Students in the spotlight

By Sheltyn Rose | Evergreen SEB reporter

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Forty people stood between her and a title that could lead her all the way to Springfest.

Chloe Hendrickson, guitar in hand, conquered the first round in the SEB Coug Spotlight competition Tuesday afternoon in the CUB Lair.

Coug Spotlight is a semester-long competition including an open mic portion that offers students a chance to perform in front of an audience.

Singer-songwriter Hendrickson performed her original song, “Simply Because I Can’t” along with a cover of “Almost Lover” by A Fine Frenzy, and took home the first place title.

Hendrickson, a junior math major who is releasing her first EP in December, said that she felt very good and excited about her performance.

“Last year I performed with a whole band at the Springfest Daystage, but now I’m going solo,” she said.

The band she performed with, “The Names and Faces,” conquered two rounds of Coug Spotlight during the 2013-2014 school year, and earned the chance to perform for student body and community members at the annual SEB event Springfest.

She said she hopes to one day move to Nashville and get a recording or publishing deal.

The genres in round one ranged from Jack Johnson to Miranda Lambert and an acoustic version of “Latch” by Disclosure and Sam Smith.

After all competitors who signed up ahead of time performed, the stage became an open mic for anyone passing by who wished to share their talents.

This round’s open mic produced the runner up for the whole round, hip hop artist, Max P.

More formally known as Maximiliano Prado, the WSU freshman business major has been writing his own raps and songs for more than two and a half years, and recording them for the last year.

“Today I just showed up, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to, but I figured I’d take a chance, so I got up to the plate,” he said.

Prado has already set up recording and mixing equipment in his Streit-Perham residence hall room.

“Right now, I’m just treating it as a side hobby, but it’s something that I love to do,” he said. “Music is my sanctuary.”

Prado said that his biggest influence is an east coast artist by the name of Joey Bada$$ and his group “Pro-Era.”

“They don’t sing garbage rap about having chains and disrespecting women,” he said. “They touch on subjects that are important to people.”

Prado promised all new originals by his next performance in round three of the competition, which will take place in November.

All three finalists walked away with a $40 Bookie gift card as well as tickets into the final round.

The top three finalists of round two in October will also get Bookie gift cards and will meet the trio from round one in November for the chance to win a significant cash prize during the final round. The event takes place again during spring semester.

The top winners from each semester will be invited to play at WSU Springfest in April.

Audience members who attend each round can look forward to a wide range of performance styles, free popcorn and candy, and the power to choose the finalists via a text-in poll at the end of each round.

SEB Coug Spotlight Programmer Liz Dance said that the Spotlight is awesome for students looking to break out of their shells.

“I think that having the performances in the Lair and around other students is good for them,” she said.

Those wishing to perform at the next Spotlight in October can email Dance at [email protected]