DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- As we head into Super Bowl Sunday, a Durham native is getting ready to take center stage alongside Usher at the Super Bowl's halftime show at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Erick Walls has had a decades-long career in Los Angeles in the music business, winning a Grammy and performing alongside some of the biggest names in the business. But his journey started in the Bull City. Walls grew up in Durham and attended Hillside High School and graduated from Carolina Friends School. He said he learned music with his family while going to church.
"My father was a preacher and gospel singer and some of my earliest memories in life are of being with him going to studios, performances with him," Walls says.
He says all that hard work paid off getting to fulfill a dream of playing at the Super Bowl.
Wherever I go in the world, Durham is with me.Erick Walls
"It was always a dream to be on big stages and I aspired to be that level of musician to where that was a possibility, so for it to all come full circle, it's surreal," he said.
During the past several months, Walls has been hard at work in Las Vegas rehearsing for the show. "It's been non-stop, countless revisions, but I mean Usher himself, he's a perfectionist, he's got the great work ethic out of anyone I've ever personally worked with," he said.
As for the set list, "Everything kind of hush-hush until the big moment until he kind of does the big unveil," Walls explained.
He said you will hear some of Usher's biggest hits, but it's some of Usher's slow jams where Walls gets to shine.
"'Nice and Slow', 'Let it Burn', 'Bad Girl', those are really guitar dominant tunes," he said,
It's a chance to bring the Bull City to the biggest stage in the country.
"A lot of raw musical talent comes out of Durham whether people realize it or not, so to be a part of what that represents it's very special to me," Walls said. "Once again, it's a big part of who I am, and wherever I go in the world, Durham is with me."
Walls' dad died a few years ago, but his mom still lives in Durham. She told ABC11 that she is proud of the musician her son has become. She said she doesn't have any big plans but is planning to watch him perform from her home and is telling all her friends and neighbors to tune in..