Hailing from Charlotte, NC a rocky road provides a window into the grace Walter Ladatries Davis, a.k.a. Eagle Eyez (WATCH) experienced through out his life–with every situation molding him into the artist and leader that he is today.
He was raised on the west side of town in a single parent home by his mother Annette Davis Glover. He got saved at the age of 11 but with little understanding of Jesus, he veered off from the faith, and as a teen indulged more in sin. At the age of 15, he had a run in with the law, which helped him to straighten up for a little while. He was eventually able to focus on sports and graduate high school. After being in college for a semester, he was unable to finish due to lack of financial assistance. As a result, he dropped out and started to work. Work alone wasn’t enough for him so from 18 to 20 years of age, he experienced the street life which led to him serving a 20 month bid of incarceration. After being released from prison in 2008, he struggled to surrender to God fully. It wasn’t until March of 2009 that he surrendered his life and gifts to God fully after receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
In August of 2011, he married his high school sweetheart and best friend Brittany Davis. Today he serves as an Elder alongside with his wife who is an Evangelist at Revelation Truth Center in Charlotte, NC, under the leadership of Pastor Zella Byers. He, and his wife are the owners of the non-profit record label Thess Records. Since 2009, Eagle Eyez (WATCH) has released 21 musical projects all for the glory of God and free of charge. This has included 12 albums and counting, along with 9 mixtapes. His motto is simple- “JESUSEVERYTHANG.” Lifestyle and personal relationship with the Savior is his focus. His hope is that Thess’ impact will spread far beyond simply the music and into the lives of individuals across the world, ultimately exalting Jesus Christ.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
EAGLE EYEZ (WATCH): I was born and raised in the humble and growing city of Charlotte, NC. I am from the west side of Charlotte, which is poverty-stricken and low-income. I spent the first 10 years of my life in a duplex with my mom and sister on Key Street off of Bradford Drive. After that, my living arrangement was unstable and I moved around Charlotte with my mom and sister in several different communities. This included the west side of Charlotte, the southwest side, the east side and the northwest side.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
EAGLE EYEZ (WATCH): I gained an interest in music as a teenager. My artistic side was first revealed through my special ability to write poems in the 9th grade. I didn’t have a favorite artist at the time because all the music I was exposed to was music being played in the neighborhood, in my home or by friends. As I started to notice guys rapping while in the tenth grade, I thought to myself, “I could do that and better.” I started to write rhymes and shared the rhymes with classmates I felt comfortable with. Then I started rapping over beats through a RadioShack cassette recorder and boom boxes. I would sometimes rap with cousins and friends in the neighborhood. I soon started listening to music more to try to develop my own style. Some of the artists that I drew from were Kirk Franklin, Lil Wayne and T.I. In my late teens and early 20’s, I started to gravitate to the sound of Camron and Dip Set. I started recording my own music at the age of 18 and making my own beats at 19. At that time, I was intrigued by gangster rap, but I also loved lyricism. I thought it showed creativity, intelligence and artistry. As my life started to change, I begin to focus more on the seriousness and spiritual side of life. As a result, I started to listen to more conscious artists. That thought led me to Jay Z, Kanye, Lupe, and Common. But no matter who I listened to, their music and style really didn’t speak to me; it didn’t speak to my present and where I was trying to go. I was creating music that wasn’t strengthening my faith and the content of the music I was listening to wasn’t strengthening my faith. At that time, God was dealing with me. I knew that if I wanted to change completely and except His will for my life, my music had to change to reflect my new life. This led me to rapping and making music for God. This happened before I even knew what gospel rap was. In 2009, the name Eagle Eyez (WATCH) was revealed to me and it released the sound track reflecting my new life. My walk with God became much more apparent. While in jail in 2006, a fellow inmate who I shared my first gospel rap with encouraged me to check out Cross Movement. It took a total of 3 years before I decided to listen to the group. A neighbor also gave me a Lecrae CD and I thought to myself, “This is the kind of music I’ve been searching for!” I then took a special interest in the artists Lecrae, Canton Jones, Propaganda, Thi’sl, Sevin, Flame and a host of others who were Christians and rapping about their life with Christ. It encouraged me and I grew as an artist and producer. However, I realized what I always knew; no one really spoke to me and my situation better than me. I know that God has given me a unique style. My music is different and now I’m at peace with that. For the future, well, listeners will just have to stay tuned! My story continues.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
