With a light tap on the mic and gentle hum, Shyan Koul ’19 began his performance, singing and playing the piano to “Small Talk” by James Cherry. Koul’s smooth vocals and stable notes complemented the soft piano chords and somber song lyrics.
Koul’s performance was one of many at Open Mic Night this past Friday in Susie’s. The casual nature of the event encouraged performers of many diverse backgrounds and talents to perform in front of a supportive audience.
Hugo Solomon ’19, Student Activities (STACT) Board Member, said, “Regardless of how good they are, it’s all about empowerment. When students get on stage, it doesn’t matter what they’ve done, or what type of thing they have prepared, people are cheering for them, people are excited to have them on stage.”
Audience member Sunny Li ’22 said, “I think it was really great, and I love how so many students were able to just present their talent in front of their peers in such a welcoming environment.”
The Open Mic Night allowed students to unwind after the stress of midterms. According to performer Ethan Chan ’21, the event gave him the opportunity to sing in an informal setting and practice performing.
“I performed a Korean song since I usually do English covers, and I was a little nervous at first. Especially with midterms, I haven’t been getting much sleep, and it has definitely helped relieve stress. In the beginning, I couldn’t get the falsetto since I was a little nervous, but the definitely the second time coming around was a lot better,” said Chan.
Jacques Kuno ’20 performed “Adrenaline,” an original song with a guitar accompaniment. The light strumming on the guitar at the beginning of his performance gradually shifted to a more rapid beat, mirroring the name of the song. Kuno’s song was partly inspired by his experiences from playing football.
“I wrote [‘Adrenaline’] about the feeling of adrenaline when you step on the field, and it also does the same thing with performing. I thought it would be relatable to lot of people, and I found a cool melody to suit it,” said Kuno.
Niya Harris ’21 stepped on stage to sing “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith. Starting softly, Harris, with the help of audience participation, became more confident in her performance as she reached the chorus.
“I loved when I just looked up and everyone had their flashlights on their phones and were swinging it around, and because there are so many talented people here, it was great to see that people were even supportive of people who were not actually singers,” said Harris.
According to Solomon, Open Mic Night event differs from other performative events like Abbot Cabaret and Coffeehouse because of its relaxed and open nature. In the future, the STACT board hopes to introduce more informal performance events like this, according to Solomon.
“It’s really a type of feel good event. People are coming up twice, three times because they love the feeling of it, and people love to listen to them, and that’s something you don’t really get anywhere else,” said Solomon.
Editor’s Note: Hugo Solomon is an Associate Video Editor for The Phillipian.