Let's just say McCormick senior Randall Harris – who raps as Prez Harris – has a lot of friends. And he’s bringing all of them – DJ FRNKLN (Bienen senior Frank Lin); drummer Andre Mohring (a McCormick senior); singers Maurice Hatch (a Communication junior), Kripa Guha (a McCormick sophomore), Meryl Crock (a Communication junior), Ben Hwang (a SESP senior) and Steven Layne (a McCormick senior); and dancers Sterling Harris (a Weinberg junior) and Gavin Williams (a Weinberg junior) – to the Dillo main stage as Prez Harris & Friends. NBN spoke with the leader of the Battle of the Bands winner, Prez Harris himself. His band will open the main stage, performing before Porches. (This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
NBN: How did you end up performing at Battle of the Bands, and how’d you put your band together?
Prez Harris: I really started the end of freshman year, and I really wanted to focus on helping grow the music presence and music scene at Northwestern. I wanted to be the Northwestern artist. It seemed like being the performer on Dillo would be the best way to do that. I wanted it to sound really full, so I was like, “OK, I need to get some more pieces.” We just wanted to be as creative as possible and bring something new to the table, and so that was having this rap set that was with the track, but also we have a live band behind it.
NBN: What was your reaction when you found out you won?
Prez Harris: Man. It was surreal. It was one of those things that I was working towards for a while now. Now it’s like, I’m a senior, I’m about to go out, and we finally accomplished the goal. When I first heard, I was just like, “Whoa.” I didn’t really know how to react at first. And then it set in later, and I was just really excited, really happy and really proud of the people I was working with.
NBN: Who else are you excited to see on the main stage?
Prez Harris: I’m excited to see D.R.A.M. I’m excited to see Little Simz. I opened for Little Simz when she came to Chicago, so it’ll be cool to see her again.
NBN: Why should students make sure to see your Dillo set?
Prez Harris: It’ll be … an experience. It’ll be something that, when you think back on this Dillo – hopefully – when you think back on it, it’ll be one of those sets that’s like, wow. Those kids are in my class. Those kids are people that go to my school right now. Just walking down Sheridan, I can see them, and they’re very talented people. It’ll be one of those things that you’ll want to look back on and be like, “OK, I saw them when they performed at Dillo.”
Prez Harris & Friends will perform from 12:30-1 p.m. on the Dillo Day main stage on May 20 on the Lakefill.
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