The futures of SF State alum Andrew Liu and freshman Stephanie Gatica are on the rise since winning Student Life’s 2014 Student Talent Showcase.
The up-and-coming artists competed in the annual showcase Wednesday evening in Jack Adams Hall, with Liu winning the rap category, and Gatica winning the singing category.
The talent was separated into two different categories, rap and singing. To add a variety of entertainment to the show, singers showcased their different styles including country, pop, ballad and folk, according to Larry Birello, management coordinator in the Student Involvement and Career Center.
Performing rappers included Liu and sophomore Jason Wu. The signing category included Gatica and Palladino, a band composed of two exchange students from Great Britain, Rowie Walsh and Fintan May.
In addition to four student performances, Alex Ou, better known as Lil Crazed, and Mike Musni were the headliners of the event.
“I was pleasantly surprised to win,” said Gatica, who went into the competition nervous after seeing the other talent. “The other band was so great. Her (Walsh’s) vocals were stellar.”
Gatica started out her set with country, then sang two songs by her favorite artist, Celine Dion. Even though she seemed a little nervous at first, Gatica received a loud applause every time she hit a high note.
As winner of the singing category, Gatica will receive the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at future SF State events, which in the past have given winners great publicity, according to Birello.
Friends of Liu cheered and snapped photos when he took the stage. He remixed popular songs by Taylor Swift and Eminem to get the crowd to their feet and start singing along.
Liu came prepared by rehearsing his original songs for many hours leading up to the competition.
“I definitely look up to Lil Crazed for some of my music,” Liu said.
The fate of the four talented participants was put into the hands of three student judges, who based the winners mainly on the crowd’s feedback.
“It was so hard to choose a winner, especially between the vocalists,” said Francesca Cortez, an accounting student who judged the competition.
By winning his category, Liu will also receive a once in a lifetime chance, by being in the opening performance for one of Lil Crazed’s shows, according to a promotional ad by Student Life.
Lil Crazed and Mike Musni performed after the talent showcase was completed. When the two came out, fans rushed to the stage and sang along to every song. Lil Crazed was excited to announce that the Giants won the World Series during his performance and told everyone to “Turn up!”
After congratulating Liu on his win, Lil Crazed hung out with fans after the show, where they had the opportunity to take photos, videos and get autographs with the artist, who was very excited to meet everyone.
“I came to the show to see Lil Crazed perform,” said Ryan Yap, a freshman business student. “I’m a big fan.”
Lil Crazed advised students not to follow trends, but to be a trend setter, and told up-and-coming artists to listen to a slogan he wrote back in high school:
“Don’t follow your dreams,” he said. “Lead them.”