Photos by Ayumi Davis
“Welcome to open mic, where silence is predominate,” joked broadcast journalism major Chijioke Williams as he looked over the small and intimate audience of the Blaze’s Open Mic night.
There was a small attendance for the event, which caused there to be a lot of open space for free flow conversation, freestyle performances and critical thinking on how to better the upcoming open mic events.
There was only one scheduled performance which was by David Villegas who performed an acapella of “That’s Amore.” After that it was a mixture of jazz and classical music until sustainability major, Matt Harlovic, decided to perform his own rap song.
Harlovic rapped his song, “Dear Sophie” and plugged his soundcloud/outtatune-1 to the small audience. “One for the only one, the best one,” said Harlovic regarding the number one in his url.
In the midst of coming up with a next performance, Harlovic took it upon himself to tell all those who passed by the Congress Hall to make sure their voices are heard in the upcoming election. To which those passing through agreed to his comments or responded with saying they already voted.
After that impromptu political statement, Williams and Harlovic decided to freestyle and asked those who remained in the audience to throw out topics, during which global warming was thrown out. The two went back and forth about global warming for roughly three minutes.
Harlovic and Williams then recalled previously doing freestyles with their friend Jimmy Dooley, who recently died. This partially inspired Harlovic’s comeback to his radio show, “RU Positive?” which focuses on healthy living, how to feel better about yourself and dealing with grief and thoughts of death. Harlovic said it should be out around November.
Williams also plugged his show, “Status Quo” which is out every week on Thursdays on WRBC’s The Blaze. It has a different theme every week and features spoken word, poetry, short stories, skits and much more.
Soon after Harlovic left, leaving William to be a one man show. “Our next event will be in mid-November. And it’s going to be another musical event and students are welcome to come and perform too,” Williams said.
William decided to shift the attention back to those passing through, asking them for their opinion of the political climate and even getting student LaToya Gaither from Black Student Union to stop for a quick second to show off her beatbox skills as he did another freestyle.
Gaither admitted to never before beatboxing publically. She further added that she listens to the school radio, WRBC, and would love to participate in that more.
Fellow Blaze broadcaster, journalism and media studies major, Olivia Byrne talked about her love for the 80’s and how that inspired her show, “Living for the 80’s.” “It’s kind of like a decade show. I think it’s going to be on Wednesdays,” Byrne said.
“We’re trying to get more people to get more shows, who have strong opinions and want to voice them, especially people from CCPA. They’re very vocal people. So we’re like you guys should have shows on your free time,” said Byrne. “It’s fun. After nine you can say whatever you like, so there’s like no limits. You can swear.”
All students seemed to be aware of the lack of knowledge about RU’s radio show, the lack of reach and the lack of attendance at their events. Williams talked about a struggle that seemed common, advertising and not being able to fully focus on individual radio shows., Williams plans to have more theme-centered events in hopes to get higher participation.
Despite the small attendance, all Blaze broadcasters remained enthusiastic and continued the show.