WATCH: Kean rappers, indie bass act improvise at benefit show

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By Rebecca Panico | Published April 17, 2017

It was hard to notice that two rappers and an indie bass act had never practiced together while they improvised seamlessly April 11 at a benefit show on campus.

“You better f— with local artists ’cause they go the hardest,” repeated AM-95 — who also goes by Arte Magnus — towards the end of the nearly 10-minute improvisation. The impromptu performance also featured TAR!K of Paragon Squad and paul from the internet., a bass act.

The phrase captured the essence of the show that night: 10 different artists from the area performed poetry, stand up comedy and music for about 30 people in Little Theatre’s intimate setting.

The Nu Sigma Phi fraternity organized the event and raised $265 for the Friends of Union Township Animal Shelter. The show was titled “Phierfly,” which is a Greek spin on the spelling of an annual music festival known as Firefly.

TAR!K and AM-95, whose names are respectively Elijah Powell and Alec Daily, are Kean University students. Paul Brushaber of paul from the internet. hails from Lake Hopatcong.

Their spur-of-the-moment performance Tuesday highlighted the giving and collaborative attitude in local music. Arcways, who played a set before them, let paul from the internet.’s drummer, Sean Farrelly, play on their drumset.

“That was really cool,” said Brushaber, referring to the improvisation while he stood with TAR!K and AM-95 after the show. “I’m so happy you guys hopped on the stage. That was perfect, because I saw you guys playing and I immediately loved you.”

By the end of the night, audience members ended up going on stage to share their own talents with others in the room. It was the unplanned performances, like that of Mia Florival (whose stage name is Mia Lavira), which were favorites among some attendees.

“I loved it,” said Alissa Carroll, a junior occupational therapy major, who attended the event. “There were a lot of different styles. I loved that one girl, Mia. Her songs were deep and touching.”

Kelly Black, a Kean alumna, opened the show with a poem from her senior thesis and another she wrote on her lunch break. Eric Shandroff, a communication major whose stage name is Myster-E, performed hip-hop inspired spoken word.

Meanwhile, Justin Williams performed his New Jersey-centric stand up comedy. Adrian Sharp, a hip-hop act performed several of his own songs and shared the stage with Samantha Kromphold on her new single, “Higher.”

This is the fourth annual benefit show Nu Sigma Phi has organized. The fraternity previously raised funds for Special Olympics New Jersey and Hometown Heroes, a non-profit organization that helped Hurricane Sandy victims.

“I liked the different types of sets and the diversity within the sets,” said Lucas Hernandez, a Nu Sigma Phi brother. “I think that was a step up from previous Phierflys I attended.”

Rebecca Panico may be reached at Follow The Tower on Twitter@KeanTower. Find The Tower on Facebook.

Comments - review our comment policy