India.Arie brings CSUN together at Friday’s concert

Donnella Collison

Grammy award winner India.Arie performed in front of hundreds at CSUN on the Oviatt lawn Friday night. Photo Caption: Hannah Pedraza / Photo Editor
Grammy award winner India Arie performed in front of hundreds at CSUN on the Oviatt lawn Friday night. Photo Caption: Hannah Pedraza / Photo Editor

For many fans of India Arie, Friday night’s concert did not disappoint.

For Ron Robinson, a senior finance major, who attended the concert with some of his friends, the concert was a pleasant surprise.

“I decided to come with some of my home girls. You know, because it’s free,” he said. “I can’t say that I’ve really listened to a lot of her music. But [the show] was really nice. I really got into it.”

India Arie showed the audience her personality from the beginning of her performance. She came out on stage in a bright orange top, spun around on stage in her full colorful skirt, and giggled at her own jokes.

The star, fresh off tour with John Legend, began by introducing herself to the audience, although none was necessary, as she realized.

“I have to keep reminding myself that you guys know who I am, and know my music,” she told the crowd.

When performing her better known songs, India urged the audience to get out of their seats and sing along. But it was during the performance of her 2007 hit “I am not my hair” that the audience went wild.

While singing the song, the she loosened her hair from its ponytail. At the end of the song, she ripped it off revealing her trademark lowcut.

“Whew. It was really hot under there,” she said with a laugh.

For sophomore Eromomen Esoimeme, who won VIP tickets to meet India, that moment was especially meaningful.

“When she took her hair off, it was beautiful. I connected because I don’t have hair” said Esoimeme, who also sports a short cut. “It shows that you don’t have to have hair to be beautiful.”

For Esoimeme, a long time fan, India Arie was also an inspiration.

“I am going to tell her, ‘You are everything I aspire to be,’” she said. “She is so free. Her energy, it’s not fake. She’s humble [and] always smiling. Her radiance is so effortless.”

For 20 year old Business major, Paul Temora, a fan since the 4th grade, his favorite moment happened during the encore, when India returned to the stage for one more song.

“She has to do “Ready for love,’ “said Temora, moments before she began performing the exact song.

As his face lit up, Temora said what he loved most about Arie’s music was that it was so acoustic, so soulful.

“She is so dope,” he said, as he swayed with the music.

India Arie’s more political songs also touched audience members.

Senior Pan African Studies major Biniyam Fissehaye said his favorite part was her song about a Somalian Woman.

“I like the message. She talked about issues, about women around the world. The forgotten ones,’ said Fissenhaye.

“I didn’t know she was this good. I have always been a fan, but now she gave me more reason to buy her albums,” he said.

Tiffany Thomas, senior C.T.V.A major and long time admirer of Arie, said that the concert was everything she hoped it would be.

“My favorite part was when she ripped off her wig, and then her mom’s singing. Her mom is a really great singer. I did not expect that,
she said. “I am happy CSUN did this.”

For real fans of India Arie, her appeal lays in the positive messages in her music.

According to Esoimeme, “Her songs are always positive, even when they are political. No negative songs and that’s what we need. Her music is timeless.”