By Karolyn Estevez, Youth Development Specialist - Pathways
On April 11, 2019 new R&B artist Cony took to Blazing Start to perform an intimate concert and Q&A with some Carteret High School students. ‘Cony’ as he is now known, is a graduate from Carteret High School. He has recently been signed to an equity distribution deal with Jay-Z’s label, Roc Nation. Cony has made great strides in the last couple of years and has created a frenzy throughout social media which helped him gain his recognition.
During his High School years, Cony was an active Pathways student who always came into the office smiling and seeking guidance. Cony has expressed his gratitude for Pathways and how it’s helped him overcome some of his struggles and hardships. As an up and coming artist Cony hopes to continue giving back to his community and help inspire and motivate the youth to reach their full potential and follow their dreams no matter what anyone says.
Prior to Cony’s performance, Carteret’s Mayor, Dan Reiman came to Blazing Star to welcome him and hear a private performance. The Mayor acknowledged Cony’s hard work and success. He encouraged him to remember where he came from and know that he is always welcomed in Carteret.
During the intimate performance, Cony performed three songs off of his new album, Right Now. The students were engaged and dancing along to his beats and songs. His rhythmic poetry filled Blazing Star and his energy circled the crowd, filling them with joy and excitement. After performing two of his songs, Cony opened the floor up for a Q&A. Here he answered questions regarding what motivated him to pursue music. He mentioned going to Pathways when he was feeling upset and the clinicians encouraging him to write out his feelings if he felt like he could not verbally express them. Cony began writing poetry and from there he turned his poems into song lyrics and found a passion for music and entertainment.
He also encouraged students to keep fighting and keep believing in themselves. Cony finished his performance by singing one last song to get the crowd of students really engaged and cheered everyone on. Students got the chance to speak to Cony one on one after the performance. The students filled the Blazing Star with smiles and felt inspired by the artist.
Later the next day, Cony posted a heartfelt post on his Facebook page. He wrote, “Pathways literally saved my life. I’ve cried in that building, I’ve confessed all my deepest secrets in that room and not once was I judged. Karen Boateng, Anna Pepe, and Lauren Balkan, I just want to let you guys know that I love you ladies with everything in me; words can’t even explain what you guys did for me. I am who I am because you guys. I’m the artist I am because of you guys. I ow you the world, #Carteret is home and will forever be home. Thank you for the warm welcoming, I promise I’ll be back soon”
The evening with Cony left a true impact on the students. They were able to take home the message to keep believing in themselves, and if they ever feel alone, there is always an outlet. Pathways is one that will always be there to support their students.