By Eduardo Castaeeda
Cal Poly Pomona’s Music and Entertainment Industry Club hosted a benefit concert for the Department of Music at The Glass House in downtown Pomona on Friday.
MEIC invited trap house jazz artist Masego to headline the show and special guests Dope By Design, Tiffany Gouche and Mike Gao.
The proceeds of the concert were awarded to the CPP music department’s recording studio initiative.
John Lares, MEIC president and a fourth-year music student, introduced the student-organized show as an option to fulfill the requirements of his senior project. He shared the idea with MEIC to make the concert a reality.
“This represents the club by fulfilling the mission of giving our students experience in planning and promoting an event,” said Lares. “I wish that presidents in the future learn from this example and do something beyond it. Hopefully, this will set the standard for the club next year.”
Alternative Hip-Hop band Dope By Design opened the show to a full house with tracks from its EP “The Dope by Design EP.”
Dope By Design is an upcoming band of former and current CPP students that focuses on making socially conscious music. It generates its sound from a variety of elements like the congas, electric guitar, saxophone and piano.
The seven-man band received its highest praise from the audience during performances of “Passion,” “Dopeness” and “Young MC.”
Before the band ended its set, front man Lyrically Twisted announced the beginning production of the band’s full-length album, but he did not provide a release date.
Once Dope By Design ended its performance, a concertgoer in the audience shared his opinion about the opening act.
Anthony Mai, a fourth-year microbiology student at the University of California, Los Angeles, said he attended the show on a whim in hope of discovering new music.
“They were tight. The jazz and the guitar combo were really good,” said Mai. “I liked how they were able to work with the saxophone and the electric guitars. They fused them really well.”
R&B artist Tiffany Gouche took her first steps on the Pomona stage after Dope By Design. Accompanied by her back-up singers and band, the artist performed her EP “Pillow Talk.”
Gouche is a singer, songwriter and producer. She has worked with Missy Elliot, The Pussycat Dolls, Iggy Azalea and many more.
Before performing her newly released EP, Gouche teased the audience with a cover of The Fugees’ version of “Killing Me Softly.”
Although Gouche was new to the Pomona scene, the audience embraced her by respectively reciting all of her songs.
Gouche quickly stirred up the audience with hits like “On The Up,” “Pillow Talk,” “Travel Behavior” and “Can I.” Throughout her set, the artist told the audience to love themselves and appreciate the small details of life.
Gouche ended her set with an unscheduled performance of “Fantasy” from her previous album “Fantasy.” She said she was proud of the connection she created with the audience, as she wants to reinvent herself.
“I love sharing my music with new people and creating different experiences for them,” said Gouche. “I used to write and produce songs for other artists, and now I’m doing my own artistry. I’m not into writing songs for other people anymore. I’d rather just perform and be my own person.”
Shortly after Gouche’s Pomona debut, electronic DJ Mike Gao blasted the room with remixes of existing songs and some of his own songs.
Gao displayed his app, Polyplayground, during his set. Polyplayground is an iOS app for iPad that allows users to manipulate music at their fingertips.
The Los Angeles native’s mixes started a dance battle in the middle of the dance floor just moments before the headlining act arrived.
Electronic saxophonist Masego captivated the audience as he jumped on stage to start his performance. He began his set with a saxophone solo and entertained the audience with his passion and wit.
The jazz vocalist performed singles like “Girls That Dance,” “Late Night” and “Love Be Like.” Masego invited his dancers to join him on stage while he shot out fake dollar bills into the audience. Masego ended his performance and closed the show.
Left in disbelief, Kray Topia, a first-year occupational therapy student at Cal State Dominguez Hills, said she was surprised with her night.
“I just wanted to touch his hands. I couldn’t believe we were so close to him because he is so amazing,” said Topia. “I don’t really fangirl about anything, but I’m a super fangirl for Masego. I had to come out for this.”
Jean-Paul Escobar / The Poly Post
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