Walking from the dark into the light

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With a soft voice and a group of friends acting as paparazzi, University of Northern Colorado sophomore Nayeli Contreras took the Open Mic Night stage on Monday strumming her ukelele.

Comically dedicating her performance to ‘all who have done us dirty,’ the political science major gave her own acoustic rendition of Selena Gomez and Kygo’s “It Ain’t Me.” Contreras performed for the first time at the University Program Council event a few weeks ago, and according to her, it was something she wanted to keep doing.

“I just really like playing my ukulele and I love performing, but I don’t really have an audience,” Contreras said. “This way I can do what I love in front of people.”

Contreras has been playing the ukulele for about a year, initially gaining interest from her sister. By watching her self-taught sister play, Contreras eventually learned how to play herself. For this night in particular, the sophomore chose the 2017 song because of its popularity and undertones.

“I love Selena Gomez, and that song is kind of where I’m at in my life right now,” Contreras said.

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Focusing on the aspect of moving on, Contreras explained how she herself isn’t a freshman anymore, and how her college experience had led her to meet new people and leave the past behind her. While the song may have an essence of heartbreak, Contreras doesn’t see it that way, and rather sees it as a story about change.

While a few fellow students sat in the front row capturing it all on their phones, the performer smiled through her nervousness, giggling after she left the stage.

“If they put it on their [Snapchat] story I’m going to be sad,” Contreras said with a laugh. “I’m just shy.”

The University Program Council’s next event will be a Slam Poetry Night at 9 p.m. on November 27 at the University Center.

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