Soulfest Spring Blings Black creators to light


Photo by Will Haddock - Reporter

Current BSU president Maya Fleming (right) performs with former BSU president Urael Blacksheer at Soulfest’s Spring Bling Early 2000s.

Will Haddock, Reporter

On Saturday Feb. 19, California Lutheran University’s Black Student Union hosted their fourth annual Soulfest from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.  The event was held in the William Rolland Stadium and featured Black-owned food trucks, bouncy castles, caricature drawings, a photo booth, Black-owned businesses and live performances from students and alumni throughout the night. Students, alumni, and community members attended this event.

The theme of this year’s Soulfest was Spring Bling Early 2000’s, combining the aesthetic outfits worn during this time with a spring time fashion look.  The stadium was filled with beach balls, towels, blown up palm trees, and kiddy pools full of beverages. 

“We tried to find things that I feel like college kids would like but also other members of the community would like,” Black Student Union Vice President Rakaihya Thomas said.

As vice president, Thomas was in charge of finding the theme of the event, planning activities and figuring out how to make the event safe by following current COVID-19 guidelines. This annual event is designed to highlight Black students on campus and end Black History Month on a high note. Thomas said this would be the biggest Soulfest since the start of COVID-19.

Around 6:45 p.m. the live music started with performances by Lothario, Josh Official, Urael B, Malik Wizzle, Randy White, Isaiah Bowers, T Shaheed, AJ For Short, DJ CB5 and Black Student Union President Maya Fleming under the stage name Nomie! The music continued on throughout the rest of the event until around 10 p.m. and featured DJ’d sets as well as live instruments. 

Junior Malik Walker, who performs under the stage name Malik Wizzle performed 3 new songs from his upcoming extended play “R.O.M.E.”, and performed two songs alongside his producer. Walker, who has performed on campus at Musician’s Club’s Open Mic Nights and Cal Lu Palooza last semester, said he was excited to perform new material for a bigger audience.

“I’m excited just to show people who I am and what I do, and hopefully everybody can vibe with it,” Walker said.

Fleming, along with Urael Blacksheer (Urael B),  Isaiah Bowers, and DJ CB5 represented Respect The Real, a record label, entertainment and music collective founded by Blacksheer, alumni and former president of the Black Student Union at Cal Lutheran. Respect The Real had a booth at the event promoting their brand and selling their merchandise.

Black Student Union Social Media Manager Gbemi Abon was in charge of promoting the event on social media. Abon said she felt like holding the event at William Rolland Stadium contributed towards people enjoying themselves and having a good time.

“A lot of people came out, a lot of people stayed really really long, we ran late a little bit but people still came and stayed and watched people and that means a lot,” Abon said.

 The official Black Student Union instagram page had a 10 day countdown to the event and linked the social media accounts of performers and vendors attending the event. 

“Usually with celebrations it’s always centered towards Black trauma and I think Soulfest this year is really centered always on having a good time and celebrating Blackness,” Abon said.

Abon said she was very happy with how the event turned out, noting several people who stayed throughout and had a good time, those that participated in the theme and celebrated Black excellence. When talking about her hopes for next year, Abon said she hopes for more variety in terms of the art displayed.

“I’m really proud of our work this year, I think if anything for next year adding artist elements like a museum section where you can see Black art, I know a lot of people on campus do that with photography or their artwork,” Abon said.

The performing artists are all promoted and tagged on the official Black Student Union instagram account @bsucallutheran. Links to their music and art can be found on each individual’s page.