Starting off the spring quarter of 2019 with a bang, UCSB’s AS Program Board invited TroyBoi as the main act and JPEGMAFIA as the opener for the Warm Up, an annual nighttime concert after the daytime festivities of Deltopia.
British producer and musical artist TroyBoi, who just finished a sold-out European tour, blessed UCSB’s student population with a concert set including a mixture of old favorites and new creations. Meanwhile Baltimore-native JPEGMAFIA is an up-and-coming rapper and producer known for his political lyrics and experimental noise style tracks.
Starting in the early 2010s, TroyBoi started experimenting with trap sounds and electronic beats. He eventually released collaborations with artists such as Flosstradamus, Diplo, and Billie Eilish, to name a few. He currently has released two full albums and is a highly anticipated favorite at annual events such as Coachella, EDC, and Electric Forest.
During his time in the military, JPEGMAFIA formed a group in Tokyo called Ghostpop that gained local popularity before moving to Baltimore in 2015 to pursue a music career. He has worked with artists such as Denzel Curry, Kennybeats, and clipping. and is known for his tracks with noise influences as well as political messages.
An area often used for AS Program Board events, the Thunderdome allowed students to enjoy the show with the option to either sit higher on the bleachers for a more spacious environment, or stand up by the stage for a closer look at the performances. A fully sold-out show, the Warm Up clearly had been an event the audience had been looking forward to as the crowd started chanting “TroyBoi” over and over while awaiting for him to grace the stage.
An hour or so into the Warm Up’s starting time, the crowd started growing restless for JPEGMAFIA to open the show. Eventually, he sprinted onto the stage and shocked everyone as he performed tracks such as “Baby I’m Bleeding” and “Real Nega” from his Veteran album that was released in January 2018 and ranked 20th on Rolling Stone’s 30 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2018 list. Despite him being a relatively new artist to the hip hop scene, JPEGMAFIA’s endless energy and enthusiasm for performing drove the crowd wild as they chanted his lyrics along with him.
After JPEGMAFIA’s performance and an intermission of 15 minutes or so, TroyBoi eventually sauntered on stage, triggering a loud cheer from the crowd. From the beginning to the end of his performance, the entire crowd grooved to his music, regardless of whether they were familiar with his tracks. Throughout the entire performance, a contagious energy surged throughout the crowd and to the crowd’s delight, TroyBoi’s performance mainly centered on his older tracks such as “Do You?,” “KinjaBang,” and “Soundclash.” He also teased a new track at the end of this performance, which is set to release soon and may feature Skrillex.
Overall, the Warm Up not only lived up to students’ anticipation, but also surpassed the standard for a musical event. Both artists had the opportunity to interact with the audience and showcased popular tracks, which left the crowd energetic and waiting eagerly for the next song. TroyBoi’s setlist contained reminiscent tracks as well as new fan favorites while JPEGMAFIA’s performance allowed new fans to fall in love with his music full of his signature hypnotic cadence and trance influences.
Continuing to amaze people with his ingenious electronic tracks, TroyBoi’s next performance will be in Tampa, Florida at the Ritz Ybor on Apr. 19. JPEGMAFIA, on the other hand, is set to perform at Coachella 2019, which will be held in Indio, CA at the Empire Polo Club on Apr. 12. Both artists seem to be in the process of producing and releasing new tracks, so fans should keep on their toes and watch out for their new releases!
Author’s Recommended Songs: On My Own (feat. Nefera) by TroyBoi, 1539 N. Calvert by JPEGMAFIA