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It was the first Bites and Beats showcase I attended, and I had no idea what to expect. Upon entering, the energy was already high. People were dancing, music was blaring, and everyone was having a good time while enjoying food made by Youth Radio’s CHEF team. My friend and I ended up dancing so much we got a shout out from the host.
19 year old Thomas Quick made his debut as DJ Tommy T and killed it on the the 1s and 2s. And although he was a beginner, he completely understood and took control of the vibe of the event. You would have never guessed this was his first time mixing in front of a crowd. “There’s happy energy,” said Quick, minutes before he jumped on stage and started freestyling.
The night was also filled with amazing performances. Chioma’s pure voice, along with Queen Tut’s fierce rapping made me feel like I was at a 90’s hip-hop concert, especially when they covered The Fugees, ‘Ready or Not’. Raynell Wilson, another youth performer, not only did a great job rapping on stage, but also was an awesome supporter to the other performers by staying up in the front and dancing like nobody was watching whenever someone got on stage. The group House or Harbingers rocked the stage with their high intensity music and electric stage presence. At one point, one member jumped over the seating area and started dancing with the attendees. Another got so into it that he just ran around outside for a while, then came back and picked up right where he left off. It was glorious.
Finally, Young Major closed the night with such an amazing and enthralling performance it left me wanting more. He had been a peer teacher of mine when I was in core, one of Youth Radio’s training program, so it was cool seeing him outside of work, in his element. I guess that’s what I liked most about this event. Everybody was so in their element. Not one person held anything back when they went on stage, and the crowd completely supported and felt what the artists were showing. It may have been the first bites and Beats I ever attended, but it definitely won’t be the last.