Janelle Monae to open at Spring Fling concert
Monae was nominated for a Grammy in 2011
March 14, 2013, 4:01 pm·
Students will no longer have to walk on a “Tightrope” about who will be coming to Fling.
Janelle Monae is the first of three artists to be announced for Penn’s annual Spring Fling concert.
Monae marks a turn from the electronic genre of last year’s Fling. She is known for her debut album “The ArchAndroid,” which earned her a nomination for best contemporary R&B album at the Grammys in 2011.
“We wanted to do something a little different from previous years,” Wharton senior Ronnie DiSimone, co-director of the Social Planning and Events Committee’s Concerts Committee, said of the selection. “For people who may not exactly be into her type of music, another director and I can testify that her live shows are absolutely excellent.”
SPEC’s Concerts Committee released the decision Thursday afternoon through a video, in conjunction with Punch Bowl — a student-run humor magazine.
Monae is the first woman to perform as at Fling in eight years. The last female act to perform was Cat Power.
Students have reacted to the choice positively.
Wharton freshman Megan Luppino said, “I actually like that they didn’t go too mainstream. Not like Macklemore, [which] everyone was thinking.”
“I really like her voice — it’s powerful,” College sophomore Daniel Wendler said. “It’s really strong … she’s like a more vocally talented Lana Del Rey.”
Wharton sophomore Lili Peng does not know much about Monae, but is still satisfied with the choice. “I think it’s a cool contrast from the people we had last year,” she said.
For some though, it’s less about the performer and more about Fling itself.
“I’m sure whoever they have will be great, I’m just excited for my first Spring Fling,” College freshman Amanda Cornfeld said.
Leading up to the announcement Thursday, SPEC has tried a variety of marketing schemes to drum up the student population — such as chalking on Locust Walk with pictures of potentials artists, online teasers and hints through social media, among others.
“Whether it’s having the Penn Band march down Locust playing an artist’s song or hiding floor passes around campus, we try to keep it interesting,” DiSimone said. “There’s definitely still more to come.”
News editors Sarah Smith and Huizhong Wu, and staff writer Harrison Fallon also contributed reporting.