Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
January 25, 2022

High hopes for the HOP’s new music festival

By SPENCER ABROHMS | September 29, 2016

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NRK p3/CC-BY -NC-SA-2.0 iLoveMakonnen, of Atlanta by way of Compton, will be visiting Hopkins on Saturday to headline JAM.

The HOP will put on its annual music festival, entitled JAM, for the first time on Saturday. The inaugural festival will feature Robert DeLong, Party Favor and D.R.A.M. as openers, and iLoveMakonnen will headline. These diverse performers will take the stage in the Rec Center as a central part of the larger Young Alumni Weekend festivities.

The HOP began planning the festival in June and created a longlist of potential performers. The group decided to put its foremost focus toward securing a wide variety of musicians. Music festivals are known for being a conglomeration of eclectic music styles and the HOP is trying to bring this atmosphere to campus.

The HOP Executive Co-Chair Anthony DeFurio, class of 2018, is happy with the artists the group decided to select.

“When we first came up with the idea of a music festival, we wanted to hit different genres. We wanted to make sure there was something for everyone,” DeFurio said.

The eclectic group of performers selected definitely meets this criterion, as the choices represent several genres of music. Robert DeLong is a one-man band, and he considers himself to fit into the alternative genre with a leaning toward dance-pop.

DeLong was originally a drummer, but after observing the use of electronic elements in raves, he decided to incorporate these mechanisms into his own music. Throughout his performances DeLong uses items such as Wii remotes and joysticks to modify his sound, and he is known for wearing face paint during live sets.

DeLong relies heavily on visuals, and it will be interesting to see what presentation he is able to bring to the Rec Center stage.

Party Favor is an innovative name in the festival trap genre. He has created exciting remixes for Diplo and Major Lazer as well as produced his own successful records including the popular Bap U. On his most recent EP, Party Favor collaborated with Sean Kingston, Rich The Kid and Gucci Mane. A popular choice at music festivals, Party Favor will bring the festival environment to campus.

D.R.A.M. is an up and coming singer, rapper and producer. He gained international fame this summer for his collaboration on “Broccoli” with Lil Yachty which peaked at number eight on the Billboard hot 100. D.R.A.M. has only released one EP and one mixtape, so he is still a relatively new performer whose popularity is currently trending upward.

The headliner, iLoveMakonnen, is a hip hop artist who rose to fame in 2014 after Drake’s remix of Makonnen’s song “Tuesday” went viral. Makonnen often switches between rapping and singing and has formed his own unique brand.

Although he may not be as much of a household name as past Hopkins headliners like the Chainsmokers or Nelly, DeFurio is not worried.

“iloveMakonnen is not a name that’s instantly recognizable, but he has so many hits, and when you hear them you’ll recognize them,” DeFurio said.

Audience members are bound to hear something they can sing along to. Students are also gearing up for the performance, and junior Alex Rivera is very pleased with the selected musicians.

“I think they picked a diversified group that has someone that anyone can enjoy. I am impressed by their selection,” Rivera said.

And this collection can certainly please anyone, because it provides the opportunity to see a performer you already follow and to discover someone new. These may not all be huge name acts, but they are definitely artists who are on the rise and have released popular tracks, or tracks that will be popular soon.

When asked who he was most excited to see, Rivera said, “Party Favor of course. I’ve seen him before and he puts on an absolutely killer show.”

Many of these artists have very high production values in their performances and it will be interesting to see whether they are able to translate this high level of performance to the somewhat tight space in the Rec Center.

Junior Kaetlyn Bernal went to the Nelly concert for Spring Fair when it was in the Rec Center and voiced her opinion on holding a concert in that space.

“It was good because it still fit everybody and wasn’t too crowded, but it was really intense because it got a little bit claustrophobic because everyone was all shoved toward the front,” Bernal said.

Hopefully the pushing will be kept to a minimum, and the festival will still be fun in an indoor space.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through Young Alumni Weekend registration. Hopefully JAM will get off to a good start, one that brings on tradition of music festivals at Hopkins.

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