Sheridan’s Open Mic Night


“I’ve played in bars for years and years and I’m background music. But this is not background music, people actually gave a shit.”

This was singer Katey Gatta’s, and many other performers’ appraisal of Sheridan’s Open Mic Night on Sept. 29.

The event allowed students to express themselves in a supportive atmosphere.

Students came to the brightly lit stage to perform in front of more than 100 attentive Sheridan students.

To Gatta, the barefoot winner of the night, the choice to come perform her own songs was a spur of the moment decision.

“I was in class until 9:30 at night and my roommate called me and said ‘You have to come Don’t worry about your guitar, just get over here,’ ” said Gatta.

Gatta and other contestants borrowed a guitar from a Student Union member for their performances.

Gatta received $100 for winning the competition, and she says the best part of her night was using her winnings to get a pizza with her friends.

“Sheridan has talented students to begin with, and the more people who come out, the better chance there is that you’ll meet someone to connect with and then you can make more music together,” she said.

Gatta has been playing for 10 years, and plans to continue her career as a musician after she finishes her program in Web Design.


The Barefoot winner of Open Mic Night, Katie Gatta. Playing that way makes her feel at home, no matter where she’s singing. (Photograghy by Andrew Goulart)

“The sound was incredible. I have never played in a campus bar that sounds that good,” said Gatta.

The Barefoot winner of Open Mic Night, Katie Gatta. Playing that way makes her feel at home, no matter where she’s singing. (Photograghy by Andrew Goulart)While most performances were singing with acoustic accompaniment, Akil McKenzie brought a truly unique freestyle rap to the audience.

“When I was going up on the stage they gave me a rather warm welcome. They started cheering before I even did anything so I was like ‘okay, that’s good,’” said McKenzie.

Throughout the night, McKenzie asked students to write down a random word on a piece of paper. When he went up, he performed a freestyle to each piece of paper he received.

“I enjoy rapping, like sometimes I’ll just do it. If people ask I’ll just do it for them, and I was like ‘Oh, Open Mic Night. That would be a great place for me to go and do that and show people some of the stuff I like to do.”

McKenzie started freestyling when he was in Grade 12. This was his first Open Mic Night.

“The more reactions the audience gives, the more I am able to play off of that,” said McKenzie.

“The audience was great that night, they were so hype, oh my goodness.”

While some students came just to have fun, other students, like Olivia Beer, came to build confidence. Beer performed a vocal cover of 28 by The Weeknd.

“I wanted to burst out of my bubble of insecurity,” said Beer. “I went with a bunch of friends but it was more of a ‘I need to do this for myself’ thing.”

Beer, a Advertising and Marketing Communications student, said the audience was very supportive of her performance.

“I feel like everyone’s super shy. I just feel people need to be more comfortable in their own skin, and this is a great way to do so. Everyone’s super nice and polite, they’ll clap for you even if you’re a little off key.”