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LANY to headline Lawnparties 2021, Naaji Hylton ’22 to open

Some students express disappointment with headliner, cite allegations of misconduct by lead singer

<h5>LANY, a indie pop band founded in Los Angeles, will be this year's Lawnparties headliner.</h5>
<h6>“<strong>LANY 11/03/2017</strong>” by <strong>Justin Higuchi</strong> / <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/jus10h/26394963479" target="_self">CC BY <strong>2.0</strong></a></h6>
LANY, a indie pop band founded in Los Angeles, will be this year's Lawnparties headliner.
LANY 11/03/2017” by Justin Higuchi / CC BY 2.0

The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Social Committee announced on Sunday that it would host indie pop band LANY for the Fall 2021 Lawnparties concert, alongside student opener Naaji Hylton ’22, professionally known as J. Paris.

The headliner act will take place in the backyard of Quadrangle Club at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 3.

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This will be the first Lawnparties in person since the Fall of 2019, when rapper CupcakKe performed with co-headliners 3OH!3 and Rich Homie Quan. For the Classes of 2024 and 2025, this will be their first Lawnparties on campus.

LANY, which is an acronym for Los Angeles New York, was formed in 2014 by Paul Jason Klein, Jake Goss, and Les Priest. Their first EP, “Acronyms”, was released later that year, and the group signed to Polydor Records in December 2015.

They have performed alongside Ellie Goulding, Troye Sivan, Halsey and others, as well as at the Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Firefly festivals.

Their most popular song, “Malibu Nights,” has over 230 million streams on Spotify. Their fourth album, “gg bb xx,” was released on Spotify and other platforms on September 3, a month before they are set to perform at Lawnparties.

In their email announcement, the USG Social Committee also stated that there will be a drawing for three students to meet the group backstage after the concert. To be eligible, students must “follow @princetonsoccomm, post your favorite Lawnparties throwback moment or favorite LANY song on your story, and tag us in your story!”

The winning student will be notified on Oct. 1.

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In the wake of the announcement, some students said they were disappointed by the choice of headliner.

Evan Haley ’24 wrote in a message to The Daily Princetonian, “Everytime I looked on Twitter, my friends would speculate about Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Olivia Rodrigo, or any other relevant pop singers. I don’t think anyone expected nor particularly wanted LANY for Lawnparties.”

There were also several tweets regarding allegations of predatory behavior by a member of the group.

Minutes after the announcement, Enrique Zuñiga Gonzalez ’22 tweeted, “apparently the lead singer is a predator who the hell was in charge of this i want to speak.”

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Zuñiga Gonzalez is referring to allegations of predatory and emotionally abusive behavior by the lead singer of LANY, Paul Klein, compiled by Twitter user @hahlys.

The allegations, which are documented at length on a public Google document, describe in-person and online sexual behavior with multiple fans much younger than Klein. The fans claim that Klein was emotionally manipulative, sexually coercive, and predatory towards them, and include screenshots of communications between themselves and Klein as evidence.

Neither Klein nor any management of LANY have commented on any of the allegations, which were originally compiled in December 2020.

The Social Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment on these allegations. 

Chair of the USG Social Committee William Gu ’23 wrote that the Social Committee began planning the event in July, and had to consider many aspects when deciding on a headliner.

“We essentially build a concert venue in the backyard of Quad,” he wrote in an email to the ‘Prince.’ “The costs associated with the equipment and labor have risen since the last Lawnparties in Spring 2019.”

The Lawnparties budget was increased to $160k in September, twice as much as last year’s budget.

The student opener, J. Paris, is a senior in the Neuroscience department and an Assistant Residential College Adviser (ARCA) in Butler College.

Notably, this is the first time the student opener is being paid by USG to perform at Lawnparties. 

Naaji Hylton ’22, known professionally as J. Paris, will be this year’s student Lawnparties opener.
Courtesy of Naaji Hylton

“Keeping in mind the many difficulties that artists faced during the pandemic, we are proud to support, encourage, and cultivate our community’s artists!” Gu wrote.

Paris’ music draws inspiration from the Weeknd, Drake, Travis Scott, and other rap artists.

He describes his music as “a combination of rap, hip hop and R&B, with a little bit of pop influences.”

“I like writing music about raw emotions, these experiences that we can all relate with, just because I like connecting with people,” he said. “I'm definitely looking forward to performing for my peers. [I’m] looking forward to performing for my zees and my fellow members of Cap and Gown.”

“There's a lot in store and it's gonna be a pretty awesome performance for you guys,” he said.

Andrew Somerville is a staff writer who corresponds with and covers USG happenings and other campus news. He can be reached at jas19@princeton.edu.

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