An Overnight Sensation

With 40,000 RSVPs and counting, you might be hard pressed to find a seat for fourth-year music major Azeem Ward's flute recital this Saturday at 3pm in Karl Geiringer Hall.  Virtually overnight, Ward's recital took the internet by storm, a flood of twitter hashtags and facebooks posts triggered by a surprising source: the British Media.  After a Buzzfeed article about Ward's recital began to gain traction, several other media sources picked up the story, including Reddit, The Tab, and The Daily Record.  On twitter, #AzeemWard and #AzeemFlute were generating a flurry of responses - from supportive, to comic, to confusion.  Ward's recital even inspired a youtube video: a mashup of Ward's flute solo with vocals by "Sage the Gemini."

Of course, our own Daily Nexus tracked down Ward for some insight into this unexpected phenomenom:

As Ward told Daily Nexus reporter Emile Nelson, the event page “took off” following a repost by UK resident Damon Poole.

“I don’t know him and, at that point, random people started commenting ‘Yea Azeem!’ ‘You’re gonna kill it!’ ‘It’s gonna go off,’” Azeem said. “And then I started seeing the memes, you know, like me on the moon with girls and stuff.”

All this popularity, though, came from out of the blue, Azeem said.

“I didn’t do anything,” Azeem said. “One night it was 150 [people attending the event], last night 12k and now it’s like 40k … Just out of nowhere.”

Azeem said, despite the newfound internet fame that he has found, the recital is really about the music for him.

“I’m just here trying to do my thing, you know, play the flute,” Azeem said. “It’s a standard flute recital, you know? I’m not gonna do anything crazy.”

You can read the full Daily Nexus coverage here.

For more Azeem Ward flute recital news, check out these links: