Khalid Comes To UConn: R&B singer headlining UCONNIC Music Festival with Tory Lanez, GrooveBoston, student opener

Khalid performs at the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival on Friday, March 2, 2018, in Okeechobee, Fla. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

R&B singer Khalid will be headlining the UCONNIC festival on April 12, joined by rapper-singer Tory Lanez and a student opener. EDM group GrooveBoston will be performing as an afterparty act.

Students who purchase tickets will receive a link to vote on an additional artist to be added to the lineup later.

20-year-old Khalid had a breakout year in 2017 with the release of his debut album “American Teen,” his five Grammy nominees and collaborations with rapper Logic on “1-800-273-8255” and EDM artist Marshmello on “Silence.”

SUBOG concert chair Adam Sherif said booking Khalid was a “no-brainer,” as the singer was the most requested artist on the concert survey SUBOG conducted. Sherif said Khalid’s blending of genres makes him an artist with wide mainstream appeal.

“He’s someone everyone can get behind, whether you’re an alternative fan, an R&B fan, a pop fan, a rap fan,” Sherif said.

Sherif also said the concert committee jumped at the chance to book Khalid because many of SUBOG’s past concerts have been hip-hop-centric.

“This is one of very few opportunities we have to book someone who’s not hip-hop,” Sherif said.

Tory Lanez is known for blending elements of hip-hop and R&B with songs like “LUV,” “Say It” and “To D.R.E.A.M.”

Sherif said the concert committee wanted to open up the opportunity to involve students once again by allowing them to vote on the last addition to the lineup.

“Who’s that final last piece to make it perfect in your eyes?” Sherif said that’s the questions SUBOG wants to answer.

Through both UCONNIC and the fall concert with Lil Yachty, H.E.R. and Rob $tone, Sherif said the committee wants to represent more genres than just hip-hop. While hip-hop is typically the dominant genre of choice among UConn students, Sherif said the concert committee wants to go beyond that.

 Tory Lanez will perform at the first UCONNIC festival. (The Come Up Show, Anton Mak/ Flickr, Creative Commons )

Tory Lanez will perform at the first UCONNIC festival. (The Come Up Show, Anton Mak/Flickr, Creative Commons)

“Everyone says to look at what the majority wants, but we’re [also] listening to the minority,” Sherif said. “Music is something that naturally brings people together. Good music is good music no matter the genre.”

Another aspect of UCONNIC Sherif is particularly proud of is the involvement of students. Beyond the survey and additional artist vote, Sherif said SUBOG wants students involved as much as possible in the execution of the festival.

The student opener will be decided by the concert committee and crowd reactions on March 22 at a student concert. Interested performers have until Friday, March 9 to submit an application to SUBOG.

SUBOG also wants student organizations and talent outside on Jim Calhoun Way, another element of UCONNIC.

Sherif said SUBOG will be looking for student DJs to spin music for a silent disco and a student artist to design a piece of art that will serve as a picture point for attendees.

“I’m most excited for that,” Sherif said. “To take someone’s art, drawing, sketch and turn it into a backdrop.”

Sherif also said the concert committee wants as many clubs as possible to get involved and table, give away swag and promote their clubs.

SUBOG is also planning to bring food trucks to UCONNIC, including Milkcraft, Chompers, Mardi Parti and Taco Tequila, inflatables, a mechanical bull and photo booths.


Schae Beaudoin is the life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at schae.beaudoin@uconn.edu.