Never do we leave Miami not energized & inspired! It’s so invigorating to be surrounded by art, color, & Miami bass – no matter what time of day, no matter what street. III Points was just equally as satisfying with an incredibly curated lineup, while also providing a safe space for self expression via any medium, whether through fashion, poetry, music, or visual art. Alas, we didn’t get to see it all, but we saw enough to make our knees hurt & our eardrums rumble!
Oh, did we mention the fashion?
Peep this Vogue article showcasing more highlights from the festival’s street style 👏🏾
*We did unfortunately suffered from some technical difficulties (complete lack of reception on festival grounds = lost Instagram stories forever #rip, also my phone was stolen night 1 & ended up in China 💔) but see what we could salvage on our archived stories via The Gram!
// DAY 1
We started the day loading up on fresh baked, artisanal breads & pastries at Zak The Baker 🤤, then headed to our Miami Beach holy grail, The Standard Hotel & Spa, to nap off all the carbs in canopy chairs amidst tropical gardens equipped with iguana buddies, followed by some piña coladas & fresh fruit at their Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, Lido. We could live here forever.
First up on our roster was fuzzy neo-soul group, The Internet, at Mind Melt stage under a giant disco ball attached to a bridge crane. They were naturally smooth like velvet. The band played all the songs I hoped for, & I fell in love with Syd & her rich vocals + casual charisma a million times over. Steve Lacy on guitar turned me into a puddle, too. Even during some technical difficulties, the whole audience was still dancing & singing every word. But you already knew that… 🎵
Then we headed over to another outdoor stage, Isotropic, but this one more tropical with hanging ivy plants & beaming lights accompanied by a very fitting colorful & melodic DJ set by Montreal-based house music producer, Jacques Greene, followed by “lo-fi house” Swedish producer, DJ Seinfeld.
Next, we moved inside to Main Frame to see our Carolina OG Chaz do his thing! aka Toro Y Moi do a DJ set (basically Les Sins). It reminded me a lot of the dropbox file “Soul Trash” he dropped via Instagram a few weeks back, & we weren’t mad at it. Mash up some disco, some funk, some ambient house with baselines, a couple of Toro originals + trap beats in a smoke-filled room & we’re good to go! Toro Y Moi 4ever~
Then we went over the Boiler Room to catch some of “afro-futurist” Auntie Flo‘s DJ set, fled over to Skate Space for Teklife all star’s DJ Earl set (in the middle of a skating rink!) before circling back to Isotropic stage for Honey fkg Dijon!
Honey Dijon’s blending embodies the bump of Chicago + more classic New York sounds + Euro influences, & her subtle transitions between house & techno are hypnotic. She’s has also been highly active at the intersection of fashion & music, compiling & curating the music for Louis Vuitton’s men’s shows. She’s also an in-demand speaker & contributor on issues surrounding gender in club culture. She melted our faces off at Moogfest last year & we knew we couldn’t miss this queen in action again! We could get lost in the sound of her 90’s inspired groove all night long.
Living for this literal mic drop outro! Check out @gemsounds‘ highlighted stories on Insta to see more of her set!
Last up for the night was my MVP, Peggy Gou, Berlin-based, South Korea-born DJ Fashion student turned DJ turned producer. This girl is not only a style icon but a musical genius, & I’ve been counting down the days to see her live – which should’ve been easy enough since her life seems to be one perpetual tour. This star’s unique & infectious blend of electro, funk, house, & techno was a perfect way to end night 1!
// DAY 2
We spent the afternoon seeing some amazing works at the Rubell Family Collection’s incredible space – the world’s largest, privately owned, publicly accessible contemporary art collections exhibited within a 45,000-square-foot repurposed Drug Enforcement Agency confiscated goods facility.
Followed up by my preferred last meal if ever given the option, spicy street fruit 🍍🥝🍉🥥
I met Kelsey Lu at a Halloween party years back (where she was dressed as Lisa Bonet!), & had the privilege of interviewing her for stylePublic shortly thereafter. This girl is a GIFT. We opened the evening with her – a cellist & singer/songwriter from North Carolina, who delivered an beautiful & mesmerizing performance – one that made for an immersive, self-conscious experience that seemed to set the tone for the rest of the night. Her vulnerable, searing voice delivers sonorous meditations of identity, love, loss, while she saunters confidently between radiant chamber-dream-pop & thumping alt-R&B while. I couldn’t look away.
After Lu, I had to go see my new favorite DJ/Miami local, Yazmine, do her thing at Skate Space! The sound in here unfortuantely didn’t do her justice, but I’ve been bumping this girl’s insane mixes ever since I found out about her via the III Points lineup. The funnests blends of EDM + trap + hip hop + R&B + reggaeton + soul – I’m hooked!
See Gemsounds’ own Camela on wheels~
Then we headed over to Isotropic for a fun & fresh set from young Swedish producer, Baba Stiltz. He studied for nearly 6 years at the Royal Swedish Ballet School which explains his eccentric & energetic dance moves throughout his set, shimmying around to bright disco/deep-house. His off-kilter tracks float freely between eras & styles, swimming through hip-hop, R&B, techno, funk, electro, & disco all at once – making for a packed dance floor.
