By Steven Turner-Parker
AMHERST – On Thursday Sept. 19, Find Your Grind U “FYG” Music + Tech Festival partnered with Amazon Prime Student to display a huge performance upon college music lover’s ears at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Mullins Center. A line up that featured upcoming acts such as Souly Had and Teyonahhh as openers, with the headliners being Lil Tecca and Pusha T, left the student crowd amazed, speechless, and exhausted.
In a press release by FYG they expressed that, “FYG U Festival is a free, on-campus festival for college students and Prime Student members held at multiple college campuses across the nation.”
FYG located in Los Angeles, is a platform with a purpose to inform and guide students searching for what they are truly passionate about, and providing them the tools they need to build a career around it. Their website features a free online lifestyle assessment with a curriculum and educational tools that help guide students on several paths that best fit their interest for any career path they want to pursue.
Outside of the Mullins Center main entrance, concert goers were met with festival activities such as an industry career panel, technology simulators, and a live eSports Madden tournament. For Amazon Prime students, there was an extra incentive that allowed them the opportunity to have access to the Prime Student Lounge outside of the Mullins Center along with seating in the VIP main stage viewing area.
Before heading inside of the Mullins Center, students were required to visit four stations placed around the entrance in order to receive admission stamps into the arena.
A night filled with talent that could be heard across campus past the Du Bois library, started with Supa Dupa Humble at 7 pm giving off high energy, boosting up the crowd involved early in his set. Towards the end of his performance, Humble performed his song ‘Back Then’ and invited three students up to battle to see who had the best “Whoa,” a new dance that has been taking younger generations by storm. A sight that had the crowd screaming for the winner, and demanding an encore from the dancers and Humble.
As his set ended Souly Had, a New York artist, known for his song ‘Déjà vu’ displayed a modest presence on stage.
Dressed in a baggy grey sweater and camel pants, paired with Chuck Taylors, a cozy incoming autumn season vibe was brought to the stage by Had. Exhibiting an alternative hip-hop rhyme style that is not the norm, Souly Had performed his set with passion and dedication to impact the student crowd beyond expected level. The crowd cheered his name as they put their flashlights up in the air; Had was able to leave the UMass Amherst crowd speechless and begging for more.
Teyonahhh, a female rapper from New York City, was the next artist to hit the stage. As soon as she hit the stage her energetic stage presence was clearly on display, serving hard-hitting rhymes from her song ‘Heatless’ providing students with a beat to alternatively dance in the crowd.
As Teyonahhh exited right, Luh Kel came to the stage starting with one of Tik Tok’s most popular songs ‘Wrong.’ Lip singing from the crowd could be seen from all angles of the arena, as if the audience was stepping into the life story of Kel through his lyrics.
After a brief intermission, the first half of the main headliner Lil Tecca hit the stage with his “signature all jean outfit” consisting of a Canadian tuxedo with jean pants on backwards as the crowd screamed “We love you Tecca”.
Tecca may only be 17-years-old, but on stage the audience could tell that he felt comfortable performing his music and engaging with the crowd to match the energy that UMass students brought.
Tecca played songs off of his debut project “We Love You Tecca” that was recently released on August 30th, 2019. While singing ‘Ransom,’ the crowd went completely nuts leaving one to argue that it was the most excited the crowd was all night. Surprisingly, once Tecca finished his performance most of the crowd, on the floor and in the stands, left the building. It was clear that most of the concert-goers came to see Tecca perform.
The last set was performed by Pusha T, who walked out to the mic and stood for what seemed to be 15 seconds. Suddenly, an acapella off the first verse of his song ‘If you know You Know’ blared through the speakers. After he finished his tagline “welcome the audience to the Daytona Experience,” played out to the audience reminding them of his third studio album “Daytona.”
The crowd left the Mullins Center by the hundreds on Thursday evening tongue-tied, unable to express their opinion about the concert due to speechless joy. “FYG” Music + Tech Festival came to UMass Amherst with a goal to leave students over the moon, and they left the Amherst area exceeding that expectation.