Student Coordinator: Dillon Morris interview

Originally published in the Brandeis University Justice

Feb. 7, 2012

Araabmuzik will bring his electronics-enhanced music to campus.

Araabmuzik will bring his electronics-enhanced music to campus.

JustArts spoke with Student Events’ Concert Coordinator Dillon Morris ’14 about Thursday’s AraabMUZIK concert. Morris explained how Student Events picked its headliner, what students can expect at the show and why you should get all your friends to pack Levin Ballroom

The concert takes place this Thursday at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the Brandeis Box Office and $8 at the door.

JustArts: What do you normally look for when planning a big concert like this?

Dillon Morris: Generally when planning a concert, I’d say there are a lot of different elements that go into it concerning the kind of talent that we’re going for [and] the level of exposure that the talent has received. Essentially, it’s finding that good balance, … especially for the February concert, which is kind of an opportunity for us I suppose to bring people who are more under the radar but who have the propensity to break out in the near future. It’s finding that balance between somebody who’s got a catalog large enough that they can provide a good show, but also somebody that not everybody knows but that, given the opportunity to listen to them, they’ll definitely find something that they like. Obviously, the desire to appeal to as large an audience as we can also goes into it. But we also want to be able to give to the people that we find up-and-coming a chance to expose themselves, and the February concert plays a very integral role in allowing us to do that, as opposed to, say, looking at the fall concert or SpringFest, when we get to extend ourselves farther.

JA: How did you specifically choose AraabMUZIK and Basic Physics?

DM: Initially, going into looking for our headlining group (which ended up being AraabMUZIK), the planning process basically goes, “If you had all the money, who would you want to bring?” And so it definitely gives us a way where we introduce unrealistic choices, but it kind of helps all of us gage what kind of genre or musical ideas that we want to go for in this concert. And so for AraabMUZIK, it was one of those things where traditionally you’ve seen at the February concert DJs and mash-up groups. We didn’t want to bring in a new mash-up group, but we did want to cater [the] dance scene that’s very popular right now, and give something that was I guess a bit more alternative. So if you look at somebody like AraabMUZIK, who uses a drum pad to simulate all his music, it’s actually something that’s very, very impressive. And so we were impressed with his talent, we all liked his music. We thought it was a performer that, if you’ve heard of him, you’re excited that he’s coming, and if you haven’t heard of him but somebody shows him to you, you get excited about it.

Once we selected AraabMUZIK, we then move on to the opener, who is Basic Physics. For that, we essentially look at what complements the lead artist the best; something that’s complementary but also differentiates itself enough from that artist that it provides a well-rounded show but still grounds things specifically in that genre that we’ve chosen to pursue. I think that Basic Physics fits that very well.

DJ Basic Physics will open the concert.

DJ Basic Physics will open the concert.

JA: What would you say are the unique aspects of these groups that are going to be fun for Brandeis students? Have you seen shows of theirs, either live or online?

DM: In the selection process a lot of it is watching online or live stuff to gauge how it is. I’ve never actually had the opportunity to see them live, so I’m very excited to now. I think it brings something very unique because it fills that void that, say, Pachanga’s leaving out. It gives you a really, really fun dance party that you’re able to go to, you’re able to enjoy. Even if the artist isn’t the reason you’re going, you’re going because you want to have fun. And I think AraabMUZIK’s musical style and the way that he performs is very lively, it’s very upbeat, and it’s just good music to enjoy yourself to. I think it fills that void that Brandeis has. We don’t really have a ton of fun on-campus activities that people can go to and consume and really enjoy.

Really, if you haven’t heard it, get a ticket and go. Because the thing about this artist is that the musical experience he provides is so heavily contingent on an amazing crowd experience. And so the thing is, if we can pack Levin Ballroom, this is going to be a fantastic show. But it’s all contingent on getting there, getting to the show. Student Events knows that they’re going to enjoy it.

JA: What happens to the profits from the February concert?

DM: All of the profits from the AraabMUZIKshow will go towards SpringFest. So, I guess one way I could put it is, if you’re not interested in seeing AraabMuzik, consider it paying $5 a couple months ahead for someone really, really good at SpringFest.

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