Multi-platinum selling recording artist Jason Derulo helped kick off the semester in a special virtual performance hosted by the Student Activities Board (SAB) on Friday.
Derulo’s pop culture presence remains prominent, as demonstrated by his popularity on TikTok and the release of his recent single “Savage Love,” which became a dance craze on the app. The single’s remix eventually ascended to number one on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs radio airplay chart. Derulo’s cross-generational appeal was part of the reason the SAB Live Events committee selected him for this year’s concert.
Mariam Elmiligi, Joseph Kajon and Madison Mindham, who make up SAB’s live events committee, discussed their experience in planning this large-scale event in an interview with The Setonian.
The committee members said that Derulo’s music career and his presence on TikTok would appeal to his fan base. The group noted that his multiple hit songs continue to remain relevant to fans both old and new and said that picking him would help create an experience that individuals of all ages would enjoy.
Derulo’s performance was announced by SAB via Instagram. Students like Donnie Oliver, a sophomore business management major, said he was shocked when he saw the announcement in late December.
“I was kind of shocked when I found out that Jason Derulo was performing because I see his TikToks sometimes, but I didn’t know that he performed music,” Oliver said. “I thought it was a good effort by SAB to put on an event through this difficult time.”
Oliver said that work obligations did not permit him to attend, but said he might have logged on to see the performance if he had been able. However, for some students, like Brianna Hibbert, a junior business administration major, attending the concert was a top priority.
“I really enjoyed the Jason Derulo concert,” Hibbert said. “I was looking forward to it once I saw the post on SAB’s Instagram and it did not disappoint.”
“The whole concert was amazing,” she added. “You could really pick up on his energy even though the screen and could tell that he was having so much fun. It made the watching experience so much better.”
For Hibbert—despite the virtual nature of the concert—seeing Derulo perform was an amazing experience, she said. Derulo performed many hits, such as “Whatcha Say,” “Savage Love,” “Trumpets,” “Ridin’ Solo” and “Want to Want Me.”
“I’m a big fan of Jason Derulo,” Hibbert said. “I loved his music growing up and I also loved hearing some of his new songs. Being able to watch a free concert of him performing was amazing. I wish it could have been in person, but I am still very grateful that he was this year’s concert selection.”
As a result of restrictions implemented by the University to limit the spread of the coronavirus, all events must take place virtually at Seton Hall. The SAB Live Events committee said the virtual aspect of events presents more opportunities and allows for flexibility in their schedule to create events that accommodate students that are both hybrid and remote.
“I liked the idea of a virtual concert, which was the best that the university could do in a pandemic,” Hibbert said. “It was so thoughtful of them to still find a way to have our spring concert and still maintain the COVID-19 guidelines.”
Despite the virtual performance, Hibbert still managed to connect with her friends virtually to enjoy the concert together.
“We started texting each other like crazy, singing along or commenting on the songs or performance,” she said. “It made the experience better because it was like she was with me at the concert.”
After the concert, Derulo sat down with Pirate TV, members of SAB and The Setonian for an interview. With over 190 million sales worldwide and 11 platinum singles, Derulo’s music career continues to smash records.
And through all the things he has accomplished, he said he hopes to “inspire other people to go after their dreams because I mean anything is possible. If you love it and if you’re wholeheartedly obsessed with something, you can make a killing off of it.”
Nicholas Hernandez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.