Dressed in a gray suit and swaying gently from side to side, Colin Lata ’17 croons “This Love of Mine” by Michael Bublé to the audience while emphatically gesturing with his hands to add emotion. Accompanied by the piano and tenor saxophone, Lata started slowly with rich tones before growing with volume and intensity, drawing out the last line.
“‘This Love of Mine’ was one of the songs that I really enjoyed singing. [Frank Sinatra] does a version of it, but the Michael Bublé version is my favorite one and I… really wanted to sing [that version], so this was my opportunity to do that, and it was probably one of the more fun songs I did,” said Lata.
Lata and O.J. Wigwe ’17 performed in a Senior Voice Recital in the Timken Room as a culmination of their musical experiences at Andover. Lata, a big fan of Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé, first began taking voice lessons in the eighth grade when he realized he had perfect pitch. After coming to Andover, he put on his performance in the Winter Term of his Lower year, singing ‘Mean to Me’ by Brett Eldredge and playing the guitar, and eventually joined Yorkies during his Senior year.
“[I love] just the appreciation there is for music at Andover and live performances. [At] my old school, it wasn’t so easy just to get up in front of people… so I kind of avoided that, but when I came here suddenly there’s a whole culture. Everyone has their own sort of thing here… you’re welcome to do it here,” said Lata.
Lata concluded his performance with “My Way” by Jacques Revaux and Paul Anka. The song, a personal and audience favorite, acted perfectly as the ending piece, finishing with the pianist building up in speed and volume before slowing as Lata sung the last few words.
“I really love ‘My Way’; it’s one of my favorite Sinatra songs, and it was really cool to hear Lata sing it. He sings it all the time in the dorm and it was really great to have a lot of the kids from the dorm come out and actually hear him sing in a formal context,” said Pierce Bausano ’18, an audience member.
Wigwe also started singing at Andover, performing for the first time at a coffeehouse during his Upper year. Besides singing and playing guitar with his dormmates and performing at a few more coffeehouses, Wigwe had never done a proper performance until his Senior recital.
“Music’s always been something really close to me. Regardless of whether I was performing or not, I was always making it… I got here and thought I had less time to do music, but it brought me closer to music because when I was stressed, I felt like I need to play guitar and that’s how I started getting even more passionate about it… This recital was an opportunity for me to use some extremely good equipment… and also being around such talented musicians was just a great experience,” said Wigwe.
Accompanied by the tenor saophonex, keyboard, bass, dancers, and also a variety of African drums called Shekere, or Shakers, Wigwe performed three songs by Fela Kuti, a Nigerian musician who has had a large influence on Wigwe. The songs were performed in the order that they were written with Wigwe wearing a traditional, semi-formal Nigerian outfit. “Coffin for Head of State” details Kuti’s personal experiences about how the military attempts to quell his rebellious music by raiding his house, during which his mother is killed, but he retaliates by bringing his mother’s coffin to the soldier’s barracks and writing another song.
“The story goes that he passed away feeling a bit let down by people, because although he was so politically active and he had all of these powerful messages, he didn’t necessarily feel like the Nigerian people rallied with him as much as he would’ve like them to… It relates to me in a sense that I would love to use as a way to get my voice heard. I just think it’s really powerful,” said Wigwe.
Editor’s Note: Pierce Bausano is a Business Manager for The Phillipian.