Senior biology major Shafayeth Syed performing one of his raps onstage at Profs Spotlight. He cites his personal life and identity as an influence for many of his pieces. Photo Editor/Amanda Palma

The first Profs Spotlight of the semester featured a diverse range of musical performances. 

Held by the Student Center on the first Monday of every month, Profs Spotlight showcases musically-inclined students of Rowan University. February’s show brought to the stage students rapping, singing worship music, and even performing original songs.

Kicking things off, senior biological science major Shafayeth Syed, who goes by “Vlimpse” on Twitter and YouTube, performed three raps he had written himself. The set included one rap titled “6 AM in Bangladesh” which he had written for his mother who recently passed.

According to Syed, he draws his inspiration from rappers like Eminem, J. Cole, Big Sean and Kendrick Lamar, as well as Bengali, Hindu and Pakistani music that he listens to.

“I want to become a famous rapper and right now I only have a YouTube channel with only 120 subscribers,” Syed said. “I thought it would be really cool if we do something, like a tour, to promote the YouTube channel and try to get 1,000 subscribers.”

Using his first time at the Profs Spotlight to promote himself, Syed announced that he will be going on tour, visiting 10 schools in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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With a more bluesy and mellow vibe came senior electrical engineering major Tyler Waddington. Guitar in hand, Waddington took the Profs Place stage for the fourth time, singing oldies that he came to love while he was growing up.

“I like that older, bluesy, gritty sound,” Waddington said. “I love Bruce Springsteen, he’s the man, we’re from Jersey, he’s my hero. I love the really great guitar players: Clapton, Hendrix, Page, all those guys.”

Playing originals was second timer radio, television and film major Joon Kim. According to the freshman, he got serious about performing in front of people when he was a senior in high school.

Kim, who writes his own music, said he draws inspiration from bands such as Weezer, Radiohead and Green Day.

“The biggest thing I enjoy about [performing] is putting stuff out there for others to see,” he said. “If they like it, that’s awesome. It’s been nerve-wracking but it pays itself off.”

The duo of senior biology major Stephanie Berman and junior psychology major Emily Ostrowski, members of Rowan Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, brought Christian worship music to the stage. Through music, they use their faith to inspire them.

“I see the fact that I have a voice as, that’s supposed to be used to worship with,” Berman said. “I’m most passionate about worshiping.”

According to Ostrowski, the two have been performing together for a year now.

Ending the night was junior arts and music and science and music industry dual major Andrew Moorer. Before Ostrowski and Berman took the stage, Moorer did a short impromptu set while the hosts dealt with technical difficulties.

Moorer did a stripped down version of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want it That Way,” getting all in attendance to sing along.

After the performance by Ostrowski and Berman, Moorer took the stage once again, joined by junior biomedical engineering major Max Miller. With Moorer on the guitar and Miller on his Cajon box drum, the two sang acoustic versions of the songs “Closer” by the Chainsmokers and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police.

“I started playing the guitar and writing music in eighth grade. I’ve always wanted to have a career in it ever since,” Moorer said. “I perform all over the tri-state area. I have a bunch of shows coming up in March, and I’ll be playing all summer.”

Moorer said that he also has an album coming out soon, with no specifics yet on the actual release date.

The next Profs Spotlight is scheduled for March 6. Performers are encouraged to contact Jenn Margiloff at margil27@rowan.edu if they’re interested.

For comments/questions about this story, email arts@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.

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