Soul Fusion: A look into the Warmdaddy’s inspired event held at Eastern.

       Inspired by the atmosphere of Warmdaddy’s, a restaurant known for its soul food and live music, Soul fusion was a collaborative event between Multicultural Awareness Advisory Committee (MAAC) and Student Activities Board (SAB).

      On Saturday, Feb. 9, attendees came dressed-to-impress to listen to local artists and enjoy macaroni and cheese, cornbread, fried chicken and other soul food staples from 2Souls catering.

      The library was transformed into an intimate space with golden lights draped on the back library windows, string light centerpieces on each table and homemade mocktails complimentary of SAB.

      “I really enjoyed every aspect of the event. The atmosphere was really calming and cool, while the performances were high energy. I was really impressed,” junior Alexa Swantek said.

      The night began with singer-songwriter Aylee opening the event with a cover of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and a song from her 2018 album I AM.

      Ciara Chantelle shared her poetic gifts with the audience: “Some days I find myself walking on a tightrope/angled at a slight slope. On those days, I lose my footing, but most days I look at the mirror and see God looking.”

      Saxophonist Clay Jackson played Etta James’ “At Last,” Louis Armstrong’s  “Sweet Georgia Brown,” and Khalid’s  “Location.” This performance was the first time many students had ever heard a saxophonist play live. While performers were on stage,  Dyymond Whipper-Young, a Philadelphia-based visual artist did a live painting that was then raffled off at the end of the event.

      The headliner of the event, Peter Collins, sang his glorious falsetto runs in his hit song “Love Like” which has over 1,390,000 streams on Spotify, his own variation of Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” and many other songs from his 2018 album, Love and Mind.

      “Peter Collins certainly blessed our souls with his amazing voice” Faith Green ‘21 said.

       Soul music celebrates the heartfelt complexity of the Black experience in America.  The painful history reflected in Billie Holiday’s’ “Strange Fruit” to current political statements in Miguel’s “Now.” The love that sustains us from Sam Cooke’s “Bring it Home to Me” to Daniel Caesar’s “Best Part.” The celebration of blackness in its richest forms from Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” to Solange Knowles’ “F.U.B.U.” Soul Fusion is just the beginning of many events to celebrate the diverse Black experience here at Eastern.

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