A personalized performace


Before performing, the man behind Nelly’s Echo walks out to shake hands and make small talk with the audience members who have come to watch his performance.

Nelly’s Echo performed twice on Friday and once Saturday evening at The Cabin.

Nelly’s Echo is the name Nelson Emokpae gave himself when he became a professional musician in 2009, though he said it is more than just a name.

“Nelly’s Echo is based off a premise that music is a two-way street, it’s a give and take, it’s a relationship,” he said. “My name is Nelson, so ‘Nelly’ refers to any musician, myself or people on the stage creating the music, and ‘Echo’ refers to the audience’s appreciation of the music.”

This appreciation not only came from his music but the way he treated his audience. Those who came to the Friday evening performance were greeted by a man who treated them as close friends, frequently getting audience member’s names and addressing them in the songs he
was singing.

As a part of the Event Production Crew, senior Evan Mehre did the sound for Nelly’s Echo, and said it was a cool experience because he was able to experiment with a lot of sound-related things, including reverb and parallel compression.

For non-musicians, reverb is the effect that makes music echo and parallel compression is making one track heavier while keeping the other the same.

While the parallel compression didn’t work out so well, Mehre said he enjoyed experimenting with Nelly’s Echo and the audience.

Anne Wickland, a junior religious studies major, said she heard his performance on season three of The Voice and was pleasantly surprised by how much attention he paid to his audience.

“Before the show he said hi to a lot of people, got people’s names, gave high fives, and he sang to me,” Wickland said. “He actually said my name in a song, so that was pretty surprising. I haven’t had that happen before.”

And she wasn’t the only one. Nelly’s Echo personalized the experience for audience members and workers alike, addressing a couple of the UAC workers, the Event Production Crew in addition to those there to watch him perform.

Jennifer Krueger, a sophomore psychology major, said she came out to the show because a friend wanted to watch, but hadn’t heard of Nelly’s Echo previous to the performance.

“He had some nice beats, he incorporated some humor with his singing and he was really interactive with the audience, which I enjoy,” Krueger said.

Not only was he interactive, but he offered his CDs to the audience, reminding them that they could “buy one and burn copies for all of their friends”, since he only had a few CDs left to sell.

Afterwards, Nelly’s Echo could be seen talking to the many audience members who came to speak with him and giving out plenty of hugs.

Joking aside, Nelly’s Echo said he wants to be a positive experience for his audience, and that the reaction of his audience to his music is a great feeling.

“To have someone who is living introverted be extroverted by the time the show is over,” he said. “The feeling it leaves people with, after I’m done with the show, is priceless.”