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Aminé electrifies, student DJs shine at Beats on the Banks

Year after year, Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA) is able to score well-known, up-and-coming artists for its biannual Beats on the Banks concert. Last year, students were treated to appearances from Khalid and Metro Boomin. This time around, Portland-based recording artist Aminé came to College Avenue last Friday night to perform some of his biggest hits. 

Aminé broke into the mainstream music scene when his three-time platinum single “Caroline” peaked at No. 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. He’s also known for songs like “Spice Girl” and his collaborations with Ty Dolla $ign, Offset and Kehlani. At Beats on the Banks, he performed his most famous songs, as well as some of his music from albums “Good For You” and “OnePointFive” that aren't as well-known.

Although Aminé isn’t exactly a superstar, his name and hit singles were recognizable enough to draw a big crowd, and the fact that he hasn’t reached ultimate stardom explained his enthusiastic performance. It’s not very common for über successful, award-winning artists to make appearances at college concerts, and when they do, they don’t always take the performance seriously. Aminé gave an incredible show, but the student DJs also contributed to the crowd’s energy and the overall quality of the night.  

The venue was filled with intense energy and sound, starting with incredible mixes from two student DJs, the first being Omkar Bhawmik, a School of Engineering senior. Bhawmik focused on heavy bass and beloved throwbacks like Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” and A$AP Ferg’s “Work.” The crowd went wild, obviously impressed by Bhawmik’s modern dance takes on old hits. After a loud applause, Bhawmik handed the stage to fellow student DJ Brett Byles, a Rutgers Business School senior. Byles mixed the most well-known party starters of this year, including Sheck Wes’s “Mo Bamba” and Travis Scott’s “SICKO MODE” with electric beats and amplified guitar riffs.

Soon after, Aminé’s DJ Madison LST was greeted with loud cheers from fans that have been following their tour. Aminé trusts him with all the sound, beats and seamless crossovers in his show, and that meticulous care was evident. One of his responsibilities is to get the crowd hype for Aminé, and after his brief set, the lights faded and Aminé entered the stage with immense energy, immediately jumping around to hits like “HICCUP” and “WHY?” The crowd seemed to know every word, singing and dancing passionately with their friends. There was an overwhelming feeling of positive energy coming from the crowd that relayed right back by Aminé. The musician stuck with an uplifting mantra that he encouraged the audience to repeat throughout the show: Aminé yelled into the microphone “You’re beautiful!” and the crowd genuinely responded, “I know!” Sometimes musicians are notorious for running short at college performances, but this was not the case with Aminé. The rapper was clearly grateful to be at the University. 

As red and white confetti exploded and everyone danced to the closing song “REEL IT IN," students left the show with the same comment repeated endlessly: “That was better than I expected.”

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