The Award Winning News Publication of Mercy College

The Impact

The Award Winning News Publication of Mercy College

The Impact

The Award Winning News Publication of Mercy College

The Impact

Mercy Students Rock Open Mic

Performers Turn Out Every Thursday For Cool Harmonious Fun

Good energy and a mellow environment are all available each and every Thursday night from 7-9 p.m. at the cafeteria lounge in Mercy University’s Victory Hall. There you can find Mercy students performing their musical creations as well as renditions of some of their favorite artists at Mercy’s “Open Mic.”

During regular class hours, the cafeteria in Victory Hall is normally quiet. Students are either scattered throughout at tables on their technology device of preference or grabbing a quick bite to eat before class. Maybe you’ll see a small group engaging in a friendly game of table hockey. On Thursday nights the aura is much different as the tables are replaced with lounge chairs and the blue and red lamps flicker throughout the room giving it an old-school disco feel.

Nelsoli Maldonado, A freshman Music Production major, takes full advantage of the modest crowd every week to perform religious hip-hop he has been recording as an independent artist for the last year.

“My influences to create music are God, the love for music and listening to some of my favorite artists,” said Maldonado. ” I really like listening to Bad Bunny, Myke Towers and I guess you can say Jay Cortez as well. Those three are pretty impactful. I consider myself a Latin multi-genre artist.”

A native of Spanish Harlem, Maldonado hopes to someday make a name for himself in the music industry. He and others use this event to balance the life of being a full-time student and to hone their skills in performing in front of others.

“That’s why I do the open mic here at Mercy. I try to take advantage of getting my stuff heard. It’s a pretty cool experience, of late I’ve become more and more involved with making music,” said Maldonado. “Also, sometimes there’s so much going on campus that can get you in trouble.  I prefer to stick to what I know.”

The event began with only a few in attendance but ended with a few dozen stopping in and listening much like a crowd gathering to listen to the street artist in Lower Manhattan.

Jovanny Rodriguez Lordjio, a senior communication studies major, was the most seasoned of the artists to take the stage.

“I do music because I love it. You know my mother – she’s Ecuadorian and my father is Puerto Rican – so growing up in two cultures inspired me to do music. I spread a lot of positivity through this. Music is art for me,” said Lordjio.

Lordjio graduates this spring and hopes to continue his endeavors in the musical art form.  The 23-year-old spends his weekends moonlighting Hispanic hot spots around New York hoping to one day have his music heard.  As a native of Upper Manhattan, music is embedded in his DNA.

“I sing, I dance, and I’m also involved in reggaeton.  Where I’m from you do one of two things.  Music or baseball, so I chose music.”

Country-western and Salsa were also performed by students. A mysterious performer who chose to be referred to simply as “Tom” braved the stage and performed a rendition of 1960s Ben E King hit “Stand by Me” to a standing ovation.

Cultural diffusion is a big part of what makes Mercy University such a unique institution.  The school ranks fourth among nonprofit institutions in granting bachelor’s degrees to African-American students.  Mercy granted 557 bachelor’s degrees to Hispanic students in 2020, making it amongst the highest in the nation.

Throughout Mercy University’s three campuses, there are events and clubs that help make the Mercy experience more than just being about books and homework.  Mercy may be a smaller school in terms of numbers, but the institution does their part to ensure there is a positive overall experience.

Hip-Hop started in the Bronx during the 1970s just a car ride away from Mercy’s Bronx and Manhattan campuses. Since then, it has grown into a global phenomenon expanding upon seven continents. What was once an art form depicting the everyday experiences of urban individuals has transformed into so much more. Religion, love and career aspirations are just a few ways artist use the spoken word to express their emotions.

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Steven Thompson, Impact Staff
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