Alejandro Meza-Aguilar/HIGHLANDER

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, Asian Pacific Student Programs (APSP) held a welcome event to introduce students to the organizations on campus that started at 6 p.m. However, the focus of the event wasn’t the mingling of students and campus organizations; the true attraction was JamieBoy, a YouTuber and cover artist.

JamieBoy is a California native from Oxnard who is known for performing covers and has recently transitioned into writing and singing his own rhythm and blues (R&B) songs. He states on The Opening Act, “I grew up singing in my mom’s church choir since I can remember. I have always had a passion for entertaining.”

He started his singing career performing covers on YouTube and is most known for his SZA cover of “The Weekend.” Currently, he is working on more R&B music on Spotify and has a total of 12,729 monthly listeners. His song “You Got It” has garnered 477,801 listeners. JamieBoy has a large, loyal following which was demonstrated by APSP’s student welcome event.

The event gave students the opportunity to get to know organizations that align within the Asian and Pacific Islander identities. The event started with music and student performers dancing on a small stage at the steps of the Bell Tower. The audience was tightly knit in anticipation for JamieBoy’s appearance. There were moments in which audience members would ask, “Is he coming on?” It occurred often enough for the DJ to announce JamieBoy’s estimated time of arrival after a student performance.

The performance was very intimate with students gathered right in front of the stage to be up close and personal with APSP’s special guest. Halfway through his concert he asked the students, “Hey, y’all don’t mind getting close? We’re Filipinos. We know how to dance, right?” The audience huddled around the stage and danced along with JamieBoy. The intimacy of the crowd size made for an experience that most students enjoyed which was demonstrated by cheers and lively dancing. 

Some song covers he performed were: “Let Me Love You” by Mario, “Lemonade” by Jeremy Passion, and “Weak” by SWV. The performance that stood out the most was his cover of SZA’s “The Weekend” due to his rhythmic and smooth vocals. It really brought out the church choir and R&B influences that got him started in his career.

JamieBoy’s performance gave students the opportunity to feel seen and understood by their campus. Audience member and Katipunan member, Ellen Angeline Agonoy, 4th year, Sociology major and Education minor, stated, “I participated in Philippine Culture Night, which consists of Filipino folk dances, acting, and singing. One of the songs that was performed was ‘Weak’ and it made me feel nostalgic of last year’s PCN.”

Although JamieBoy offers more than just inclusivity, he has an approachable personality that allowed students to interact with him. Audience member, Pamela Guinto, 3rd year Psychology major, stated, “JamieBoy is seriously so friendly and he has such a great, charming, positive energy to him. He also did a short cover with me and I was surprised at how eager he was to do it once I asked him.”