By Catherine Arjet
assistant arts & life editor
In an effort to promote what Coordinator of Campus life Brittany Paxton calls “a variety of diverse activities that are welcoming, relaxing, and fun for all,” Millsaps has featured a series of live music performances in the Kava House, co-hosted by the SBA – SAPS board Student Life Intern Team and Aramark, the company that provides food for the Caf’, Kava, and Reuben’s. These events feature music, free food and coffee.
The artists are chosen and booked through the National Association for Campus Activities conference. Thus far, this series has featured three artists. The first was singer/songwriter Levi Stephens from Washington, DC, a man whose website describes him as “like enjoying a surprisingly great meal at the local cafe you’ve passed a thousand times before finally deciding to stop in.” Stephens does certainly does have that sense of an unexpected portrayal of the familiar, giving soulful renditions of R&B classics, current pop ballads, and his own material, which melds the two melds the two genres beautifully.
Next was country artist Austin Moody from Nashville, Tennessee. Moody describes himself on his website as “a down to earth kind of guy with a playful spirit,” and says he wants people to know that he “wishes to be known for creating music for the people.” The latest artist to grace the small Kava stage was Nelly’s Echo (as seen on The Voice), a band with an easy-going Calypso sound, which (according to the band’s website) “originates from the premise that music is a two-way street.”
As for why SAPS has chosen this particular type of event, Paxton explains that a number of factors go into deciding what to offer. “The events are selected or created with several ideals in mind: student survey feedback/student ideas, budget perimeters, artist availability, and the SAPS’s vision for campus programming,” she says. By picking these three different artists, SAPS is obviously trying to appeal to a diverse crowd, while still keeping a uniform coffee-shop tone and atmosphere at these events. While we don’t know exactly who or what else we can expect in Kava in the coming months, (SAPS is still working on that) organizers assure us it will be just as interesting.