Aztec Student Union hosts virtual concert and Q&A with R&B musician UMI

by Catlan Nguyen, Social Media Editor

Aztec Union hosted a mini-concert and Q&A with R&B, neo-soul musician UMI via Zoom on March 11.

The casual music performance and hang out with the 22-year-old artist provided a much-needed stress reliever for San Diego State students entering midterm seasons.

UMI’s setlist included acoustic performances of her original songs “Butterfly”, “Sukidakara”, “Introspection” and a cover of “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae.

She and her guitarist Mia Garcia also took an impromptu song request and ended up singing her well-known single “Love Affair.”

The Seattle-born artist talked about future collaborations she’s manifesting, how she remains positive and grounded, the inspiration behind her songs, and she even asked one student for advice on a date she was about to go on after the event.

UMI kicked off the event by having every student take a handful of mindful, deep breaths while she circled a sound bowl with a mini mallet. 

Sound bowls are bowls used to promote relaxation, according to Healthline. They produce sounds and vibrations when hit or circled with a mallet which aims to help one relax.

“As an artist, you’ve been given a platform and I want to use my platform to help bring healing and peace to people,” UMI said during the Q&A. “I remind myself that nothing in life is happening to me, it’s happening for me and I try to find the lesson and gift in everything.”

UMI also talked about how she wants to collaborate with H.E.R., Sza, Jhene Aiko, Frank Ocean, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, FKA Twigs, Jorja Smith and Miguel.

She said she’s manifesting releasing her album, winning a Grammy and getting to perform live again at concerts or on tour.

International business third year Carmelina Herrera asked UMI the first student question. Herrera is a huge fan and was excited to show off her tattoo of the cover art of UMI’s song “Introspection.”

“Can I take a picture?” Umi asked Herrera after seeing the tattoo. “That’s crazy, nobody’s ever gotten a tattoo of me before!”

Sociology third year Rose Ty asked UMI for advice or words of affirmation before Ty’s date after the event.

The musician told Ty she also coincidentally had a date after the event too and then reminded Ty to not be afraid to ask in-depth questions and truly get to know the other person on their date.

“Take your time asking those foundational questions,” UMI said. “So, you can really see if this person is worth your time or worth your energy, or if this is a sign that something better is coming.”

UMI then asked Ty for tips for her date as well.

“Honestly, I love you so just be yourself,” Ty said. “If they can’t match that, then that’s their problem.”

The casual and easy-flowing event came to the perfect end when the last student chosen to ask a question requested to sing a duet with UMI and Garcia.

Civil engineering third year Josiah Imperial whipped out his ukelele and he, UMI and Garcia dove into a cover of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself.”

“I have always wanted to do a duet with someone and I’m glad I got to do a mini duet or trio with Umi and Mia,” Imperial said.

Visit Aztec Union’s Instagram for more information on their future events.