JULY 13th 2013


News & Updates



Early Ray Bringing Unique Style to Symphony Park


Early Ray

One year before the Early Ray Band was formed Rayen Belchere had already designed the group in his mind. He knew exactly what kind of talent he needed, and when it came time to fill the positions he didn’t settle for just anyone. From the violin and the fiddle to killer vocals, Early Ray Band brings it all to the table.

“I love the fact that we have a wide variety of experience and styles to choose from. Nothing is more unoriginal than a band of guys who grew up playing the exact same thing and liking the exact same music. It’s a unique chemistry that only we have,” says Belchere, also known as Early Ray.

Their self-described “Carolina Smash Mouth Country Music” combines bits and pieces of each of their backgrounds for an eclectic sound the catches your attention from the start. One of the highlights of their career up to this point was opening for the Charlie Daniels Band, however according to Belchere most of their shows have been memorable.

“There have been so many great shows, it becomes a blur after awhile. We love them all,” he commented.

According to Belchere, live shows are their “bread and butter” and they’ll be playing as much as possible around the region following AWOL tomorrow. In addition, the group hopes to release a few new music videos and continue growing their fan base in the coming year.

As for tomorrow, Early Ray Band is looking forward to playing for a great crowd at Symphony Park. It will be the perfect opportunity for those who haven’t had a chance to watch them perform live see what the fuss is all about!

Be sure to check out Early Ray on Facebook and Twitter!

-Megan Valentine


AWOL Charlotte is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

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DJ Duo Ready to Rock the AWOL Stage


Since joining forces in August of 2011 the careers of A-Styles and DJ Complete have taken off. The duo, better known as Styles&Complete, recently took the time to answer a few questions as they were preparing to take the stage in Charlotte.


How would you describe your music? What would you say makes you stand out compared to other artists in your genre? 

Styles: Our music is based off of a combination of hip-hop mixed with electronic music. What separates us from others in similar genres is our energy and not being scared to try something new.

Complete: Yeah what he said…we just like to bring the energy of hip-hop that we grew up on to all styles/forms of electronic music.


How have your styles/techniques changed or developed since you first entered the industry?

Styles: We have just gotten more comfortable in our shoes and our ways to get inspiration are always changing therefore changing our final product.

Complete: Our live show is also a lot more coordinated and we’re both more involved in all parts of our set than when we first started.


You guys recently dropped your remix to “Get Low.” What made you decide to do a song that is more than a decade old instead of a relatively newer track? 

Styles: There’s actually a lot that goes into why we picked that. We got that acapella from the Ying Yang Twins a couple of years ago when we were working with them. Right now we feel like that 100-bpm twerk music tempo is unchartered territory in the electronic world. We play the original sometimes and it STILL goes as hard f*cK. Making that remix was a big challenge when no one has done it and it’s already a big song in the club. We like taking fans of one type of music and then luring them into electronic music with our remixes.

Complete: When I got started DJing clubs in 2006 “Get Low” was about three years old. From my first DJ gig up until now it’s still one of the most popular club records you can play. For me, I liked the challenge of taking a record that big and trying to redo it without f*cking it up.


Are there any artists (or songs) in particular that you would like to see yourselves working with in the next year?

Styles: We don’t know what we’re going to think of next as far as songs. But this year has been amazing and we’ve built a lot of relationships with some of our absolute favorite artists. Looking forward to getting some tracks done with some of them.

Complete: Yeah I’d like to work with the artists whose music we play every night in our sets. Guys like Diplo and Bro Safari are always putting out dope sh*t and stay on the cutting edge sonically. Working with them would be amazing.


What aspect(s) of performing at AWOL are you most looking forward to?

Styles: I’m looking forward to hearing others on the lineup. Number one thing is getting back on a stage in Charlotte. We don’t play as Styles&Complete much in Charlotte and people around here helped propel us to the next level, so its always nice doing a show in our hometown.

Complete: As far as Charlotte goes we played our first show at Dharma, a smaller club venue & our last show we had a packed house on Valentine’s Day at the Fillmore. So we’re looking forward to taking the next step, which is playing a festival in Charlotte. It will be dope to be able to perform in that kind of atmosphere for some of the same people that were there at our first show just two years ago.


Styles: Thanks to the AWOL team for having us on board, and make sure you come see us because we are going all in tomorrow for our hometown!
Complete: Yeah thanks to RockHouse and PSG for putting us on the bill. And thank you to every person in Charlotte who has supported us. We probably wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for them. Oh yeah, and make sure y’all come ready to get ratchet tomorrow!


Check out Styles&Complete on SoundCloud, Facebook, and Twitter!

-Megan Valentine


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BKTF Bringing Local Flair to AWOL Stage



Hot off the release of a new EP Brandon Kirkley and the Firecrackers are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon! The group began playing shows on the UNC Charlotte campus and at other local venues in 2010 and has gained a huge following with the help of social media and their friend network in the region.

