Southern’s Office of Student Involvement Hosts First Concert Since 2018
Hailey Roy – Contributor
Maxie Lee Ryles III, better known as Fivio Foreign, was the most recent artist to perform at the University in the past four years. Hosted by the Office of Student Involvement, the rapper made an appearance on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in the academic quad for the fall concert.
The New York rapper has over 10 million monthly streams on Spotify. He performed some of his biggest hits including “City of Gods,” “Demons” and “Zoo York;” his favorite song to perform was “Big Drip.” He released his first single in 2019, making him an up-and-coming artis to look out for.
Ryles has 1.9 million Instagram followers and has collaborated with popular artists such as Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj.
This was his fifth performance at a university ever and described the audience as having a lot of energy.
“The energy was crazy; the energy was crazier than a lot of spots,” Ryles said.
During his performance, he brought four students onto the stage to dance to his song “What’s My Name.” His interactive performance made for a highly enthusiastic audience.
This was a unique opportunity for students on campus. Events like this only happen once every couple of years. In the past, the university has had artists like John Legend, Bryson Tiller, The Roots, J Cole, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie and more.
The rapper had some advice to give to students at the University.
“Study what you’re doing, whatever craft you’re trying to do, master it and be the best at it,” Ryles said.
After the performance, students from the special events committee got to attend a meet and greet with Ryles in the Lyman Center. They were able to take pictures and speak with the artist.
The concert was about 35 minutes long. It was easy to see the amount of effort that students put into this event.
Siddhi Suresh, a senior majoring in communications, discussed the process of getting a performer from a student’s perspective as a member of the special events committee.
“Eric Lacharity asked us to make a list of artists that’s based off of our list of artists and then we asked around, asked our friends and then we sent it to Eric.”
There are many factors and filters that go into picking an artist. Price, availability, popularity, song lyric messages, and safety are all taken into consideration.
“We want to make sure we’re bringing the right fit of an artist to our campus. We look at the messaging in their music and if they’re misogynistic or degrading women or don’t use the right language that we would want to hear at a social justice institution,” Associate Director of Student Involvement and Leadership Eric Lacharity said.
The Office of Student Involvement also works with the Universities police department to see if there have been any criminal charges or red flags associated with the artist that could raise a concern.
“We’ve had a really good stretch of concerts” Lacharity said.