APAC Asian Spotlight Featured Singer-Songwriter Jeremy Passion
A celebration of an academic year’s worth of achievements, the Asian-Pacific American Caucus (APAC) hosted an evening of dance, song, and reflection in the HUB’s Heritage Hall, 12 April. The Asian Spotlight saw multiple Asian or Pacific American clubs, fraternities, and sororities come together to showcase their talents. To the excitement of many, the night ended with a special performance from well-known YouTube singer-songwriter Jeremy Passion.
As part of the Asian-Pacific American Heritage month, the Asian Spotlight aimed to provide a commune for Asian and Pacific Americans from around campus, bringing them together to celebrate a shared history and a common love of the arts. Though not sharing the same dates as the official heritage month – it is celebrated in early May – the Spotlight stayed true its values: to share one’s culture with others and to acknowledge one’s own place within it.
The Korean Student Association kicked off the night’s performances, dancing to Ariana Grande’s ‘Bang Bang,’ and Salt ‘N’ Pepa’s ‘Whatta Man.’ Among others, the Asian Spotlight also features dance performances from K-ON, Bounce Dance Organisation, Sigma Omicron Pi, and the AACF (Asian American Christian Fellowship). Where most of these performances were soundtracked by R&B, pop or K-pop, the Penn State Filipino Association changed the pace of the evening with a traditional Filipino folk dance. The common ground was, of course, a shared love of music and dance, regardless of genre. The MCs were swift to point out that ‘that’s the message of tonight. Bringing everyone together.’
In addition, the MCs brought a selection of audience members on stage to participate in a dance off and sing off (which they called the APAC X-Factor). Later, they gave out awards for special services to the Asian-Pacific American community to worthy individuals and clubs. Among others, the Cultural Awareness Award was granted to Sigma Omicron Pi, and the We Are APA Caucus Award to Pi Delta Psi.
Finally, the evening closed with a performance, Q&A, and meet and greet with Jeremy Passion. Passion is a talented singer/songwriter/producer, best known for his solo work on YouTube, alongside a series of cover duets with Tori Kelly. Singing a selection of covers, alongside a number of originals, he placed particular emphasis on his breakout tune ‘Lemonade,’ and a song off his album ’32.’ The latter is a tribute to his mother, who struggled to raise him, and older brother, and a disabled younger brother. During his Q&A, he encouraged others to pursue their dreams, to simply ‘work hard.’
Ending with a quick thank you to all parties involved, the MCs closed 2016/17’s APAC Asian Spotlight; an example of the talent that Asian-Pacific community has to offer Penn State.