Moving to the ‘gears’ all night long

The first musical artist to open the festival was Keshell Phillips, a sophomore majoring  in popular music performance. Phillips goes by the name of Love Keyyz onstage.

Phillips originally started off as a dancer but then got into music after posting cover songs on YouTube. Her uncle then encouraged her to start making music in a studio. Gearfest was her first-ever festival performance.

“It feels really good. And also I’m a super big believer in timing because my music video came out today for my song [“In My Shoes”], and that song itself is very pro-Black,” Phillips said. “It’s about just uplifting Black people and Black culture, so I feel like it was just the perfect time to be here.” 

Keyyz took the stage with her cohort of musicians and played a set of rocking soul music that helped the crowd start moving. Keyyz was dressed in high heels and long patent leather black gloves, and was rocking her fiery red hair.

Phillips said organizing festivals like Gearfest creates a space for the community of Black artists at USC. 

“We get so caught up sometimes in our every day and I think it’s just really important, especially at this time of the semester, to open up that space for people to just be and just have fun and just relax,” Phillips said.

Following Phillip’s performance, Sultanthegiant took the stage to perform a couple of his songs sporting a Chicago White Sox cap, gold-framed circular glasses and a Sultanthegiant hoodie. Audience members were waving their flashlights in support by the set’s end. The artist performed songs off of his new EP titled “Tsunami.”

The night closed with the headlining performance from Jordan Ward. Ward paid homage to the Trojans by donning a vintage red USC crewneck onstage, playing many of his hits for the crowd, including “Okok (hibachi),” “FAMJAM4000” and “IDC” which kept the crowd going wild.

Two of attendees experienced the festival for their first time and left with strong feelings about the creativity that was celebrated.

“It’s my first year here at USC and seeing this right before Springfest, I feel like this is probably more my speed than Springfest will probably be,” said Destiny Rosado, a graduate student studying postsecondary administration and student affairs. “I think it’s definitely a great space for students to show off the things that they’ve been working on throughout the year.” 

Marturia Yami, a Barnard College alum who attended the event, also got to experience the festival for the first time and left with a good impression.

“It’s good to have spaces with smaller, diverse artists that also especially make space for students,” Yami said. “Not only to be performers, but to share what they’ve made as artists with the physical products that they’ve made.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *