Back in the Corner
By Amery Butcher | Sun, October 28, 2012 - 12:00 AM
It’s back! Last Friday marked the return of one of Barbados’ premier open mic events, Mahalia’s Corner.
After greeting the audience, NexCyx opened the show with a medley of hits, including We Found Love and Diamonds by Rihanna; That Thing and Killing Me Softly by Lauryn Hill; and their original lady anthem Queen.
The open mic saw a mixture of established acts such as DJ Simmons and Khiomal and newer artistes like Mia Ch’an and Adazae. Several other artistes, including Triple X, Debbie Riefer and Nikki Nicole performed original music.
Finally, patrons at the second season commencement were treated to a special guest performance by Alison Hinds. The soca queen presented an unplugged side seldom seen. Backed by NexCyx, she performed acoustic versions of songs like Roll, Bazodee, Rivers, Untold Stories and a rendition of Faluma that left the audience begging for more.
Organizer Mahalia Phillips said the return of the Corner was a response to popular demand. “It’s long time overdue. People have been asking for it; and we like to oblige when our fans ask us for stuff.”
Phillips gave touring as one of the major reasons for the long hiatus of the popular open mic event. Since 2010 the group has performed at events around the world, including South By South West in Austin, Texas, and the Cognac Blues Passions festival in France.
“It’s all about getting exposure for artistes – new and up and coming. They need experience performing in front of a live audience.
“That’s how I actually got my start – performing at things like Le Mot Juste and Baje Youth Poet Slams.
“And without open mic sessions I may not even have been the lead singer of NexCyx right now. So we want to be that platform for new artistes to come out and be in the open mic.”
Phillips extended an open invitation to all artistes looking to wet their feet.
“If you want a chance to get a real feel for performing for a real audience, Mahalia’s Corner is the place to do it. We actually have featured artistes. Sometimes they are well established – such as Alison. But that’s also for new artistes to get comfortable, to see what it’s like and know that they can do exactly what she’s doing.
“This season we decided to do five in the series, just because sometimes it’s nice to have something short and sweet. But coupled with that, NexCyx is also currently working on new music and always touring.
"So it’s very hard to dedicate time to something steady for a long period of time since we started doing so much work. But we promise we are going to bring the next season a lot quicker than we did this.”
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