Comedians and singer unite for free concert

“Better than Before” mixes life lessons with music and comedy

Bridget Kingston , Features Editor

Stand-up comedians T-Murph and Calvin Evans joined forces with multi-talent performer Julian Keyz for a free concert on Sept. 4. Presented by the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, Student Leadership Council, and Student Life, the concert, “Better than Before,” tied in real life experiences from the performers that were aimed to aid in student success.

Calvin Evans, a Chicago native, was the first to perform. The part time stand-up comedian had the audience doubled over with laughter from the beginning, poking fun at some of the everyday oddities he witnesses throughout the city of Chicago. A graduate of Southern Illinois University, Evans mentioned the importance of taking chances, learning from one’s own experiences, and taking things as life throws at you.

When asked about getting started in comedy, he noted how much of an impact his life experiences have made, and how they have helped shape him into the comedian we see today.“If I started [comedy] in high school, I probably wouldn’t have gone to college. If I would have started in college, I probably would’ve dropped out of college versus graduating.” It was only when he had everything he needed that he got started in comedy.

Comedian T-Murph took the stage next. Also a native of Chicago, T-Murph gave the audience hilarious glimpses of his perspective on family, fatherhood, son-hood, and just the hood in general. The room was in good spirits as he touched on the variety of topics, all the while keeping it light hearted.

Julian Keyz, a Chicago born, LA based performer closed out the evening. The multi-talented entertainer identifies as a singer, musician, producer, songwriter, dancer, philanthropist, and businessman. The contemporary R&B artist performed a variety of songs ranging from slower tempos on the keyboard to booming, upbeat R&B.  

Keyz moved to LA four years ago to further pursue music, and attended Los Angeles Pierce College to study business. He has been performing since the age of eight, after winning competitions at the Apollo Theatre in Chicago. Even with the level of success he is at now, Keyz was very open with some of his past hardships. From a speech impairment, to childhood obesity, to standing his own in the entertainment business, Keyz has managed to work through them and still become successful. “You don’t let the devil win, you keep pushing,”he said.

Audience members were invited to hop on stage after the performance and take pictures with him, and many took him up on the offer.