Five Artists You Don't Want to Miss at 2019's III Points Music + Arts Festival
By: Emily Usallan
Beach House, SZA, VHS Collection, James Blake, and Blood Orange are undoubtedly my top five most anticipated artists of the sixth annual III Points, hosted in Wynwood Miami, Florida. This year's lineup definitely appeals to a diverse crowd; bestowing to alternative, R&B, rap, and electronic music fans. This three-day festival beginning on February 15th will not only cater to music goers but also art enthusiasts. The festival claims to be showcasing multiple art installation features and more than ever before. The aim of this festival is to unite the diverse South Florida music and arts community. Additionally, huge names such as Grammy-nominated artists SZA, James Blake, and Tyler, The Creator will certainly attract vast crowds.
One of the most popular movies of 2018 was undoubtedly Marvel’s Black Panther and along with that, the movie’s diverse soundtrack featured an appearance from III Points headliner, SZA. The R&B songstress has been gaining a great extent of popularity in the past few months mainly due to her fantastic debut effort, CTRL, as well as her recent tour with rap legend, Kendrick Lamar. Her 2014 EP, Z, was produced by the celebrated Larry Fisherman, along with others, and includes features from the famed Chance the Rapper and Isiah Rashad. SZA’s first album, CTRL gained much traction; receiving five Grammy nominations in 2018, as well as a number of nominations from the American Music Awards as well as Billboard Music Awards. It appears that SZA finds comfort in expressing her disquietudes lyrically -- like social media, low self-esteem, desire, jealousy, and love. Based on live performances I’ve seen and her ethereal stage presence, SZA will definitely not be an act to miss at this year’s festival.
The indie-rock duo from Baltimore, Maryland, Beach House is another stellar act that’s set to play III Points on the opening night, February 15. Their vast discography spans seven studio albums, two of which have reached the top ten charts in the United States. Bloom reached number seven while the band’s most famed effort, Depression Cherry placed at numbers eight on alternative charts. With musical influences ranging from The Zombies to Neil Young, Beach House take inspiration from a wide variety of sources and this can easily be shown through their varying music. The duo is known for having a very mellow and dreamy sound, coincidentally matching their name. Having been a band for over 13 years, Beach House has had plenty of time to experiment with production, instrumentation, while having toured internationally and headlining distinguished festivals.
When electronic and alternative rock music fuses together, you get New York City’s VHS Collection. Like many of up-and-coming artists today, VHS Collection started on Soundcloud, procuring followers on the platform. However, the trio eventually began to play their own shows in local NYC clubs, leading up to them selling out headlining shows. With a few songs reaching millions of streams, “Waiting on the Summer” is one of which has over 25 million streams on Spotify. It is important to note that the trio is a self-managed and independent band furthering the band’s talent and dedication to their craft. VHS Collection is celebrated for boisterous and exuberant live performances, so there is no doubt that their set on the last day of the festival will be a success, invigorating the South Floridian crowd.
With collaborations and contributions to extremely famed artists like, Bon Iver, Beyoncé- a feature on Lemonade-, and Frank Ocean, English R&B and electronic artist, James Blake has created success in his name. Blake has been nominated for several Grammy’s, Brit Awards, and World Music Awards. The artist is often known for his hauntingly piercing vocals, accompanying his superb songwriting. The popular track from Blake, “Retrograde” truly showcases his talents and happens to have over 110 million streams on Spotify – showing his prevalence in the music industry, as well as his dedicated fan base. It almost seems as if once you get a taste of his vocals, you’ll want that sweet sound to continue to pour into your ears for as long as possible. His fourth album, Assume Form, is expected to be released January 18, 2019; coinciding perfectly with his appearance at III Points, which I hope to hear a taste of during his set.
In modern times, issues dealing with people of color have had more light in the media; Blood Orange has found music as an outlet for his anxieties around his own experiences as a person of color. This one-man R&B and electronic band consist of Dev Hynes, his guitar, and his laptop. He has collaborated with other artists, specifically popular in the alternative music scene, like Sky Ferreira. He’s co-produced and co-written for Solange, and even worked with Britney Spears for her eighth album Britney Jean. Blood Orange was nominated in 2007 by NME for best solo artist and later in 2017 by GLAAD Media for outstanding music. Dev wants to represent and speak out for those who do not feel black and/or queer enough or too much. Blood Orange is often overlooked and therefore an extremely underrated musician. I have a strong feeling that he will receive a great crowd at III Points and I can’t wait to see his energy on stage, along with the energy from the crowd during his set.
With an outstanding lineup, III Points will certainly attract manifolds of music and art-goers. These five artists’ sets are definitely some you would not want to skip over if you are attending the 2019 III Points festival; mixes of electronic, R&B, and alternative rock are just a few of the genres to be looking forward to. Though these five are ones to check out and fit into your schedule, there are tons and tons of smaller artists you need to check out while attending the festival!