Blends with Benefits

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Meet the Blenders!

Executive Board Member


Siobhán | Jihan | Nikki DC | Emily


Nikki O | Howlader | Cathleen


Nii | Maxwell | Becca


Aaron B | Aaron M | Ryan | Richard

Vocal Percussion:

Nikki DC | Maxwell | Ryan

Manager: Nikki O

Assistant Manger(s): Aaron B. and Howlader

PR Communications and Marketing Director: Maxwell

Musical Director: Jihan

Assistant Musical Director: Cathleen

Treasure: Aaron M


Nikki was hatched at the bend in the river, in a small hick town in Connecticut, 19 years ago. Throughout her childhood she enjoyed many-a-things including (but not limited to) singing, dancing & acting (triple threat!), wrestling (yes, she was that one girl who joined the male wresting team), polevaulting, playing the flute, watching YouTube videos on how to make her Asian eyes look larger, swimming, ice skating, gymnastic(ing), and attending various summer camps so her parents did not have to deal with her eating all of the ice cream in the freezer.

Nikki now attends college at the prestigious American University in the whitest part of the District of Columbia (The upper Northwest). Of course getting involved on campus was her calling, and so she decided to join Blends with Benefits, American University Rationalist and Atheists, Mu Beta Psi, and of course, her ambitious soul co-founded the MENA Roundtable Club. Nikki is studying the same stuff as everyone else, reading copious amounts of poetry, instagraming pictures of her nails and food, contemplating the meaning of life, and attempting to figure out the strange weather patterns of the District.



Aaron B


Howlader is just a brown girl from "Pennsyltucky." She was born in Bangladesh and moved to the glorious state of Pennsylvania at the age of four. Growing up, music and theater took center stage in her interests and passions. She has participated in various bands, choirs, and shows from elementary school, all the way through high school and has now continued at American University by joining her first a Capella group, Blends with Benefits! Besides singing, Howlader can also (adequately) play french horn, trumpet, clarinet, and guitar. Her general interests include wearing purple, watching baseball, and hanging out with her friends.
Current musical obsessions include: The Lumineers, Frank Ocean, Florence + the Machine, Ellie Goulding, Of Monsters and Men, and Frank Ocean.

Aaron M

Aaron was born in Chicago but was booted over to Philadelphia when he was 12 years old. As a child, he played the piano and the double bass (both instruments being twice his size). He also led an active career onstage as an actor. Now, Aaron spends most of his free time being that poli-sci major who always calls your house while you're eating dinner to tell you to vote (try not to hate him).



Max believes in the words of Andy Bernard: "Literally every song is better A Cappella." Max grew up in a small town in Westchester county, NY where he did musicals, plays, and generally goofing off and playing video games. He joined a co-ed A Capella group in his junior year of high school and started arranging. He now attends American University where he sings, beatboxes, films things, watches Youtube videos, worships Pentatonix, and garners a strange fascination for British Television (*cough*Doctor Who*cough*). One day he hopes to make it to big competitions like ICCA and The Sing-Off. He aspires to edit short films or make it in to Television.


Becca came to American University and Blends with Benefits by way of Boston, Los Angeles, and Burlington, VT (best known for being the birthplace of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and Champ, the monster who lives in the lake). After not getting into all-city chorus in seventh grade because the musical director refused to believe that she was, in fact, a Tenor and not an Alto, Becca resorted to singing in the shower and to her cats, who showed their appreciation by meowing loudly and hiding in closet. Becca is so excited to be singing with Blends because they don't expect her to sing notes way out of her range, but also because they’re a rad group of people who make awesome music together. When she’s not singing, Becca enjoys crafting, playing with puppies and/or babies, google-ing ridiculous pictures of cats, and talking about feminism. As a Women’s, Gender & Sexuality and Philosophy double major, she plans on attending grad school and figuring her real life out later.




Richard Wei Zeng was born in the exciting, moderately dangerous city of Manchester, New Hampshire. When he was just a two-week old baby, he was shipped UPS freight to China to live with his grandparents for 3 years, and then was flown back to California to be reunited with his parents who begrudgingly took him back (they always preferred the twins). Despite these humble beginnings, Richard found interest in a variety of activities. He was casually convinced by his parents when he was 5 to begin playing piano to which he has continued to present. Richard also has had a lucrative sporting career, where he played basketball, tennis, and soccer with no noteworthy accomplishments whatsoever. Now, Richard struggles to do well in school, due mainly to the immense and unreasonable expectations people place upon him. Even so, he has fun on weekends, by not remembering what he did on the weekends.