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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, May 19, 2024

Jordin Sparks to headline Spring Fling 2024, Iyaz and Tkay Maidza to open

Sparks, the event’s headliner, is famous for winning “American Idol” in 2007.

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The 2024 Spring Fling lineup is pictured.

Jordin Sparks, Iyaz and Tkay Maidza will perform at this year’s Spring Fling, as announced by the Tufts University Social Collective on Monday. The concert will be held on April 20 from 12–5 p.m. on the Academic Quad.

“We are excited to say that we have a headliner that is a woman,” TUSC co-concert coordinators Gus Tringale and Thomas Grant wrote in a message to the Daily. “From last year’s all male lineup, we looked forward to pivoting more female representation not only for diversity’s sake but to cover a wider base of musical taste at Tufts.”

Headlining the event will be Jordin Sparks, the winner of season 6 of American Idol (2002–), who has since gone on to a successful career in pop music with singles including “No Air” and “Tattoo” from her self-titled 2007 debut album. Many of Sparks’ songs were radio hits in the late 2000s and early 2010s, and she has also found success in television and theater, recently starring as Jenna in Sara Bareilles’ musical “Waitress” on Broadway in 2019. Her most recent single, “Call My Name” (2023), is inspired by old school R&B, displaying a versatility that she will explore on her fifth studio album, which will be released later this year.

Iyaz, an R&B and pop singer from the British Virgin Islands, will open the concert. His hit single “Replay” (2009), is one of the most iconic songs of the 2000s with a chorus that begins, “Shawty’s like a melody in my head / That I can’t keep out.” “Replay” reached the No. 2 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and he released his debut album of the same name in 2010. He has also collaborated with other artists, releasing “You're My Only Shorty” (2011) with Demi Lovato and “Pretty Girls” (2011) with Travie McCoy. 

Tkay Maidza, a genre-bending Australian artist hailing from Zimbabwe, will open for Sparks. Maidza released her debut studio album, “Tkay,” in 2016, and her second album, “Sweet Justice,” was released to critical acclaim in November 2023. Maidza’s music blends hip-hop, rap and R&B, and she recently opened for Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” tour in 2022.

Tringale and Grant began planning for this year’s Spring Fling in the summer of 2023. 

“Most of the early deliberations are generally about what Tufts students will like, who is up and coming, and who is the biggest artist that we could get with our budget,” they wrote. “These are questions that we ask ourselves through the entire selection process, but it gets more specific as we narrow down our list.

TUSC’s coordinators crosscheck their “wish list” of artists with artists who are looking to perform at college shows, before selecting a final lineup of artists to send out offers to.

Along with Spring Fling, TUSC’s annual Tuftonia’s Day carnival is scheduled for April 13 from 6–10 p.m. on Fletcher Field.