Hayden James announced as final Dillo Day performer

Emily Chin, Assistant A&E Editor

Australian producer Hayden James will perform at Dillo Day this year, becoming the final addition to the main stage lineup, Mayfest announced Sunday night.

In 2014, James, who is known for his R&B electronic-pop music, released his single “Something About You,” which has more than 25 million plays on Spotify. Since then, he has gained popularity in Australia and the U.S., appearing at the Coachella music festival in 2015. He is slated to perform at Lollapalooza in July.

“We’re really interested in Hayden James because we like having a balance of artists who are really established and artists who are making their careers,” said Mayfest spokeswoman Elisa O’Neal. “He’s working his way up, and I think he’ll be very big and very successful in years to come.”

The SESP senior said James has had a significant online presence in the U.S. through SoundCloud and Spotify, but not to the extent of his popularity in Australia.

“When someone is able to command a presence in their home country, it makes sense,” O’Neal said. “But Australia shows how he can really make waves here as well.”

Yumiko Mannarelli, Mayfest director of concerts, said his popularity in Australia impacted Mayfest’s decision to bring him for Dillo Day. Several other artists who are part of the Future Classic label, which James is signed with, have already made significant strides in the U.S., the Communication junior said. She added that she thinks James will be able to do the same.

O’Neal said James differs from the other artists performing at Dillo Day because although his music is still energetic and engaging, his set will be calmer than those of the other performers. She added that she hopes James will be able to shift the mood on the Lakefill after daytime headliner Anderson .Paak’s performance, which will be more lively.

“(James’) music is very relaxed,” O’Neal said. “It’s fun and upbeat, but it’s not the raucous super climactic energy that the other performers have. He’s more laid back, and we’d really like that for this slot on the Lakefill.”

Mannarelli added that though James’ style can be classified as electronic dance music, that category itself is incredibly diverse in terms of what artists can create.

Mayfest spokesman Ben Bass said James will provide a more balanced lineup for Dillo Day, and said he hopes that his presence will appeal to a larger crowd of students.

“Once they start listening to his music, they’ll really enjoy it and will look forward to seeing him on Dillo Day,” the Communication junior said. “I started listening to him a lot more once I found out he would be performing on the Dillo Day main stage, and now it’s hard for me to stop listening.”

Dillo Day will take place Saturday.

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