Soulful Music Comes to Ramapo as Part of Tuesday Night Live

Soul singer Kyshona Armstrong was the latest artist to bring her musical talent to the College Programing Board’s Tuesday Night Live. Armstrong filled the Sharp Theater with her original songs and soulful guitar after the opening act, 4GotteN SuitCase, performed.

4GotteN SuitCase is an a cappella group made up of Ramapo students. The members of 4GotteN SuitCase used only their voices to cover songs like “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall, “Fix You” by Coldplay and “Every Breath You Take” by The Police.

4GotteN SuitCase received a warm welcome from the audience, some of who had come specifically to watch them. Freshman Danielle Seyer came to support the group and their unique performance style.

“I like music in general so anything that’s new and upcoming, especially a cappella, I enjoy. Not a lot of people know about a cappella so it’s kind of eye opening,” Seyer said.

After 4GotteN SuitCase, Kyshona Armstrong and percussion player Dylan Clark took the stage.  Armstrong, originally from South Carolina, began her career as a music therapist. Since then, she has released three albums, including her most recent, “Home Again,” and taken up a full time career as a musician.

Armed with her guitar, Armstrong performed numerous original songs, including “Time,” “Break Me Down” and “Backdoor.” Armstrong explained to the audience that her songs are usually inspired by the stories of her life.

“I do tend to be a little bit of a storyteller for the songs that I write,” Armstrong said.

For example, she explained that her song “The Voices” was written for the children she used to treat as a music therapist. Another one of her songs, “The Riverside,” was inspired by her grandfather’s history as a gospel quartet songwriter.

Armstrong’s inspired songs and soulful style seemed to strike a chord with Ramapo students. Senior music major Jaraee Bryant, for example, thought her original songs were easy to relate to.

“I enjoyed it. I though she was real, authentic and original,” Bryant said. “I was able to relate to her music. Her songwriting skills were great.”

Bryant also enjoyed Armstrong’s realistic and socially conscientious side.

“I felt like she was socially aware. You can tell that she’s very knowledgeable about what’s going on around her,” Bryant said.

College Programming Board member Elida Alfaro agreed that Armstrong’s performance was relatable and easy to enjoy.

“I liked that it was easy to relate to. I felt like I didn’t need to really know soul music to get into it. It was very upbeat,” Alfaro said.

Alfaro explained that what makes Tuesday Night Live so enjoyable is the diversity of performers. TNL has the ability to introduce students to acts that they never would have expected.

“Tuesday Night Live has a wide variety of performers and definitely opens up your life to things that you never thought you’d listen to,” Alfaro explained. “It integrates things you know and then things you never would have thought.”

Another benefit of the Tuesday Night Live performances, according to Bryant, is that it gives Ramapo students the ability to come out and support the arts.

“I feel as though the Ramapo community doesn’t support music events and the arts at Ramapo. When other events happen geared toward the sciences or business, more people show up,” Bryant said. “I’m a music major so I’m going to support music.”

Check out indie-pop group Dr. Seahorse at the next TNL.