Emerson students eagerly lined up on Boylston Street at 11 a.m. on Wednesday to get free merchandise from the back of rhythm and blues pop singer Khalid’s Free Spirit van.
In an effort to promote both his upcoming album Free Spirit and movie Khalid: Free Spirit, the van blasted Khalid’s latest tracks while tour promoters handed out free stickers, water bottles, and t-shirts bearing Khalid’s name and album title.
The Free Spirit van notoriously appears on Khalid’s album cover of the same name, which is to be released next week.
As a longtime Khalid fan, sophomore Danielle Francois looked forward to the event.
“I’m really excited,” Francois said while waiting in a line of roughly 60 people that stretched into the Boylston alleyway. “I’ve been listening to Khalid since he’s been on Soundcloud so I’ve been singing ‘Saved’ and ‘Location’ all day. I think this is a great campaign, especially since he’s doing this with college students and that’s his main target audience.”
Organized by Khalid’s record label, RCA records, the visit to Emerson marked the ninth stop in the Free Spirit College Experience tour that plans to travel to 11 universities and colleges along the East Coast, including Boston University and Penn State University.
RCA Records promoter Deshon Carrow says this is his first job. As a tour promoter, Carrow travels with the van to numerous universities to boost buzz for the album.
“We’ve been doing this for two weeks,” Carrow said. “This is the actual van from Khalid’s album cover, so we’re just trying to spread the word more and interact with students.”
Sophomore Andrew Muccitelliwas asked to help coordinate the event at Emerson through his internship at Sony Music where he works as an alternative college marketing representative.
“My manager just reached out and asked me if I would put this together,” Muccitelli said.
Muccitelli says he felt grateful for the impressive student turnout.
“Thanks so much to everyone for showing up and showing out,” Muccitelli said while giving out Free Spirit stickers to a crowd of students. “Don’t forget to buy Khalid’s new album next Friday!”
Free Spirit releases April 5 for $14 at Target, or available on streaming services Spotify and Apple Music. The film premieres on April 3.
Muccitelli worked alongside Boston University representative Monica Sucic, another Sony Music intern, at the event.
“I like how we get to get in touch with fans and meet people face-to-face instead of just doing things on social media,” Sucic said.
Muccitelli and Sucic continued to talk to students about the album, take photos for social media and distribute merchandise until the supply ran out.