Courtesy of the Spring Fling Committee

After a three-year hiatus, Spring Fling is finally returning to Yale. The year-end concert will feature a four artist lineup: Japanese Breakfast, Masego, Sofi Tukker and Aminé.

Spring Fling will take place on Old Campus on May 2, the first day of reading period. Student bands will kick off the day-long festival, followed by Japanese Breakfast, Masego and Sofi Tukker. Headliner Aminé will close out the show. The previous two editions of the concert, originally to take place in 2020 and 2021, were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“What we really love about the Yale student body is that it clearly has a deep love and respect for music, and art and creativity in general,” Spring Fling Committee co-chair Olivia Marwell ’24 said. “That’s one of the things that we like to focus on — finding artists who are in line with those values. Not people who are doing the norm, but people who are pushing their artistic expression. The artists who will perform this year are doing super experimental things and bending between genres.”

When planning this year’s lineup, the committee specifically factored in three aspects: the performer’s stage presence, students’ diverse music tastes and supporting innovative up-and-coming artists.

According to Marwell, the selection process included examining artists’ live performances to get a sense of their onstage energy and the crowds’ reactions. The committee additionally strived to achieve genre diversity with their picks, as they thought a single music genre could not encompass the many different music tastes represented among Yale students. The three co-chairs are “super excited” that this year’s lineup covers a wide array of genres: jazz, R&B and indie pop, to name a few. 

In addition, the committee sought out artists who are still actively making music, touring and releasing new albums. Marwell said that as a college festival, Spring Fling is a “great place” for new artists to “broaden their audience” and “introduce themselves to young people.” 

The Spring Fling Committee, according to co-chair Alexandra Gers ’24, consists of 25 students, which she believes is reflective of the student body’s diverse music tastes and brings different qualities to the planning team. 

Japanese Breakfast is an experimental pop band headed by Korean-American musician and author Michelle Zauner. Primarily known for its hits “Be Sweet,” “Paprika” and “Everybody Wants to Love You,” the band released its debut album “Psychopomp” in 2016, which was followed by “Soft Sounds from Another Planet” and “Jubilee.” Zauner published a memoir in 2021 titled “Crying in H Mart,” which soon became a New York Times bestseller and found its place on former president Barack Obama’s 2021 book list

Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern comprise Sofi Tukker, a musical duo best known for their hits “Purple Hat,” “Drinkee” and “Best Friend.” According to Marwell, Hawley-Weld and Halpern both attended Brown University and were involved in different social circles — Tucker a basketball star and Hawley-Weld in the arts. The duo performed at the same show at Brown and began to jam and collaborate before eventually moving to New York after graduation. 

Masego is a Jamaican-American musician and singer known for jazz-fusion and incorporating saxophone into music. According to Spring Fling Committee co-chair Jarett Malouf ’23, although Masego’s music may appear to be closer to soul and R&B, he is a jazz musician “at his core.”

“If you watch any of his performances, he brings his saxophone onstage.” Malouf said. “What is so exciting about this particular performer is that, even for people who don’t know him ahead of time, I think anybody will get a kick out of someone who can come on and not just be the vocalist, but an incredible musician as well.”

Aminé is a rapper, singer and songwriter, whose commercial debut single “Caroline” peaked at number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart. In 2021, his song “My High” received a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording. 

“I think [Aminé] just brings something really unique to the stereotypical rap artist that we have brought to Spring Fling in the past,” Gers said. “He blends a wide array of genres of pop, R&B with his rap and he’s really an all-around musician, a musical artist. We are super excited about the energy he brings to his live performances — he is really dynamic and engages with the crowd.” 

According to Gers, the funds in Spring Fling’s budget come from the Yale College Council, the student activities fund and the President’s office. This year’s budget is “about double” that of a normal year, with funds originally earmarked for a fall 2021 edition reallocated towards this year’s concert. 

Gers added that usually two or three artists perform at Spring Fling. However, the committee felt that the student body generally prefers having more than one or two acts, since this enables them to experience a day-long music festival and also to be exposed to a wider variety of genres that appeal to more students’ tastes. 

“If you don’t like one, there’s one other that you will hopefully like and can enjoy,” Gers said. “Four artists isn’t really much of a factor of the budget, but I think the scope of the artists is what we were able to achieve with the bigger budget this year.”

Spring Fling will also feature student performances, which will be selected in “Battle of the Bands” on Mar. 12. According to Marwell, the committee was “really stoked” by the large number of submissions they received this year. While the committee selects eight bands out of the submissions to perform at Battle of the Bands, students in attendance at the event will be able to vote on the musicians who ultimately perform at Spring Fling. 

In response to student calls for Pitbull to perform at Spring Fling, the committee indicated that booking Mr. Worldwide would have been “impossible,” as he exceeded their entire allocated budget. However, Marwell added that they “love the enthusiasm” of the movement. 

“I also think it’s really important for us to think about newer artists, people who are coming up in the industry, people who really embody this type of creative expression that is really authentic, exciting and new,” Marwell said. “I think college festivals are a place for newer acts.” 

“We think that most students will already know at least one of the artists and really enjoy their music, but we also think that—even if they have never heard of them—everyone is going to go to their sets and will hopefully become a fan afterwards,” Marwell added. 

Ari Lennox, the Aces, Elohim and Rico Nasty were slated to perform at Spring Fling in 2020, which was called off due to the pandemic. 

Gamze covers music news for the Arts desk and writes for the WKND. She is a sophomore in Pauli Murray majoring in psychology and humanities.