James Curran, better known as Jamesthemormon, is the main performer for BYUSA’s Concert Under the Stars on Friday, Sept. 23.
BYU alumnus Curran loves BYU sports and is a brand ambassador for the university who said his mission is similar to that of the LDS Church’s.
“Even though I’m rapping, my goal is to help others come to Christ,” Curran said, “whether it’s directly or indirectly.”
Curran said he is proud of being LDS and a BYU fan, and his music reflects that. Curran said this helps him connect with students and increase school spirit.
“I think the students of BYU can resonate with an alum who is a big athletics fan, who’s also passionate about the church or even served a mission just like them,” Curran said.
Curran said the Concert Under the Stars will be a good time, so he said he’s inviting students to learn the lyrics and come sing along.
Sam Anderson, BYUSA vice president of AIM activities, said they’ve been planning this event since the end of April. AIM is a new area in BYUSA, standing for “arts, interests and music.” The area will diversify BYUSA’s programs.
Anderson said BYUSA decided to invite Curran to perform on campus while he was still gaining popularity.
“He’s grown so much more popular just in these last four months since we decided on him originally,” Anderson said.
Anderson said BYUSA had several reasons for inviting Curran to headline at the Concert Under the Stars. Jamesthemormon is a local act who’s in tune with the BYU scene, and he’s known for his hip-hop and rap genre, which is not common at BYU.
“It’s not a group that’s been served at BYU very frequently,” Anderson said. “I thought this is a great opportunity to capitalize on having a new area and opportunity that James could be super successful and awesome in.”
Last year was the first time BYUSA hosted a big concert in September, Anderson said, and it was a huge hit. He said he believes this year’s concert will build off of last year’s success.
Anderson said BYUSA hopes to have two more big concerts in March and April, just like last year when Hellogoodbye and Mat Kearney performed. Anderson said BYUSA is still striving to do things differently, bigger and better.
Brittany Ting is a senior from Diamond Bar, California, who is studying photography. Ting attended and had a good time at last year’s Concert Under the Stars. Last year’s concert featured Plan Z, VanLadyLove, Foreign Figures and Kitfox.
“It was a blast,” Ting said. “Even if the music isn’t your favorite, you at least get to take a break and be surrounded by friends and peers in a fun environment. I definitely plan on going again this year.”