Coffeehouse Showcases New Voices

Singing the emotional lyrics of “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran and “Someone Like You” by Adele, Blake Campbell ’18 surprised audience members with her impressive vocal abilities as she cascaded between keys. Accompanied by David Onabanjo ’18 on the guitar, Campbell was one of many new voices at this year’s Coffeehouse.

“When I first heard [Campbell] sing, I did not expect any of it at all,” said Jaleel Williams ’15. “She asked me to come to Coffeehouse because I am her [African-Latino-American Society Mentoring Program] mentor and of course I did. Some people would feel awkward about having a mentee more talented than them, but I just like to think my influence has helped bring out all of that uncensored skill.”

Organized by the Student Activities Board, Coffeehouse was held in Lower Right of Paresky Commons last Friday and featured a blend of comedic and soulful performances.

Sporting a full-length leopard printed bodysuit and tossing her head back and forth, Lane Unsworth ’15 opened this year’s Coffeehouse with a comedic rendition of Lil Jon’s “Get Low” and the Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps.” Unsworth slowed down the beat of both songs and accompanied herself on the piano, singing the crude lyrics solemnly.

“Lane’s performance was hilarious. Her silly demeanor and awesome leopard suit made the crowd excited and comfortable. It was a great atmosphere, and we were all having tons of fun,” said Bianca Navarro-Bowman ’15.

The night continued as Nurilys Cintron ’15 and Jack Orne ’15 performed an acoustic cover of Sia’s “Chandelier.” Cintron sang while Orne accompanied her on the guitar, playing intricate chords and rhythms. The pair received a standing ovation.

“It was a really hard song and I think I risked it by choosing a difficult song, but it totally pulled through and it was definitely worth it. I really felt the vibe, and it made me perform better,” said Cintron.

Later, Lauren Luo ’16 and Joel Pena ’16 performed a medley of two Ed Sheeran songs, “Photograph” and “Thinking of You.” Pena played the piano as the pair drifted between the difficult harmonies of the two songs. Luo sang the higher notes and Pena sang the lower notes, and their strong voices arched over the melody.

“We’re huge fans of Ed Sheeran, and we thought the two songs sounded great together,” said Pena. “We only practiced the song a few times, but [Luo] and I are both pretty comfortable singing in public.”

The last performance of the night was by Dee Ballpit, a band featuring Ian Frankel ’15 playing guitar, Hallie McKenzie ’15 playing bass, Lane Unsworth ’15 playing piano, Sky Hazard ’15 playing the steel drums, Kory Stuer ‘15 and Monica Traniello ’15 on percussion and Rebecca Somer ’15 on vocals. Clad in costumes that blended black clothing with a few Hawaiian elements, such as leis and tropical shirts, they performed “The Pungent Rainstick,” a parody on rap music.

“[Hazard] and I had the idea of starting a band with obscure instruments after watching Battle of the Bands last year,” said Somer. “The obscure instruments didn’t completely work out but I think we definitely captured the weirdness that we were going for. I could not withhold my laughter on stage. Other than during our private band practices, I was never able to sing the song with a straight face.”