On the evening of Saturday, Oct. 24, the University held a performance at the Riley Ellipse by a singer known as Stan Genius, who flew from his home of Los Angeles to give students a special show.
The event was free and open to all students. Seniors were given a special VIP section and the chance to reserve fire pits.
Stan Genius is a rising star in the pop and R&B community, with over 90,000 followers on Instagram and more than 1.5 million fans on TikTok.
For about an hour, Stan Genius performed a wide array of songs both by him and other artists on a makeshift stage, alongside two dancers. Some of these songs included “High Fashion” by Roddy Ricch, “Yummy” by Justin Bieber and “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson.
One original song that he performed was his recent single, “Spin the Bottle,” which was released on July 15.
Most songs were upbeat, catchy tunes. However, there were some slower and more serious songs interspersed. For example, the original song “Last Apology” touched upon the theme of loss.
Stan Genius engaged with the audience throughout the performance, making quips in between songs.
“You guys like the Eagles?” he asked the crowd. “They suck right now. But I can’t say anything. I’m from Atlanta. I’m a Falcons fan.”
Just when it seemed as if the performance was coming to a close, the crowd demanded an encore. Stan Genius obliged, playing sneak peeks of three of his unreleased songs.
The first song was called “Smoothie.” As Stan Genius sang, he went around high-fiving and dancing with the enthusiastic crowd, an action which may be a bit controversial in these current socially-distanced times. He ended the night with a more spiritual song called “I Need You.”
“Should I drop this song tonight in honor of Villanova?” Stan Genius asked.
The audience roared.
“I don’t know about that, but I’m there with you mentally and spiritually,” Stan Genius responded.
After the performance, The Villanovan tracked down Stan Genius for a spur-of-the-moment interview.
The Villanovan: How did this performance happen? Did someone from Villanova contact you?
Stan Genius: Yeah, one of the students from Villanova contacted me. She hit me up on IG (Instagram).
TV: When did you get started with music?
SG: I started when I was three by playing piano at church. I’ve been writing songs since I was five. I play piano and guitar, mainly piano. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 10.
TV: You played some Michael Jackson tonight. I’m guessing he’s a big influence on you. Who are some of your biggest influences?
SG: Some of my influences would be Charlie Wilson, Michael for sure, Bruno Mars, Usher and the rest of the greats.
TV: Would you say R&B is your favorite type of genre?
SG: Yes, R&B. Honestly, just music that feels good. Soulful music that touches people in a special way.
TV: Is most of your music promotion on TikTok?
SG: There is some of my music on TikTok. It’s just a couple of songs that are out right now that are both on TikTok.
TV: When did you get started on TikTok?
SG: I joined at the top of 2019.
TV: Are your two dancers your friends? How did you get to know them?
SG: Those are the homies. We met in 2016 and we started doing shows at the end of 2018. So, we’ve been doing shows for like a little over a year or two.
TV: How long have you been doing performances?
SG: My first show was in the driveway at like six years old.
TV: What’s your main goal? Do you want to start selling out big shows?
SG: My goal is to make music that people can enjoy, and then I can transition into selling out big shows, in addition to being able to inspire people and, you know, spread a message of positivity.
TV: You previewed those last three songs for us at the end. Do you have any idea when you’re going to release them?
SG: Hopefully this year. I don’t have a date or anything. There’s a lot of things up in the air with quarantine and the pandemic, and you know how that goes. But I definitely want to come out with them as soon as possible.
TV: Are you working on any albums or EPs or anything like that?
SG: Yes, I’m working on my own project as well as writing for some other artists in the industry.
TV: Which other artists?
SG: I did a couple of songs that are on Chris Brown’s next project. I’m really just genre-hopping, doing gospel music for some inspirational labels.
TV: Are you signed to any labels?
SG: I’m just signed to the talent agency ICM Partners.
TV: Would you like to (sign onto a bigger record label) in the future?
SG: Yeah. If it’s the right situation, then definitely.