Students will be hearing essential summer vibes at this year’s Spring Fling, with Surfaces performing as headliner. After Surfaces, music producer Imanbek will be closing.
Student Association Programming Board’s (SAPB) Spring Fling — scheduled for Saturday, April 29 — will first feature a festival on the Peace Quad from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Like last year, there will be amusement rides, student vendors, food trucks, free prizes, tables featuring student organizations and small performances near the Spine.
The main event, however, is the concert taking place in parking lot F1 at 7 p.m., which will have free admission for all Binghamton University students, faculty and staff. The show will be opened by From the Bronx, a student band who won SAPB’s Battle of the Bands, followed by the two featured acts.
The headliner, Surfaces, offers a different energy than Imanbek, tapping into the soul with their surf music style. Shira Geula, concert chair of SAPB and a senior majoring in business administration, said Surfaces was chosen because student feedback pointed toward different genres than rap, so the SAPB explored genres such as indie, EDM and alternative to put on their survey to students.
“Many artists on our spring survey that were listed or suggested were out of our price range or unavailable, so we looked at our fall survey to see who had been ranked well, that which include the likes of Surfaces,” Geula wrote in an email. “We did the process of checking again and found that Surfaces fit what we were looking for.”
The band was formed in 2017 when Texas A&M University student Colin Padalecki began uploading his music online. A recent graduate from Baylor University, Forrest Frank, heard Padalecki’s music and invited him to record music. Their first album “Surf” came out in 2017 and quickly made waves, especially the song “24/7/365,” which has over 730 million streams on Spotify.
Frank has released music of his own as well under the moniker Forrest, which has gained millions of streams on Spotify. Surfaces put out their biggest song “Sunday Best” in 2019, on their record “Where the Light Is” — which was a top 40 hit in Ireland, Australia, Norway, the UK and the United States. Since then, the band has only gotten bigger, releasing albums “Horizons,” “Pacifico” and “Hidden Youth” in recent years. They collaborated with Elton John in 2020 and also had their late-night television debut on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”
After Surfaces, the closing act will provide a jolting of energy with Imanbek’s skills as a remixer of house music. Imanbek — also known as Imanbek Zeikenov — was born in Kazakhstan and studied at the Railway Institute. He kept remixing afterward due to his passion for music, hitting the mainstream in 2019 when he released a remix of rapper SAINt JHN’s track “Roses.” The remix went viral on popular social media platforms, including TikTok and Instagram.
Danna Kutcher, music and vice concert chair for the SAPB and a junior majoring in philosophy, politics and law, said she is excited to give students a short break from the stress of finals. Kutcher said she is looking forward to all of the performers, but Imanbek especially.
“I am really excited to see Imanbek’s set,” Kutcher wrote in an email. “[BU] has never seen a live DJ perform at this scale, and I think people will really enjoy it. He has had phenomenal performances in the past and we really think that he will put on an amazing show for us!”
“Roses” also appeared on the charts throughout Europe in the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Hungary. In 2021, Imanbek worked with popular artists Rita Ora, DJ David Guetta and trap artist Gunna. In March of that year, he won a Grammy for his “Roses” remix, officially becoming the first person from Kazakhstan to win a Grammy.
Last year, SAPB had hosted Gunna as the Spring Fling headliner. Some students, like Ann Matthew, an undeclared sophomore, felt this year’s concert would pale in comparison.
“I’m going to be honest, I don’t even know the people performing, so I’m probably not going to attend,” Matthew said. “I feel like this year’s is a little lackluster compared to last year’s, especially considering how hyped everyone was for Gunna.”
Others, like Mike Bronikowski, a senior majoring in physics, said they were looking forward to attending the concert.
“I’ll for sure be there,” Bronikowski said. “Honestly Imanbek has two-times more listeners than Surfaces and I only know one song by them, but they seem charming.”
Geula believes Spring Fling will be a hit, and is proud of the work she has done with the SAPB.
“Spring Fling is arguably the best day of the year on [BU] campus,” Geula wrote in an email. “The concert is the last piece of myself that I am giving to [BU]. I am happy to leave off on this note because I was able to give this campus as many genres as possible in my time with SAPB over the last two years.”