The Coffeehouse & Deli in Uptown Normal was the place to be Friday.
Senior human resources management major Donovan Roby was the opening musician for Chicago rising star, Christian JaLons, “4 Nights of Love” college tour.
Performing songs from his new album, Roby filled the crowd with positive energy, preparing everyone for JaLons featured performance.
“I’ve been singing all my life and before my grandmother passed away, I remember singing and having a conversation with her as she told me I had the potential to become a superstar,” JaLon said. “When she passed away, I made it my duty to fulfill her words so I’ve been taking my first steps by performing wherever I can and this college tour had been an amazing experience.”
When thinking of four colleges to tour, Illinois State University was one of JaLons top picks.
“After I released my ‘Vinyl Love’ album, I was presented with the opportunity to tour on four campuses in the Illinois area. [ISU] was one of my top choices because I know members of the ISReal Arts organization and I actually attended and performed at their open mic nights when I came to visit.”
“I had to come out and show the campus some love because the students supported me as I got on stage years ago,” JaLon continued.
As JaLon sang the night away, the shop provided comfortable seating, beverages and an intimate setting which made audience members feel at home.
Senior human resource major Kendra Randall said, “The environment was very intimate and I could feel how genuine each performer was about their message through their lyrics and body language.”
When the night was over, Roby and JaLon reflected on their performances.
“My partners Justin and Antonio did phenomenal [work] with production. Justin played piano and Antonio played the drums, and I’m very grateful to have them both by my side while performing,” Roby said.
“Christian was so amazing. I’m grateful that she gave me the opportunity to open for her and we’ll definitely be collaborating on a project in the future,” Roby continued.