At 12 p.m. on Friday in Paresky, All Campus Entertainment (ACE) announced that this year’s Spring Fling Concert will star the electronic music group Cash Cash, with rapper IshDARR as an opener. The concert will be held in Lasell Gymnasium on April 24 and will be free for College students.
This decision was made based on two surveys sent out to the student body last semester, the first in late September and the second in early November.
“We did a survey to figure out which genres people were interested in, then did a secondary survey to see if there were any glaring issues we might have missed,” said Funmi Adejobi ’17, co-chair of ACE Concerts.
Part of the reason for the two-step survey process was to avoid the controversy similar to that which sprung up after last year’s Spring Fling choice. The 2014 Concert was originally intended to feature Chance the Rapper, before the artist cancelled the concert for medical reasons. Some on campus took issue with his selection due to song lyrics decried as misogynistic and homophobic.
“It taught us to be more thorough in the vetting process,” Adejobi remarked. “I wouldn’t say it influenced our decision to pick Cash Cash and reject others … but it guided us to the best method for choosing an artist.”
In the initial survey, hip-hop/R&B, pop, alternative/indie and electronic dance music (EDM) were all fairly well-supported by the student body. After deliberating on these results, ACE released a shortlist of potential artists from various genres, including Cash Cash, to the student body for a second survey. Although the most chosen category in the initial survey was hip-hop/R&B, after the second survey ACE decided that Cash Cash would fit best for this year.
Among other factors, Adejobi cited the fact that “We’ve had rap the last two years” and explained that ACE wanted to keep a more diverse blend of genres so as to reach out to more of the student body. Cash Cash, with its mixed pop and EDM style, seemed to provide a good alternative option, especially when paired with up-and-coming rapper IshDARR.
Cash Cash, ever since its formation as The Consequence in 2002, has consisted of the trio of Samuel Frisch with brothers Jean Paul Makhlouf and Alex Mahklouf. Initially, the group worked with traditional band instruments before evolving to a more electronic, production-focused style, citing Daft Punk as one of its greatest influences during a 2013 interview with website EDM Sauce.
Cash Cash has had success with its new style – the group’s first big hit, “Take Me Home,” was ranked 16 on USA Today’s Top 40 chart in March 2014, and Billboard reviewers spoke highly of the crowd’s response to Cash Cash at Lollapalooza in August. Two new singles, “Lightning” and “Surrender,” were also released last year, along with the Lightning EP.
Opener IshDARR, meanwhile, is a relative newcomer to the music scene. So far, all of the 18-year-old artist’s songs and mixtapes – starting with the EP The Better Life on April 14, followed by the single “SECOND” on Nov. 3 and then most recently the mixtape Old Soul, Young Spirit released two weeks ago on March 4 – have been released as free downloads online.
Adejobi described IshDARR as “on the rise, really talented and really lyrical,” adding that she and others on ACE feel that “he will go really well with Cash Cash” and that his being a rapper rather than another EDM or pop artist is in fact a perk. “We wanted to choose somebody from a different genre to diversify,” Adejobi explained. “EDM is very fun, but it’s also overwhelming. A three-hour concert of just dance music would be fun, but for some people it might be a turnoff.”
Adejobi expressed one of her personal hopes – that Cash Cash and IshDARR will continue to grow in popularity, so that College students can have the privilege of having seen a big-name artist in a smaller, more intimate setting than the sold-out stadiums’ top performers often command.
“We got Macklemore right before he got big and got Chance right at the beginning of his rise, so it would be really cool if in a couple months IshDARR and Cash Cash had become household names.”