The music scene and business have changed tremendously over the course of time. Traditionally, aspiring artists had to move to Los Angeles or New York for a chance at stardom. Now, with the help of social media,  there’s more access to gain exposure, but location still plays a part. From this, three North Carolina A&T State University students wanted to create a space to showcase people’s talent outside the lens of social media. 

Ta’shawnda McMullen, currently a Senior Multimedia student at North Carolina A&T, reached out to Janika Langford, an NCAT alumnus, about creating an event to give artists from North Carolina and surrounding areas a chance to gain exposure. The event would aid in creating a network with talent and have a chance to perform in a live venue. Langford pulled in Kailyn Calloway, another NCAT alumnus, to further bring this event to life.

The first Spotlight Mixer event took place on Feb. 12 at the TD Event Studio in Greensboro, NC, and featured artists Boudy Boudy, NSG Monte, Zay Dusse, Spree, Dave Lamar, Jizzle, and Roseboy. Not only did their innagural showcase highlight local music artists, but they also gave a space for local business vendors. Those included Vogue Blinks, Brown Sugaz Jewelry, Damanix Apparel, Royal Crown Collections, and Gxlden Butters.  Langford studied Public Relations during her time at North Carolina A&T and knew the importance of media. “Journalists and publicists control putting these artists on and we want to give them something to have along with their music,” Langford states. 

They also had access to this media as part of their own portfolio. “It means everything to me to be able to have events like this. A lot of us want to network but don’t really have the right direction. Not a lot of people are doing that outreach thing anymore, and not everybody wants to slide in DMs,” performing artist Dave Lamar expressed. Spotlight Mixer gave opportunities for businesses, media outlets, artists, and music lovers to be able to engage and support one another. The three Aggies were able to pull off a successful showcase and currently are planning to implement their next showcase to Atlanta, GA in the upcoming months of 2022.

Kaylah Kelty is a Senior at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University from Charlotte, NC. Currently, she is pursuing her B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. She focuses her craft in PR on the entertainment and travel sector.