FAMU Director of Communications and Digital Strategy Josh Padilla has been on fire as of late with his social media campaign for Florida A&M Athletics. His posts have drawn much national attention and millions of views. Two posts in particular recently have taken Instagram and Twitter by storm.
Padilla mic’d up FAMU cheerleader Nailah Clarington in what has become the viral darling of the sports world. ESPN reposted the video and the likes continued to mount. Clarington, captain of the Florida A&M cheerleading squad, was talking to opposing players, but the funniest of interactions was her trying to convince the referee to give a technical foul to a player from the opposing team. “If I was you, I wouldn’t let him talk to me like that,” she told the referee during the game. “That was real aggressive. He need a tech,” she said. The post has made the rounds and Clarington who was already known on campus for her witty tongue has now gained even the respect of her instructors.
Last week, Padilla mic’d up senior softball player Melkayla Irvis for a series of videos. One was her taking batting practice where she was very animated and her personality came through. The other was the one that has traveled through not only the sports world but crossed over into the music world.
Irvis is an aspiring singer. She sings at church, she has sung the national anthem at games and she has also been featured on some hip-hop and R&B demos. She has a unique voice. While warming up for a softball game, she began to sing her favorite songs. One was “Love’ by Musiqsoulchild. While stretching, Irvis belted out the tune and Padilla captured and posted it.
Irvis is not just a talented singer, she is an aggressive hitter. She is currently in the Top 10 in the NCAA for the nation in triples. The speedy right fielder can not only chase down fly balls, but she swings a big bat. At just 5’4″, she’s not the biggest of athletes and often players of her size are “slap” hitters, but Irvis takes the full swing. She often sends outfielders running for the fence and with her speed, she whirls around the bases.
The ultimate honor of a singer who is covering another artist’s song is to get a stamp of approval from the original artist. It came in the form of @fredtaylor tagging @musiqsoulchild in the video and telling him “watch the whole thing bro!!!” Musiqsoulchild responded “Siiiing with a heart emoji and praying hands emoji.
Irvis was honored by the legendary neo-soul artists acknowledgment. “Soooo crazy like theeee @musiqsoulchild I grew up on acknowledging me is a literal blessing in itself! I woulda never thought you would notice lil old me but I definitely will keep singing so thank you again!!!,” Irvis responded with two smiling heart emojis. Irvis responded to the musician with a light proposition “omgg thank youu🥰 best comment everr now when you wanna do a duet? Lol👀.”