Rapper, singer and songwriter T-Pain will headline this year’s SpringFest, Occidental’s annual spring concert put on by Programming Board. T-Pain will perform in the Greek Bowl April 1 along with the opening act, rap duo Mula Gang. Programming Board hopes to add a student opening artist to the lineup as well. The concert will be a finale to several hours of pre-show events that the board said will likely be held in the Academic Quad. Programming Board plans to make the pre-show — which will include student performers, free food and drinks — a day-long festival, according to Programming Board Manager Kylie Teller (senior).
T-Pain is the first Grammy winner and Billboard chart topper to perform at SpringFest since Macklemore and Ryan Lewis headlined the concert in 2013.
After his first album, “Rappa Ternt Sanga,” T-Pain shot to stardom in 2005. He released several successful records in the following years, garnering awards at the Grammys and BETs, topping charts and collaborating with well-known artists such as Jamie Foxx and Kanye West. After his 2011 album “rEVOLVEr,” he took a break from making music amid criticism of his signature use of auto-tune effects.
T-Pain has since returned to the music world, releasing more recent hit singles such as “Up Down (Do This All Day)” in 2014. His fifth album, “Stoicville: The Phoenix,” is upcoming.
Branching out from music, T-Pain’s other ventures include developing an auto-tune phone app called “I am T-Pain” and the animated TV special “Freaknik: The Musical” for Adult Swim on Cartoon Network.
Teller explained that Programming Board saved money by replacing the typical FallFest concert with a Glow dance last semester. They put the extra funds toward getting a big artist in the spring. The search for a SpringFest headliner started around November.
“We knew that we were kind of building ourselves up, saying we’re going to have this really big SpringFest, and we really need to deliver on it,” Teller said.
With an expected 80-minute show from T-Pain, Teller said she does not thinkthe concert will disappoint.
Programming Board member Eli Plvan Franke (junior) explained that the board chose T-Pain mainly because they felt he could give students a nostalgic concert experience.
“T-Pain is really a throwback for a lot of people,” Franke said. “[He] has classic songs that I know a bunch of students would be happy to relive for a night.”
Teller joked that she was not the biggest music aficionado, so she figured if she was familiar with T-Pain most students probably would be as well.
“Someone with universal name recognition is something we haven’t had in a long time,” Teller said. “I think most people on campus won’t have to look him up.”
The opening act, Mula Gang, was a suggestion from T-Pain and his team, Teller said. He wanted to perform with this up-and-coming group.
Pre-show festivities for this year’s SpringFest will include food trucks, pizza, shaved ice and a beer garden for those over 21. Programming Board hopes to partner with KOXY to bring more student and local talent to perform.
To enhance the festival feel, the pre-show will be moved to a slightly later time than in past years. This party will lead right into the concert, rather than leaving an empty hour or two in between.
“I like the idea of having it be more of a day-long event, not these two separate things,” Teller said. “[I] think it would be nice to just have it all kind of flow together.”
Without a time gap between the pre-show and concert, students can attend SpringFest as one full day of programming.