Though the primary purpose of the University of Northern Colorado’s biweekly Open Mic Nite is thought to be a chance for UNC students to show off their talent, that talent can also extend beyond the campus borders.
Enter Aaron Hill, a 20-year-old Greeley resident and local performer, also known as his stage name “THESESORROWS.” Hill and his older brother attend a few of the University Program Council’s Open Mic Night’s last year, but Hill has attended nearly every one this year, including the one on Oct. 16.
“It’s just something fun to do,” HilI said. “I need to perform more, I need to get out there more, so it’s just a fun thing every other Monday to come out and be able to share some music with people.”
Performing his unique rendition of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” the R&B/Soul artist explained how he appreciates the chance to see other people’s musical style. Hill also said he especially likes the acoustic setting of Open Mic Night, as it allows him to be more authentic and connect with the audience on a more personal level.
“I’m not exactly, like, a huge guitarist I would say,” Hill said. “I’m more a vocalist, so when it comes to doing covers, I think I have a select few that I’m comfortable doing. So this is one of the songs that I’ve just been kind of playing around with for a while, and kind of develop my own little version of it. I just enjoy the song, I think it’s a fun, deep song.”
To Hill, the meaning of Chapman’s piece has to do with young adults not knowing what they’re doing, but being able to be open to new opportunities and living their lives in the moment. Contrast to his stage name, Hill said that, to him, music is meant to not only inspire, but help relieve the pain in people’s lives. In fact, since he started playing guitar and songwriting about four years ago, Hill has preferred to write about particularly sorrowful and dark material.
“I like to tackle and play around with themes that I think a lot of others don’t, and they just think it’s a little too taboo, maybe, and they want to stay with more popular subjects,” Hill said. “But I like to tackle things obviously that I’m going through, things in the world that I see, and maybe I do see things in a more negative light, but I think that’s who ‘THESESORROWS’ is, I think that’s my type of music.”
Drawing influence from artists like The Weeknd, Usher and Michael Jackson, Hill has been able to connect with darker subjects far better than other subjects. While he hasn’t played any originals at Open Mic Night as of yet, Hill said his hope is to eventually play at the Moxie Theater.
“I think it’s just how I see the world, you know. Music is an interpretation of how, I think, an individual views things, so I think that’s just kind of my view on the world,” Hill said.
Aaron Hill [“THESESORROWS”]: