The Daily Gamecock

Cockchella provides social key to Homecoming Week

The second annual Cockchella, USC's version of Coachella, had students enjoying a variety of music on Davis Field. Held as part of Homecoming Week, the event is a miniature music festival open to students who perform in all styles and genres.

Student Government hosted Cockchella and offered free blankets and grilled cheese sandwiches. In between performances, two emcees introduced the performers and shared quick biographies. 

Nick Hooks, second-year political science student and chairman of Student Government’s Multicultural Affairs Committee, was one of the emcees.

“It takes a lot of guts to come up in front of people and put yourself out there,” Hooks said. “That’s the part I love about it most ... brave people coming up showing a lot of different people what they love to do.”

First-year journalism student Byrde Wells was one of the first to perform. He started rapping as a way to cope with high school, and Lupe Fiasco inspired him to pursue it even further. He released his first mix tape this September. He performed three original rap songs, finishing with a crowd pleaser: “The Show.”

“I hope to get involved in more shows and stuff down here,” Wells said. “I’m planning on releasing another mix tape soon ... just keep on grinding. That’s all you really can do.”

After an intermission period that had break dancing and plenty of Cocky appearances, second-year marketing student Mary English took the stage. She recently released an EP, “Bright Light,” and travels back and forth between Columbia and Nashville for her music. 

“When you get on stage, it's an amazing feeling," English said. "I just love singing anywhere that I can." 

Markos Hurtt, fourth-year public relations student and the event director of the Homecoming Commission, has been a huge fan of Homecoming Week since returning to Columbia.

“For me, Homecoming is a time where I can just take a second to appreciate my university ... where I can celebrate what happens here," he said.

Hurtt was intrigued about adding to Cockchella to make it better for future Homecoming Weeks.

“With the growth of the Homecoming Commission, the Cockchella will become the kind of event ... where the student who does the best or gets the most might get to open up for Cockstock,“ Hurtt said. “I would like to see that come to fruition.”