Country-Latin musician Angie K stepped onto the Irazú Coffee shop stage as she performed for Elon University students for the fourth time, remembering her musical start at small venues. She said the base of her work is seeing people connect and admiring how students open up to each other as she plays. While the fountains at Elon catch her eye, Angie K said the interactions at Irazú are what pulls her back to Elon. 

“It’s really cool having a steady place that I come back to and get to feel a little bit of growth, but also remember the base of what I do is literally just moments like this, where there’s just this beautiful community of people that are very open with each other,” Angie K said.

Freshman Cecilia Marie, who prefers to go by her stage name, opened for Angie on Jan. 11 and performed for the first time away from her home stage with an original song and covers of pop music. According to Marie, the audience “was probably the best crowd I’ve ever had” and plans to perform and release original music on campus.

“I’m working on producing it, so I’m hoping to get it out sometime in my four years,” Marie said.

Angie K personalized the show to be a “request show,” where she alternated between playing songs from a set list to performing students' suggestions. Original songs included “Mountains” and “Real Talk,” as well as “Red Dirt on Mars” and “Loredo (Acoustic)” which will be on her next record.

“In her songs, I love how she writes lyrics and tells a story with her music,” senior Georgia Bontempo said. 

The event was part of Student Union Board’s Late Night Elon, where the board hosts an artist once per month in partnership with Irazú Coffee. For junior Tabby Spell, the music meant far more than a student-only showcase. 

Memories such as connecting with peers in song bring her to seeing Angie K a fourth time, especially after meeting her boyfriend at one of the musician’s on-campus concerts.

“I love when we get to the end of the night,” Spell said. “When we’re first here, everybody’s in here to mostly get coffee. Then you come in here, you get the people that are really into it and you have singing. She’s with us and it feels like a collective experience.”

SUB Vice President of Special Events Josh Tobin organized the event. Tobin said he maintains a connection with artists to bring excitement to students during the late night events. Through SUB’s middle agents, who recommend entertainment for them, SUB provides feedback to support artists they want performing on campus again. When Tobin saw how engaged students were when Angie performed, he said “we’re bringing her back here.”

“She’s one of two people that people have ever stayed after to take pictures with her,” Tobin said. “She’s just very engaging and students alike will come watch her and get excited when she’s here.”

Angie K’s collaborations with venues and artists have helped guide the singer to the place she is at now. According to her website, she has gathered over 500,000 followers and 20 million streams on music platforms, including performing with The Voice and Disney. Angie K does not cite her success based on her achievements, though, but her relationship with fans at gigs.

“The whole point of it is to create moments,” Angie K said. “It’s not even about the lyrics, not about the sound. It doesn’t feel like you don’t know who’s doing the giving and taking.”