A combination of cool synths and eclectic beats filled the air as students crowded to watch, dance, clap and sway to electropop duo Todo Mas at the NextNOW Festival on Friday.

The band’s excellent stage presence was a highlight of the show. “[Dean] was interacting with people a lot … encouraging others to clap and dance and it was pretty cool to watch that,” junior Teri West said.

The hour-long set began at 7:30 p.m on the Front Plaza’s stage at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Todo Mas, consisting of music majors Dean Emerson and Joey Antico, began as Emerson’s solo project in June 2015 before Antico joined the project that following October. The duo chose to end their eight-date tour at NextNOW to coincide with the beginning of the school year. Moreover, drummer Joey Antico, a senior jazz studies and music education major, was recently admitted into the prestigious Strathmore Artist in Residence, a music mentoring program, for the 2016-17 school year.

“This was honestly some of the most fun we’ve had up here on stage,” Antico said. “The crowd [had] a lot of friends and family so it was even better.”

The band released their first EP, Good Night and Joy Be With You, at the end of 2015 and has grown in popularity in the past year. This summer, the duo went on their first tour and recently opened for Borns’ performance at Ritchie Coliseum on Sept. 2.

A standout track during the set was titled “Juliet,” a groovy song that kept the crowd’s energy up. The band’s sense of humor, displayed by Emerson’s frequent quips and the band’s charming and boisterous comments, kept the show lively and attracted more NextNOW attendees throughout the set.

While Antico oversees the live performances, Emerson’s role in the band is primarily concerned with its production, music composition and recording. He emphasizes the importance of production quality over lyrical content to gain exposure.

“To distinguish yourself as an artist, you really do have to have good recordings, a good social media presence,” Emerson said. “We want to create almost a breath of fresh air where listeners are free to dance or think.”

Todo Mas retains its individuality by avoiding trends in pop songs and taking what is on the surface a sterile DJ set and transforming it into a live performance. Rather than just play pre-recorded beats when performing, Antico’s uses a live drumset while Emerson plays the keyboard and tambourine, creating a more organic sound.

The band shouted out family and friends in the audience while playing, allowing a relatable feeling to emerge from the College Park-based duo that cheering attendees seemed to appreciate.

“Touring’s a great experience and you’re meeting new people,” Antico said. “But it’s always so much fun to be back here and be in front of friends and just play your hearts out.”