he resides—and Los Angeles, where he has worked on many of his special projects. He is currently in LA working on a movie that he wrote, entitled “The Watchmen”.
“It’s my baby,” says Williams. “I also sing with an orchestra here and help hospitals and different organizations host fundraisers.”
Williams has also formed his own record company, Elbow Records. He shares that while he is known by some for singing love songs, his favorite genre of music is gospel.
“Contemporary Christian music is my favorite type of music to sing, but I’m known for singing love songs. Christian music is what really touches the core of my soul,” he shares.
When he’s not singing or making music Williams also dabbles in public speaking, and has appeared at some of the local churches here in Los Angeles.
“I’ve spoken at West Angeles church and I spoke at the City of Refuge out here, so that’s a passion of mine.”
If safe to say we can expect to see big things from Williams in the future.