SCOPE suits up to host Tobi Loui and Berhana at UI homecoming

Members from SCOPE Productions talked with The Daily Iowan about headliners and preparation for this year’s homecoming concert. Rapper Tobi Lou and R&B singer-songwriter Berhana will take the stage at the Pentacrest tonight at 8 p.m.


Larry Phan

A member of SCOPE Productions is shown hanging up flyers around Iowa City on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Larry Phan/The Daily Iowan)

Maddie Johnston, Arts Editor

Every year during University of Iowa’s homecoming weekend, a group of music loving students congregate to plan a free, outdoor concert for the people of Iowa City.

Tonight, the students — better known as Scope Productions— have invited rapper Tobi Lou and R&B singer-songwriter Berhana to take the SCOPE stage at 8p.m., in the front lawn of the Pentacrest.

Joey O’Kelly, General Manager of Scope Productions, said he thinks the artists will fit well together.

“Berhana is a little bit more alternative, a little bit more funky, while Tobi Lou’s got a little bit more of the rap, hip-hop side, so they’ve got enough similarities that they’ll be a really good cohesive show, but it’s not going to be an entire show where it all sounds the same,” O’Kelly said.

Tobi Lou originally went Tik Tok viral in 2019 with his catchy song, “Buff Baby,” but found fame again with his songs, “Darling,” and “I Was Sad Last Night I’m OK Now.”

Berhana is best known for his casual and experimental approach to R&B, showcased in songs, “Grey Luh,” and “Janet.”

Myles Evangelista, Digital Marketing Director of SCOPE, said since the announcement of the show, the organizations’ social media response from student-age followers has been positive.

Evangelista said that while SCOPE’s past several performers have been fantastic — like Beabadoobee, Beach Bunny, and Claude — they’ve all been tangential to the same genre: indie rock. To see SCOPE transition toward a new, fresh genre is exciting, he said, and will hopefully attract some audience members not usually on top of what SCOPE has to offer.

RELATED: Scope Productions hosts singer-songwriter beabadoobee for virtual concert

Tobi Lou and Berhana’s homecoming performances follow the names of several well-known headliners, such as Lizzo, Bad Suns, and Saint Motel, to name a few.

Because of COVID-19, SCOPE was unable to host last year’s homecoming concert in person. O’Kelly said for an organization built on providing live music, losing the full year caused a lot of catching up to do among newer members.

RELATED: Wacky Willy’s battles it out for the win at SCOPE’s Battle of the Bands

Despite the gap in experience, SCOPE Production Coordinator Katie Polaschek said preparing for the concert has been wild in the best way possible.

“Even setting up this morning, it was so great to see all the SCOPE people out there, all in one place, all working together,” Polaschek said. “So I’m excited to see the people, see the turnout, and obviously the concerts are going to be stellar, so that’s a plus.”