The Asian Caucus hosts its 10th annual ‘From Mind To Mic’ concert—an event challenging media perceptions of Asian-Americans.
YouTube star Joseph Vincent performed in the Rat Thursday night—the shoddy basement dining hall transformed into a concert venue—for BC’s 10th annual From Mind to Mic. Hosted by Asian Caucus, From Mind to Mic is an effort to combat common Asian stereotypes portrayed in the media. Each year, the Asian Caucus brings in a prominent figure in the entertainment industry. This year’s pick was Joseph Vincent, a Filipino-American singer-songwriter and guitarist.
The night began with a performance by BC’s very own band, Juice—which delivered a great starting set to get the crowd hyped up. The group took the stage with a song called “Shock,” allowing Christian Rougeau, A&S ’18, to exhibit his various musical talents, some of which include rapping and being insanely adept at the electric violin. They then moved into “Not the Only One,” and Ben Stevens, CSOM ’18, arguably has a voice that could rival Sam Smith’s.
The group topped off its performance with “How You Gonna Do Me Like That” and “Where I Wanna Be,” both great. It’s clear that this group is exceptionally talented, but what bolsters that talent is its incredible stage presence. Throughout the entire performance, they looked like they were having so much fun, as if there was no place they would rather be, and the crowd fed off of that energy. Their hip hop-funk vibes offer an original sound that’s contagious and is spreading throughout the BC community.
Against The Current
Next up was Against the Current, BC’s Christian a cappella group. Mishell Park, LSOE ’17, sang a beautiful rendition of “Love Will Show You Everything” by Jennifer Love Hewitt, and her performance was followed by the talented Eric Lee, A&S ’15, who sang “All of Me” by John Legend. In between these performances, the group cited a Bible verse, preaching to the crowd that God is full of love and forgiveness, something that can be forgotten amongst the mundane day-to-days.
Once Against the Current exited the stage, the two hosts returned, exclaiming “Thanks for coming, everyone! Have a good night!” The crowd booed. “Oh are we forgetting something?” they asked. With that, Vincent took the stage—and the crowd roared in approval.
Vincent has over 440,000 subscribers on Youtube, with his videos racking up over 68 million views. He was also featured twice on NBC’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show—first for their “Wonderful Web of Wonderment” and later as a performer. He has performed at well-known Los Angeles venues, such as the House of Blues and the Knitting Factory, and among international venues in Australia, Singapore, and Canada.
He’s been voted Australia’s “YouTube Artist of the Year” by Star Central magazine and won LA’s first “Kababayan Superstar” contest in 2009. And, with the release of his debut album Blue Skies in 2011, his career is only headed up.
For Thursday’s performance, Vincent started off on an adorably dysfunctional note, hitting his head on the mic and pausing in the middle of a song to say “shit, I just drooled.” He also performed several entertaining mashups, including one composed of his own songs: “One Stop Shop” alongside “This Love” by Maroon 5.
What was arguably his best mashup was a stunning combination of “Stay With Me,” “Thinking Out Loud,” “Rude,” “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” and “No Diggity,” because who doesn’t like a good throwback?
What made this night what it was—which was nothing short of grand—was Vincent’s stage presence and down-to-earth personality, which carried through his set. He had everyone laughing as he introduced one of his older songs, “My Queen,” as being from his “emo days,” a time of his life in which he frequented female stores to buy his pants.
As the night went on and he started connecting with the crowd more and more, he decided to bridge the gap between the audience and himself. He stepped off the stage, sat down, and invited everyone to gather around him and sing along. It was like a campfire, except your campfire friends were famous people who could sing.
He took recommendations from the crowd and even sang a couple of duets with students—Esther Chung, CSON ’17, sang “A Whole New World” with him, and Toby Mahier, WCAS ’18, sang “Suit and Tie” while Vincent played the guitar. After taking a bunch of recommendations, including “Drunk In Love” by Beyonce and “Let It Go” from Frozen, he wrapped up his performance with a couple of his own songs—“If You Stay” and “Blue Skies,” which, by the way, is the cutest song.
Asian Caucus even planned a Q&A session and meet and greet with Vincent at the end of his performance, where he answered questions about what it means to be an Asian American artist today and whether he’s faced any discrimination. “Actually, no,” he responded. “Everyone has been really accepting.
“What encouraged me to go on YouTube, and to do bigger things with my music, were all of the inspirational people I found myself surrounded by during my time at University of California Irving. Many of them were Asian American.” He talked about his Filipino culture, gave some insights into the writing of a few of his songs, and took pictures with fans before he headed out.
The 10th annual From Mind to Mic was a smash hit that highlighted the talent in and outside of the BC community. The efforts of Asian Caucus did draw a large crowd, and opened up a larger conversation about ethnicity and stereotyping—one that has the potential to reach students outside the classroom.
Featured Images by Drew Hoo / Heights Staff