Parkland Student Government hosts open mic event
Last Wednesday, Parkland College Student Government President Cedric Jones hosted an open mic in the
union featuring guest Fiona Kimble as well as Parkland students Lezley Haymon, Suave Harris, Jerell Wilson, Kofi Bazzell-Smith, and others interested in performing their works of art.
Guest singer and songwriter, Fiona Kimble, graduated from Central High School last year. Thinking she would take some time before heading to college, Kimble later she decided not to go college and thought of moving to Chicago to play music. Now her plans are to stay in Urbana, playing at local gigs. Currently she has an album on Spotify and iTunes titled “No Regret.”
“My favorite song to preform is ‘Twelve Months’ because I dated someone for a really long time who was mentally a little bit manipulative and through that year that we weren’t together he constantly was going back and forth,” Kimble said. “People always recognize that feeling gradually trying to get over this person but you’re still like… I was with you for so long; do you still care about me? I understand that feeling… it’s more emotional for me, so I like it.”
All of Kimble’s songs are about her personal life. She says one song in particular, “Used,” is about her having a financially rough time living with her mom.
“I love her to death, she’s a great person, but she’s really bad at dealing with money,” Kimble said. “We grew up without any money. I would go to sleep at night without having food, or I would eat just a salad every day. We just never had money, and the thing is when I started getting a job I had a lot of money saved up because I didn’t want to deal with having money issues. She needed money, and I love her of course, but I want her to understand how to use her own money.”
Another one of Kimble’s songs, “No Regret,” is also about her ex-boyfriend.
“‘No Regret’ was the first song that I wrote as a serious artist the day that my ex-boyfriend broke up with me,” Kimble said. “Yeah, he hurt me pretty bad, but I don’t regret being with him. So that’s why I entitled the album ‘No Regret’.”
Despite having underwent difficulties with relationships, Kimble is able to cope by writing and performing the songs she’s written.
“I sit down and write my feelings,” Kimble explained. “Honestly, I don’t understand my feelings until I write them down and sing them. A lot of times before the show I’ll be like ‘I really don’t want to do this, I want to just stay home and cry all day and eat ice cream.’ Then I go to the show and I always have a great time. I always feel extremely released after I preform…It’s almost like I’m getting over the situation the more I sing about it.”
Haymon is also no stranger to performing in front of a live audience at local venues such as Champaign-Urbana Day, The Taste of Champaign, Sweetcorn Festival, Pygmalion, and Mike ‘N’ Molly’s. Unlike Kimble, Haymon performed songs by other artists,
“The first song that I did was called ‘American Dream’ by MKTO,” Haymon said. “They’re one of my favorite bands/artists because it’s just two guys, one raps, the other one sings, but they both work together … The second song was called ‘After Tonight’ it’s by Justin Nozuka. He’s a Spaniard who is just amazing! He does flamenco music.”
Haymon also danced with Jerell Wilson and performed a spoken word poem titled “It’s Complicated.” It is only recently he has taken a break from performing to get a degree in the study of music with a main focus on vocal performance,
“When you’re doing this as long as I have there’s nothing that can shock you,” Haymon said. “Yeah, I’ve had a lot of bad audiences before, I’ve had a lot of bad performances, I’ve had people boo me off stage once… I just kept going. I feel like if anything goes wrong that’s pretty much on me. If you’re not liking it, I’m not doing my job as a performer.”
Jones wanted to do something that would get individuals at Parkland involved.
“The University of Illinois has various open mic and karaoke programs in their union space weekly that I love attending,” Jones said. “So I figured why not bring that to Parkland, to give our students a chance to show their talents.”
Jones and other Student Government members agree that the open mic was a success. It is likely to become a regular monthly event. The next open mic is scheduled for February.