Springfest will feature music talent from all over

By Allison Price
On March 21, 2014

Center for Student Involvement's (CSI) annual Springfest will feature four musicians during the three-day event. All the bands will play at the ASU pavilion Friday, March 28.

The first performer will be Kevin MaC, who sings country music. Second is Scarletta, and they are country, but more on the pop side. Third is Jeffrey James, who is in the Rock/Soul category. The main headliner is 5 & A Dime.

Each of the acts has its own spin on music and genres, but bringing them all together in one night will be a special treat.

Scarletta, the second act of the night, was founded by Nathan Stoops. Stoops said the band has been together for a little over four years, and during that time they have produced two records.

"We have been touring full-time for two years and we have played at a lot of colleges," Stoops said. "We do a lot of clubs and music rooms, but the show we are doing at ASU is part of a big music tour that we are on this spring."

Stoops said he had a vision of what he wanted the band to look like and he wanted to have a mixed trio. Stoops then met Benji Harris and Emilee Allan, completing the trio.

"I met Benji in Nashville, and we were writing songs for other people while doing studio work together," he said. "We just developed a good friendship, and I pitched him the idea of starting a band. That went on for a little while, and then we met Emilee. We told her our idea, and she was very excited about the direction we wanted to go, and she wanted to be a part of it. It has been a very exciting process to see. We are good friends making good music together, and that really shows in our sound."

As for their type of music, Stoops describes it as pop country appealing to the young demographic. They write their own songs and relate to what is going on in their lives. Because of the young demographic their music is reaching, a strong fan base has been formed, Stoops said.

Stoops said Scarletta's first album was released two years ago, and a single from that album was on the top 20 on the country radio.

"CMT played that very heavily for a few months when that was on the radio," he said. "That put us out on the road and got our name out there. Our second record will be released just a few days before we go down there to perform at Springfest. We will be doing a lot of songs from that record."

Stoops said there is a back story to how the trio was named Scarletta.

"We were sitting around one night talking about ideas for the band name, and amongst several horrible names that were suggested, Scarletta was the one that everyone agreed on, and it stuck," Stoops said. "We wanted a name that didn't really define genre. We wanted a name that bridged the genre range."

Harris was born and raised in Dallas and is excited to come back to Texas to play, Stoops said.

"The cool thing about playing at colleges is that we are playing for people who are close to our age," he said. "We are all there to have a good time, and that is one of the best things."

Stoops said the band has a great team around them that shows a tremendous amount of support in what they do. They are all looking forward to coming to Springfest and having a good time performing.

"We are a very high-energy band and we have a lot of fun," he said. "We are having a good time playing music and meeting people and making friends."

The act following Scarletta is musician Jeffrey James. James, from Indianapolis, grew up in a family full of musical talent.

"My dad's mom was a music teacher, a lot of people on my mom's side did live musical theater, and everyone in my family sang," James said. "It was just always something that was there."

James said he discovered his passion in high school when he first picked up a guitar for the first time. In college, he began writing and performing songs. It was then that he knew what he wanted to do.

"I was a vocal major in college and thought I was going to do theater stuff," he said. "I was more interested in singing my own songs."

Now James said he has a band that he plays and travels with. The band has been together since June 2013.

Before getting a band together, James did open mic nights to get started on his career. He said he hoped that would help him meet people while getting his name out.

James classifies his music as Rock/Soul. James admits he writes a lot of love songs.
"My songs are about things that are currently going on in my life or things that I have experienced in the past," he said. "I have found that I write songs that people can connect with better when they are somewhat true stories."

James has two records out currently. He said they are a direct relation of him and his style.
"I have put out more records and I took them down because I didn't think they represented me and my style anymore," he said. "These two records I have now totally represent my brand and who I am as an artist."

James recently made an appearance at South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, where his band played at a showcase.

It is exciting to play for the college age audience (18-25) because everyone loves music no matter what it is, James said.

"They just want to have a good time," James said. "I get some of my best experiences from college shows because the vibe is usually high-energy and fun."

James said the best part of performing consists of two parts. First is clicking with the band while on stage, and second is giving his all to the audience. Seeing reactions also adds to the experience.

James continues to receive support from friends and family. He is looking forward to playing at Springfest.

"I am really excited," he said. "College shows, especially with a full band, are great."
Prior to the concerts, Lambda Chi will have their fourth annual Crawfish Boil for all students to join, and then the concerts will begin.

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