According to the band’s front man their music has evolved as they’ve gained more experience in the industry and much of their inspiration comes from classic pop/rock artists such as Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty.

“Our sound has matured a lot since the early days of the band. We honed our focus in on what felt right stylistically,” says Kirkley.

In June BKTF celebrated their new acoustic EP Timing with a release party at The Evening Muse. The four tracks on the album include two new songs and new versions of their fan favorites “Settle It Down” and “Come On” from their 2012 album Years.

“These tracks show a really raw side of the band, taking it straight to the basics for us – melody & rhythm. I think we captured a bit of Years and a bit of where we’re heading with these new tracks,” he commented.

Following AWOL on Saturday BKTF will be supporting the release of their new EP with a number of regional shows.  In addition, they have a “Timing is Everything” lyric video in the works and will be heading back to the studio with plans to release a new album next spring.

According to BK there has been something special about all of the venues in the area that they have played at, from The Evening Muse and Amos’ Southend to 106.5 Studios, and AWOL will be no exception! As one of Charlotte’s talented local groups BKTF is looking forward to experiencing both sides of the event.

“[We’re excited for] every bit of it—sharing the Symphony Park stage with all of the great artists, getting to play in front of a rowdy Charlotte crowd, and being part of that same crowd to watch the other acts!”

Check out BKTF’s ‘Settle It Down’ and ‘Come On’ music videos and be sure to follow them on Twitter!

-Megan Valentine

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Tony Arzadon Really Does Have Wings

When Tony Arzadon first began DJing in 1992 the worlds of technology and music were drastically different and rarely crossed paths. Recently however, various genres of music intertwined and electronic dance music positioned itself as the obsession of the new generation. Audiences now have access to any song imaginable at the click of a mouse and as a result their attention spans have diminished as they constantly search for a new track to add to their playlists.

“In the last 4 years EDM exploded to become our present day form of pop music and I love it! I’ve learned to adapt to it and have been able to mash-up popular old songs over today’s current dance tracks so everyone can have a great party experience during my DJ set,” says Arzadon of the transition.

Currently signed to SKAM Artist Management, whose roster includes Havana Brown, Samantha Ronson and The Cataracs, his career has launched to new heights. He has performed as a resident DJ in Vegas and LA at XS, Encore Beach Club, Surrender, Wet Republic, and Playhouse and has partnered with Red Bull to add another dimension to his work. True to their motto the company really has “given him wings.” Their ventures in extreme sports and other industries introduced Arzadon to markets and venues that he had previously not even considered and helped him to grow tremendously as an artist.

Tony Arzadon performing at Charlotte music festival AWOL Charlotte with Girl Talk

“With the help from Red Bull and my agent at SKAM Artist, we teamed up to successfully develop the perfect marketing and promotion strategy to expand my brand worldwide,” he says of the partnership.

Just last month Arzadon accomplished a more personal goal when he took the stage at Electric Daisy Carnival in his hometown of Chicago. Despite the poor weather an audience of more than 30,000 packed Chicagoland Speedway and reportedly raged so hard that public officials received more than 500 noise complaints over the span of the weekend.

“I got butterflies in my stomach before my performance. My hands were trembling not from the cold but from the excitement and energy [of] the crowd reacting to my DJ set. Although I do perform at nightclubs with the same intensity DJing at festivals is my favorite environment to play in. . . the big stage, the lighting, and the LED walls at these shows make it much more massive.”

In the month before he gets the audience dancing at Symphony Park he will be staying busy with shows in Las Vegas, California, Arizona, and more. He is looking forward to making sure everyone at AWOL has a good time and that no one is left out of the experience!


-Megan Valentine

LIKE AWOL Charlotte on Facebook

Follow @AWOLCharlotte on Twitter and Instagram

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Meet Your Headliner, Girl Talk



When Pittsburgh native Gregg Michael Gillis began experimenting with his famous music mash-ups he was still studying biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland. Today he performs using the stage name Girl Talk for massive audiences at festivals such as Coachella, Lollapalozza and Bonnaroo and has played a number of shows outside of the United States as well. Under the record label Illegal Art he has released 5 albums including Unstoppable, Feed the Animals and All Day. His high-energy sets get crowds dancing (often on the stage with him) and leave them with an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experience!



-Megan Valentine

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Purchase AWOL Charlotte Tickets At Local Vendors

If you haven’t already purchased your ticket to AWOL Charlotte feat. Girl talk, you can do so online. However, if you’re a Charlotte local, you can also purchase your ticket at one of our many local vendors around the city! Currently, the list of local ticket vendors includes:

-Connolly’s On Fifth

-Dandelion Market



Local ticket vendors allow you to purchase tickets without service fees, and helps support your local Charlotte businesses! We’re happy to have them as AWOL partners!

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