On Campus, Arts

Musicians Celebrate Black Art and Culture in Second ‘Living in Color’ Event

Just over a week after three poets shared their stories in the first event of Living in Color, musicians took the stage on Sunday night in the second event of the series dedicated to celebrating Black artists.

Living in Color is a two-part series, organized by Angus Williams, MCAS ’25, that was created to celebrate Black arts and culture during Black History Month. 

Williams, who goes by the stage name CARAMEL, opened Sunday’s event by speaking to the audience. He emphasized the importance of life and happiness. Throughout the night, Williams asked how the audience members were and told them to answer with “surviving.” He said this response speaks better to people’s daily struggles and emotions than a simple “good”—the expected and overused answer.

Black Experience in America Through Song (B.E.A.T.S.) sang first. B.E.A.T.S. started its performance the same way it starts every performance, with “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” commonly referred to as the “Black National Anthem.” The group then sang a rendition of “Independent Woman Part 1” by Destiny’s Child, followed by a cappella versions of “All My Life” by K-Ci & JoJo, “Fantasy” by Mariah Carey, and “Forget You” by CeeLo Green. As the group bowed after performing their last song, “Fight For You” by H.E.R, the crowd burst into applause. 

After the show, B.E.A.T.S. soloist Victoria Adegboyega, MCAS ’26, said the process of practicing for the showcase was extensive.

“It’s definitely a lot of practice,” Adegboyega said. “I played the song a bunch of times when I was in the shower so I [could] get it ingrained in my memory. I was singing it on my way to class, playing it on my Beats. Sometimes I would actually write the lyrics down.”

The second group to perform was The Voices of Imani, Boston College’s gospel choir, which sings African American gospel music. The group kicked off its section of the show with a vocal warm-up followed by a vocally layered performance of “Seteng Sediba.” Voices of Imani sang a rendition of “Blackbird” by The Beatles with perfectly blended harmonies and finished its performance off with “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning.” 

Waaw Waaw, a West African Music Ensemble at BC, was the third group to perform. The group encouraged audience participation in every aspect of its performance. Waaw Waaw’s sophisticated drum beats matched up synchronously with its dances. The dance group continuously encouraged the audience to clap and dance along, bringing a new type of energy into the room. 

CARAMEL closed out the night with his own performance, in which he sang and played the piano. His first song was a cover of “Glory” by John Legend and Common. His final two songs were original pieces—“Tired” and “Gone By The Morning.” The audience gave CARAMEL a standing ovation as he wrapped up the night. 

After the show, CARAMEL spoke about how his creative process when songwriting centers around telling a story. 

“It’s about taking the time to like, understand yourself, and like what’s stressing you out, like what story you want to tell, how you want to tell that story,” CARAMEL said. 

CARAMEL said he plans to continue organizing events like Living In Color for the BC community in the future, as he continues to grow as a musician and reach a larger audience. 

“I think a big thing for me, something I really want to do is just create a group of real artists, like people that really love music, really love art, writing altogether,” CARAMEL said. “And by doing this, I’m able to bring them together and I’m able to keep building this. It’s like artistry.”

February 12, 2023