When sophomore Marquis Sablo was in high school, he rapped on his way to football games with his teammates.
“All my friends said I was really good at it,” said Sablo.
Little did he know at the time that it would become a real talent of his, spreading much further than just his football bus.
Upon coming to SPU, Sablo has taken this talent with him and uses it as a platform for self-expression and as a positive way to take his mind off of the pressures of school.
SPU student artists Sablo and Afterspace performed at this year’s KSPU and Lingua Launch Party as a way to connect students through music and self-expression.
The event was held in the Art Center on the evening of Oct. 26 and attracted a large crowd of students for the location.
Inside, vibrant purple and blue lights decorated the room and music pounded from the sound systems. Leading through the entrance into the event, pots filled with plants and roses lined the walkway.
KSPU strategically holds this event each year near the time of midterms to revive student energy. Although KSPU does this launch party each year, combining with Lingua was a change to the tradition.
As a student led media group, Lingua publishes various artwork, including poetry, prose, photography, illustration, paintings, drawings, and more.
KSPU Stage Manager Judith Feenstra shared that it seemed fitting to come together with Lingua, as it is another campus group that publicizes student art in a different way.
Lingua Editor Lauren Olson and Feenstra decided that this would create a crossover with different students clubs on campus with similar passions for art in various forms.
On display near the front of room, Lingua showcased collections of their work from years past for students to read and take along with them.
In addition to the music, the event offered blackout poetry, which involves using a dark ink pen to “black out” words in books or poems to create an entirely new meaning.
First-year Emma Seely described the process as “recycling writing.” She, along with multiple other students throughout the night, sat at this table searching for the perfect words to use to rewrite stories.
Students were able to get creative with this activity, as they revised popular poems and books to say what they wanted to hear. Many students hoped to create powerful word combinations, while others made Shakespeare sound humorous.
In one of the classrooms in the Art Center, students could also carve out stamps to cover with ink and press upon paper to show off their unique designs.
Students participated in these activities provided by Lingua throughout the night and while waiting for performers to take the floor.
Junior Event Coordinator for KSPU Taylor Munoz was thrilled that the event came together as it did. A main goal of hers for the night was that the event would be accessible for everyone on campus, so this is why she chose the location.
“We always have [our events] in a space where everybody can get to them, and there’s no better place than the Art Center because it’s accessible to all and that’s our biggest priority,” said Munoz.
Additionally, Munoz believes it is important at these events to showcase the talents of students in the school.
“It’s really important that we showcase our artists, especially because we are a small school,” she said.
“I feel like people don’t know that students in their classes are talented,” said Feenstra.
Feenstra added that when students see someone that they know on stage, they have the opportunity to encourage them the next time they see each other, whether it be in classes or around campus.
“I think we’re really lucky to be able to give that to the students” Feenstra said.
Feenstra also believes that something positive that comes out of the event is student connection through art in its various forms.
“We sort of stand behind the idea that everyone can relate with everyone through music.”
“We try to create a space where no matter who you are, at some point you’re going to meet somebody who likes the same music as you, and possibly make a friend or make a connection.”
KSPU Web Manager Isaiah Bradford said, “It’s pretty freeform, we don’t put a lot of boundaries on it, and that way it’s super unique.”
Throughout the night, students were able to form these connections with peers in the different activities. Performers involved audience participation through their music, creating the feel of a concert. Students sang along to the music, danced with one another and enjoyed food and drink.
For Sablo, the best part about producing music is all of the hard work that he puts into it. He finds inspiration through the good times as well as the hard times in his life, and turns them into a work of art.
“You can still be a student, still get good grades, work a bunch of jobs, be 1500 miles away from home, and still be able to do something you love and produce a project you’re proud of.”
The event spurred students to listen to the words of their classmates, whether it be through poetry or music, and created connection through these various forms.
Munoz shared that students have the freedom to submit their own music to KSPU, write for their blog or any other ideas that they may have.
“We exist solely for the students, and I want the students to know that we will always have their back, and we’re always an outlet of creative expression for them.”