Many Drake students and non-students attended the Skizzy Mars concert on April 29. Although Mars is a fairly obscure artist, the crowd was packed full of students dancing, singing and ultimately enjoying the music.
Of the many who went to the concert, Daniel Zaiss was one of Mars’ few fans. Although Zaiss had a good time at the concert, he has strong feelings about the future of the artist’s music.
“I’m hoping he’ll stem away from the super mainstream rap and actually find his own voice, rather than just rapping about drugs and girls and partying,” Zaiss said.
In addition, Zaiss hopes Mars will expand his range of topics and send a worthwhile message to his audience. Some of Zaiss’ favorite songs include topics and messages about family issues and problems becoming an artist.
Although Zaiss has a critical view of Mars, he still enjoys his music. Some of Zaiss’ favorite albums include Alone Together and The Red Balloon Project.
“He has some tones that resonate with people such as myself,” Zaiss said. “He’s not too out there, he has a very standard base where he comes from.”
Brooke Vaske is another of whom attended and enjoyed the concert. Part of what influences her view of Mars are his singles that have featured other artists, such as JoJo.
“I think that since his new album is very diversified with other artists in the hooks, like I said, JoJo, it appeals to a greater audience,” she said.
As a member of the Student Activities Board (SAB), Vaske got to meet Mars in a meet-and-greet a few hours before the concert. During this 15 minute session, Vaske got to approach Mars and introduce herself.
“He introduced himself, and then he went for the hug, wasn’t expecting that. It was pretty cool and I’m really shy, so I didn’t say much. But I wanted to ask him if JoJo was cool in real life because I really love JoJo. But I didn’t, ‘cause I chickened out,” she said.
Although a lot of students enjoy Mars’ music, Jacob McKay refuses to claim he’s a fan of him. McKay went to the concert because it was free, tagging along with people who knew and appreciated Mars before Relays, such as Zaiss. His friends made it impossible to have a bad time.
“The energy was decent, it was better than I expected, but I think in that environment it would be pretty hard for the energy level not to be high,” McKay said.
While McKay had nothing negative to say about the concert, he is an open critique on Mars’ music aside from his performance.
“To me, he makes music that is devoid of emotion, and generally appeals to the teenage cultural movement of not feeling anything,” he said.
This critique, however, was well-informed. Although he didn’t know much about him until he found out Mars was coming to Drake, nothing in his research made Mars any more appealing to him.
“All Skizzy Mars songs that I’ve heard basically are all just trying to be as empty and vaguely relatable as possible,” he said. “It’s all calculated. There’s nothing wrong with making calculated moves to set yourself as an artist, but music has to be authentic, and I know that he’d say that he puts feeling into it, but there’s no feeling on the other end for me.”