The audience did not buy tickets with their names on them, the microphones gave off feedback and the lights didn’t sync to their songs, but opening for a concert in front of a cheering crowd is all an up-and-coming rap group needs.
Originally formed for a high school project, local rap group Burra Katha, opened for Afroman in January and George Watsky in March. The group consists of UF freshmen Jaewon Jang, Arnav Gupta and Taylor Col.
“This was definitely our largest crowd,” Col said about the 200-person audience at the Watsky show at High Dive.
Burra Katha performed its set of six songs for about 30 minutes. After, a man complimented the group and compared them to the hip-hop group Beastie Boys.
“That was the first time someone we didn’t know said we did good after a set,” Gupta said.
The trio got its name from the Indian method of storytelling called “Burra Katha,” in which three men sing stories.
The group was mostly a side-hobby until they started college, booking their first show, in December 2012.
As students, they have to balance rapping and school.
“I was studying all day before this concert,” Gupta said.
Michael Rizzo, a 19-year-old rapper who goes by Rezza, also tries to balance music and schoolwork.
Rizzo started rapping in high school with a group of friends. As a Santa Fe College journalism, public relations and business sophomore, Rizzo has gotten more serious in his music. He opened for Nappy Roots in 2012 and Hoodie Allen Wednesday.
Regardless of the size of the audience, Rizzo treats every performance as if it were in front of a huge crowd.
Rizzo would encourage others who want to perform to know that music is a business and parts of it will be tough.
“There are going to be points where you think to yourself, ‘I can’t keep going,’” he said. “Never give up — that’s the main thing.”
UF freshmen Jaewon Jang, Arnav Gupta and Taylor Col make up the hip-hop group Burra Katha.
Michael Rizzo, a 19-year-old rapper who goes by Rezza, opened up for Hoodie Allen Wednesday.