EAGLE EYEZ (WATCH): I believe that the messages God has given me through my music will impact the lives of many people. Everyone has a voice and they have to know and understand that their voice needs to be heard. I believe that God has given me a voice to speak hope and life for children, families, adults, communities, industries, and countries. I believe this is one of the valuable gifts God has given me. My goal and desire is to glorify my Creator with this platform and not myself. A lot of people get in the way of their music and in my opinion, this can be a disservice to the listeners. My prayer is to be able to help people. I hope to help heal others both mentally and spiritually and I know that music has a way of reaching the depth of a person’s soul. I want to record and release my own music because I believe it is something I’ve been created to do. I also believe that the positivity in my music is much needed in the industry and will have a competitive edge.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
EAGLE EYEZ (WATCH): My songs are about faith in God, ups and downs of life, issues in our culture, self-improvement and reflection. It’s about helping others and being frank. It’s about being different and encouraging listeners to be their best. It’s about the journey of life and embracing every season in it. It’s about using the trials and situations of life to create a better outlook for others. It’s about creating great art that all people can relate to.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who is your fan base directed towards?
EAGLE EYEZ (WATCH): I would say my fan base is undefined and ever-changing. I’m a Christian so I try to make music other Christians can relate to. At the same time, anyone can enjoy it. I am always surprised by who receives it. I’ve had young and older people take a liking to my music. My music has also crossed many races and ethnicities. My music has catered to the “deep thinkers,” leaders, the outcast and people from down trotted areas who are seeking hope. My music also attracts southern rap music lovers, the “spiritually minded,” mature, and learners. In many ways, these people come from similar backgrounds as mines and share my interests.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
EAGLE EYEZ (WATCH): I try to be different and try not to sound like anyone else. However, I take mental notes from artists I believe are consistent, professional and have longevity. To avoid creating an exhaustive list, I will name a few. As previously mentioned, I would say Lecrae, Canton Jones, and Kirk Franklin are influential artists. These are artists who have proven to have longevity. There are other types of music that I enjoy incorporating into my sound such as classical music, and African tribal music.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
EAGLE EYEZ (WATCH): I would tell people that my music is thought-provoking, straightforward and poetic. It is also futuristic and I consider it to be art in motion. My music is confrontational and always leave listeners wanting more. The sound of my music is a unique mix of the “dirty south,” African undertones, sampling and consistent drum patterns.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
EAGLE EYEZ (WATCH): I try not to sound like any other artists. I try not to be like anyone else. I’m comfortable being me. I’ve been listening to music for years and have yet to find an artist with my unique sound. I have had several people comment on the versatility of my music. I know that I am original and an untapped source in the market.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?
EAGLE EYEZ (WATCH): I have several mixtapes lined up. After I finish my mixtapes, I plan to stop making mixtapes and just focus on albums. The current mixtape I’m working on is titled, “Nazara.” I also started recording my next album titled, “Definition of Black.” I stay busy and I enjoy making music.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
EAGLE EYEZ (WATCH): I want to build up the nonprofit record label I own called Thess Records. My goal is to reach more people and partner with other nonprofits and charities to help people in need. I want to maximize my gifts and be the best me I can be. I believe it is possible for me to one day have the most downloaded albums and songs ever. In order to enhance my gift, I plan to return to school someday and complete a computer science and or music related degree. Ten years from now, I see Eagle Eyez (WATCH) being a household brand. I see my music being in high demand and a powerful influence in the industry.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
EAGLE EYEZ (WATCH): Fans can access my music at www.noisetrade.com/eagleeyezwatch. They can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and be added to my emailing list to get updates and details on future releases.