Anticipation hung palpably in 50 Exchange Terrace’s Narragansett-soaked Stout Irish Sports Pub Tuesday night as students awaited the announcement of the 2018 Spring Weekend lineup. Released at midnight, the roster ranges from hip-hop to avant-garde soul to easygoing pop-rock. NAO and Anderson .Paak will be headlining Friday and Saturday, respectively.
The highly variegated lineup of artists remains unified by a singular imperative: disrupt. “Our theme this year is ‘disrupt’ because we’re trying to disrupt hierarchies and underrepresentation in the music industry,” said Allie Tsuchiya ’18, a member of the Brown Concert Agency. BCA is responsible for organizing Spring Weekend and unveiled the lineup announcement with a video that stressed the theme of “distorting norms” and “disrupting hierarchies.”
English artist NAO’s music comprises more than the sum of her influences’ parts. English dubstep, deep house and funk contribute to her palette of sounds, which maintains a texture at once sensual and abrasive. NAO, whose real name is Neo Jessica Joshua, released her critically acclaimed debut “For All We Know” in 2016 and is working on a new album. Her set will be preceded by Rico Nasty and DRAM.
Saturday’s headliner, Anderson .Paak, is a California-based singer and rapper whose music oscillates seamlessly between mellifluous vocals and hard-hitting trap beats. The artist’s songwriting is complemented by his technical prowess and vocal command, which forge an expansive soundscape. Since releasing his 2016 album “Malibu,” .Paak has appeared on the “Black Panther” soundtrack and has been featured on tracks by SiR and A Tribe Called Quest. Sets by What Cheer? Brigade, Rina Sawayama and Whitney will preface .Paak’s performance.
“This lineup is out of this world,” said Udoka Oji ’18. “Anderson .Paak is coming. That’s crazy.”
— With additional reporting by Annabelle Woodward