By Abigail Cloutier
Homecoming weekend was back for the first time since 2019 at Youngstown State University and with it came the parade, a winning game and Fall Fire Fest.
Hundreds of students showed up for the event, which included food trucks, ziplining and a concert. International singer and rapper Wiz The MC headlined with his band the Aphrodites. Self-described as a modern Red Hot Chili Peppers, he released an EP last year and is planning another.
“My EP, ‘Where Silence Was Good,’ comes out in February next year, potentially going on tour for a good part at the end of this year,” he said.
He got his start in Germany and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career.
“America was always a big goal of mine to go over there and make music because I’m German and not many German people have made it overseas. So, I spent four years in Canada making music, and after [being] in Toronto for a couple years I wanted to expand … My second-ever show in America was really exciting … I just wanted to be all over the country and see how it is to be here and play music, because you guys inspire Europeans a lot,” he said.
Now on tour, he said he plans on hitting every small town in the United States.
“More shows in America, up until no small town in America can get away from my name, I can feel every tree that is in every small town in America. Just grow, make new music, spend some time alone, try new things, get out of my own way,” he said.
YSU President Jim Tressel spoke at the event.
“It’s so good to be out here. Homecoming weekend, so many alums are coming back that haven’t been here for two years. They won’t recognize the place, they won’t recognize how excited we are to be on campus this weekend. We’ve got to make sure that we make the statement to let people know that the Penguins are back,” Tressel said.
Fall Fire Fest event leader Jordan Record said Penguin Productions was pleased about the turnout.
“I’m just so happy that we’re able to be back here. This is Pen Pro’s first in-person event since the [Federal Frenzy] Face-Off in February of 2020 … so we’re just really excited to be here and to celebrate Youngstown,” Record said.