‘Airplanes’ duo lands in Goodrich

The electronic hip-hop duo that is Kinetics & One Love arrived from New York City on Thursday night in rental cars with Nevada license plates. Jeremy “Kinetics” Dussolliet and Tim “One Love” Sommers make up the duo as rapper and producer, respectively. Recent graduates of Cornell, the two met as students and have been writing and recording songs together since. You may recognize one of their songs, which went triple platinum and received a Grammy nomination after they sold it to B.o.B. – radio stations across the world had people pretending that airplanes were like shooting stars every 20 minutes last summer. Dussolliet and Sommers signed with Warner Music Group as songwriters but remain hungry for a performance contract; Dussolliet advised a member of the opening band, The Atypicals, to never let go of their songs. They don’t appear to be unhappy with the runaway success of “Airplanes,” but they wish more people knew who wrote it.
The concert, held in Goodrich and sponsored by College Council and Campus Life, was organized as a benefit show for the College’s chapter of Unite For Sight, a budding branch of the immensely successful nonprofit organization that aims to eliminate preventable blindness both domestically and abroad, sending 100 percent of its donations to help with eye surgeries in poor areas. The night began with DJ 21YoungR spinning some electronica and top 40 remixes free of charge, and The Atypicals took the stage around 9:30 p.m. Made up of three recent college grads, one from the University of Michigan and two from New York City’s The New School, the trio played live, mostly-improvised electronic music emanating from a guitar, keyboard and a MacBook Pro.
Adam Zucker, the lead singer, began as a folk songwriter, but he transitioned into electronic music to be able to play live shows with more musicians. The Atypicals played a great show without a huge crowd and showed that they have the talent to back their fledgling music career.
One Love took the stage next and got the crowd’s energy up with some hype and beat-boxing. Kinetics then appeared and the two kicked off the show with a catchy dance rap called “Breakup Sex.” It isn’t clear how well the crowd knew the duo’s songs before the show, but they certainly got into it fast. The energy never dropped throughout the hour-long set and even peaked with moments of crowd surfing and flashing. The marriage of Kinetics’ witty raps with his frat humor and nods to the college experience made for memorable choruses and crowd participation. One Love displayed his various talents, alternating between his MacBook Pro, a sample deck and playing live on the keyboard. The two played some of their best-known songs, including “Graduation Song,” which they recorded with Wynter Gordon. They even made an impromptu decision to drop a new song on the lively crowd, titled “Will You Be Remembered?” To close the set, they played the original version of “Airplanes” after Kinetics informed the crowd of the song’s history. At the end of the night, the two reflected on the show with awe, amazed at how quickly the crowd went from zero to 60 and matched the energy of the performers.
It was strange to talk with Kinetics & One Love before and after the show, because the two seem like any other down-to-earth college guys. Sommers was eager to offer his advice on music production and Dussolliet talked about his recent decision to write music full-time. The duo also just released a new song, “Happy Hour,” which Dussoliet wrote when he quit his office job. But when they stepped on the stage, they became Kinetics & One Love, two young performers with thousands of fans on the Internet and a subtle yet extensive presence on many iTunes accounts. Though they haven’t yet hit it as big like their college rap colleagues Sam Adams, Asher Roth and Chiddy Bang, they also don’t have the ego and blasé attitudes that often accompany overnight success in the era of the self-producer. After the show, the two walked over to The Red Herring for a drink before driving (with their designated drivers) back to Cornell to visit old school friends.