For the third time, Quinnipiac University hosted Jared Mahone, a beatboxing, soul-driven musician from Ohio. The coffeehouse setting in the Mount Carmel Dining Hall set listeners up for a relaxing and melodious night.
On stage, Mahone comes across as a hometown, clean-cut Midwestern guy. But, the audience soon realized there was much more to him. And although the venue wasn’t an amphitheater, the show was one of a kind.
With so many different musical influences, it’s hard to narrow down Jared Mahone into one genre. Mahone said his two biggest influences are soul music and hip-hop, which he started listening to at age 13. With outrageous beatboxing skills like Mahone’s, his style had to stem from somewhere.
“I get inspired by all kinds of crazy stuff,” Mahone said while on stage. His brief explanation about his inspirations was followed by an acapella version of “The Little Mermaid’s” “Part of Your World,” and renditions of two television classic’s theme songs, “The Wonder Years” and “Full House” on his electric guitar.
“I love that stuff,” Mahone said with laughter. “I love the short, cheesy stuff!”
It was clear to the audience that Mahone was there for one reason: to put on a great show.
His new album, “Mixtapes,” is being released on Oct. 23, and has been two years in the making. But for Mahone, it wasn’t just releasing an album, it was an adventure.
In 2010, he decided he was going to release a new song every week for a year straight. By the end, he’d have listeners decide what they wanted on the album. This creative experiment is known as the “Mixtape Project.” In order to produce so many songs so quickly, Mahone found himself on the back of an ambulance as a volunteer EMT, strapped to a glider, and other forms of recklessness that triggered a specific feeling.
“How does one write about hope, or anger, or loss if you never experienced it?” Mahone said during an interview after the show. “I rage against no machine.”
Mahone intentionally puts himself through “highs and lows” for the sake of his passion for music, which could get lonely sometimes, he said.
“It’s who I am and what I’m meant for,” Mahone said.
The songs on his upcoming album are not merely about a moment of intensity. They reach a personal level, such as inner conflict, family and friends. With this in mind, Mahone also explained his experimentation within song concepts. For example, taking the same concept and making two songs out of it with opposing views.
“Mixtapes is completely crowd-focused,” Mahone said. He plans on continuing his experimentations with music and potentially collaborating with new bands, and finding new experiences and opportunities. “We are the sum of all our parts, we inhale like and experience, words, images and inspiration, hope, faith, truth and we exhale art that hopefully breeds all those things over again.”