Jay Sean rocks sold-out Ryan Auditorium


Daniel Tian/The Daily Northwestern

Jay Sean performs Friday night at Ryan Auditorium. Sean came to campus as part of the South Asian Student Alliance's spring benefit concert.

Mariana Alfaro, Assistant Campus Editor

Students got “down, down, down” Friday night in Ryan Auditorium as British singer Jay Sean took the stage as part of the South Asian Student Alliance’s spring benefit concert.

Despite a long delay for Sean’s set, the sold-out crowd screamed and sang along throughout the singer’s performance, which featured several of his hit songs including, “Do You Remember” and “I’m All Yours.”

The concert opened with a performance by A-NU-Bhav, a Northwestern Hindi film dance team. DJ Biks, Sean’s official DJ, played a set following the group’s performance. The doors opened at 8 p.m., but Sean did not take the stage until about 9:25 p.m.

SASA, which usually brings spring speakers rather than musical artists, decided to invite Sean this year in order to provide a more entertaining event for students, said co-president Ankitha Radakrishnan, a Weinberg freshman.

Sean, who is of South Asian descent, rose to international fame with his 2009 single “Down.” Sean first became well-known in the Asian Underground scene as a member of the Rishi Rich Project, a group of various Asian singers who collaborated with English Indian music producer Rishi Rich.

“Jay Sean is South Asian,” Radakrishnan told The Daily. “We’re very proud of it.”

The concert, which was sold out by Monday, raised funds for The Umbrella Foundation, a nonprofit that works to support children and families in Nepal.

Between songs, Sean addressed the crowd, thanking them for being there and for supporting his career for so many years. He said that many of the audience members were around eight or nine years old when his first song came out.

“Can we hit those tunes that will take them back to those years?” the artist asked his DJ.

The artist then sang his 2008 hit, “Ride It.”

“I know you guys know this one, if you’re old school … you know this one,” he said.

Sean also took Snapchats with the audience and asked them to follow him on the social media app to see themselves in his posts.

Meghna Katta, SASA vice president, met Sean after the show and said he’s a “a really friendly guy.”

“It was nice to have a little bit of conversation with him,” the Weinberg freshman said. “He told us the crowd was great and that he really enjoyed it.”

Katta said a few audience members were annoyed by the event’s late start, but the delay was out of SASA’s control.

Communication freshman Claudia Fendian said she was not that bothered by the wait.

“The whole event was a little bit delayed, … (but) that was fine” she said. “The opening act was so good. It was worth seeing that first.”

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