Deborah Anderson is a Vocal Performance Major. This interview was taken during her junior year on the Rockland campus. Isaiah Johnson is an English major. This interview was taken during his senior year on Rockland campus.
Can you tell us what Loudmouths is?
Deborah Anderson: Loudmouths is a club that was formed by students who wanted to express themselves artistically through music, poetry and spoken word. Originally it was just a way for some of the students to just bond and hangout with only a couple of people in the group itself. The way the group started was with the idea of bonding through the shared experiences of spoken word and music. Loudmouths is the same today. We really like to emphasize sharing with others no matter what level of “experience” you feel you have with artistic ideas. Everyone has something to say and everyone is equally important as well.
Isaiah Johnson: Loudmouths is a safe space for students to use the gifts that God has given them to share and perfect their craft amongst a community of peers. Basically a Loudmouth meeting consists of people sharing as they feel led and then getting encouragement and constructive criticism from the other members of the club. Some people perform poetry, spoken word, or rap. It’s similar to an open mic but it’s more interactive and intimate. There are people who just come to be a part of the community and that’s fine. At this time, we have about 25 consistent members of the club and a couple of floaters. People show up every week and identify themselves as a loudmouth. We meet in Boon on the Rockland campus once a week on Wednesday nights at 9:30. It usually lasts about an hour and a half.
What is everybody’s role?
Deborah Anderson: There are five members in Loudmouths: Terry Derby (president), Isaiah Johnson(Vice President), Matt Keeler ( treasurer), Chaz Whitfield (secretary) and myself (Deborah Anderson) as secretary. Even though we each have a certain role we coexist as a unit and work really well with each other and step in to each other’s roles if needed.
How did you all meet?
Deborah Anderson:We all met at different times. Some of the members like Isaiah and Matt knew each other before coming to Loudmouths. As for Terry, Chaz and I, we all started to get to know each other last year as we attended Loudmouths. I feel as a unit, we started to connect more through the art we were creating and our shared love of music and interest of Loudmouths of course.
What is Loudmouths’ mission?
Deborah Anderson: We are a group of talented rappers, poets, and singers who seek to use our art to further the kingdom of God.
Isaiah Johnson: We want to build a safe community where people are willing to share, support newcomers, and foster real growth among the members.
What do you personally hope to accomplish being a part of Loudmouths?
Deborah Anderson: I hope to learn from others in the club. Sometimes I don’t share often because I want to sit and soak in everyone’s words and see what resonates with me. I also would like to help other people grow and be more comfortable with their artistic side through poetry, music, or spoken word.
Isaiah Johnson: We want to be able to continue to serve by providing that environment where people can create, heal and grow. I hope that as a team we will be able to expand the club into a staple of Nyack culture.
How do students use their gifts?
Deborah Anderson: Students use their gifts to express themselves, to overcome certain obstacles, and to glorify God. When the students come to the front and share their gifts they think they are just expressing themselves. Even though they are doing just that, God is glorified when their gifts are shared and other students can receive blessings hearing from their peers. Each gift is precious whether the person sharing realizes or not.
What has been the best experience since being a part of Loudmouths?
Deborah Anderson:The best experience for me since being a part of Loudmouths has been this year, when a student shared her spoken word and we all prayed for her after she finished. When everyone in Loudmouths (about 25 people) came up and prayed it really embodied what Loudmouths started as and continues as. This is a place to share and be transformed through music and spoken word while giving God the glory.
Is there an experience that has stood out from an event you have had?
Deborah Anderson: I remember singing at my first open mic that Loudmouths was hosting and it was such a great experience. I was surrounded by so many talented people and was very excited to hear what people were going to sing, rap, or share. When I sang and was supported by my friends and fellow Loudmouths I knew it was a place where I was going to always be comfortable sharing and being heard. I hope everyone can have an experience in sharing a gift and be uplifted in that moment of being vulnerable, because in those moments God is also uplifted too.