Next up was jazz legend Herbie Hancock, a man who has innovated in genres ranging from hip-hop & electronica, to classical adaptations & modern pop. He & his band ripped, fusing old & new hits – you know Cantaloupe Island & Rockit had us groovin’ like our daddies would’ve 😎
Then we hit Skate Space for a bit of Loka! A Caribbean-American DJ, she’s is known for bringing her roots to the club–masterfully creating genre-breaking sets. Undertones of political aggression combined with striking, percussion-heavy tracks defines a powerful young woman at work. Loved discovering this gem through the fest!
Like I mentioned before, James Blake‘s latest release, Assume Form, is what’s gotten me through the year so far. I’ve always been a huge fan of his confessional-style melancholy music, but I’m thrilled my sad boi has undergone a grand transformation since he’s found love with none other than actress & activist, Jameela Jamil (I’m partial, of course 😏) – & this genuinely sweet album serves as a love letter to her with genuine moments of levity & romance, while he bares his soul & examines every inch of his ego & insecurities with us.
No surprise cameos from collaborators Travis Scott, Moses Sumney, André 3000 or Rosalía, but he still played every song we hoped for & even catered some of them to the festival crowd with more upbeat, dance “remixes” of his signature ballads. I hadn’t considered that this was the first time he would perform the new album live, & he was adorably nervous & grateful at how well we received him. Definitely one of my favorite acts of the festival, without surprise ♡
After letting that set soak in, we headed back to Isotropic to catch the end Australia’s Mall Grab. Another young producer with an eclectic taste in dance music, & a unique gift of blending different genres & sounds into one energetic mix with complete flow & ease.
Then we were back to the main stage for an all-star set from SZA. I saw her once before at Afropunk in Brooklyn, & knew we had to be up front & center this time around. This girl gives it her all – bouncing, dancing, & jumping around, while still managing to nail her soaring vocals, deliver witty & raw banter, & look gorgeous AF! Her charming energy is contagious, & her stage presence truly goes unmatched. Everyone in the audience was captivated, especially all the femmes, hanging off every word of her frank & personal lyrics that dwell on themes of insecurity, rejection & love, while fusing R&B, hip-hop, & soul. She also let us preview the rap verse she originally planned on recording for Love Galore instead of Travis Scott.. So sad we couldn’t capture this to share with you all, but please understand we were dancing 2hard!
Then we booked it inside to a smokey Mind Melt stage for Yaeji!! If you haven’t fallen for her already, we suggest you drop everything & check her out ASAP. The undisputed rising queen of underground electronic music, this producer/DJ/vocalist/visual artist star girl lit up the room with her versatile, playful lo-fi pop-house set. Mixing & singing simultaneously, she deftly overlayed her vocals – which switch seamlessly between Korean & English, while maintaining her transient beats full of ornamental textures, layered vocals, & a touch of hip-hop & R&B. We loved the way she engaged the audience & danced all over the stage – I wish I could put her in my pocket & carry her with me all day!
Still reeling from the last few performances, we were fulfilled. In retrospect, we probably should’ve fought through the haze & powered on, but we only had enough left in us to float over to a see a little of Ben UFO b2b with Joy Orbison, a little of Ty Segall & White Fence, & a little of James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem’s) DJ set before calling it a night. Nevertheless, world-renowned DJs Joy & Ben delivered a vibrant blend of jungle, dubstep, deep house, garage, & techno – Ty Segall & White Fence shredded as expected, where worlds of psych/garage/punk-rock & psych-pop collided into fuzzy, retro rock – & James Murphy transformed the venue into a night in New York’s ’90s club scene.
// DAY 3
After some homemade, Zach Reader special Caipirinhas at our Air BnB, we ventured out for the last night. Surprise, Ian Isiah (aka Big Shugga!!!), a featured vocalist on Negro Swan & incredible solo-artist, was performing alongside Blood Orange, as well as female vocalist Eva Tolkin. It would be a disservice to refer to Ian & Eva as backup singers, as they took center stage with solos throughout the set – especially Isiah’s with his gospel-style acapella ballads, while simultaneously acting as the hype-crew for the crowd. The rhythm sectioners soloed often as well. As for Hynes, he delivered his signature airy melodies, Prince-like guitar solos, interpretive dance moves, while navigating through stories of love, vulnerability, & social injustice.
Boiler Room was at capacity for Egyptian Lover, which ultimately would’ve been soul-crushing had we not seen this electro pioner years prior at Moogfest. We then awaited Erykah Badu at Main Frame with a moving spoken word introduction from poet & activist, Aja Monet.
Wearing her signature sky-high stovepipe hat, Erykah Badu delivered a set that spanned her nearly quarter-century career. “Y’all know this is the 22nd anniversary of Baduizm?” She recalled that her son is almost as old as her debut album, as were large numbers of fans in her audience. “I’ve been waiting for y’all to grow the f*ck up so we can talk about it,” she joked. She closed out her set by having everyone raise their hands up & focus on the energy emanating from the palms, creating a force + a sense of unity with everyone involved. “When a queen speaks, you listen.”
Post Badu, we caught the end of Texan trio Khruangbin’s funk-based grooves with hints of jazz at a very chill Sector 3 Stage.
On the way to DJ Koze, we caught the opening of A$AP Rocky‘s superstar set. He brought out Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes for a dreamy guest spot early on, followed by a superhyped Tyler the Creator collab of “Who Dat Boy.”
Inside Mind Melt for DJ Koze, there was an unfortunate long stretch of technical difficulties, but eventually we were transported into a euphoric state of his pastel-colored melancholia before bouncing over to a packed out Boiler Room for DJ Stingray, whose set, grounded in Detroit techno & his own productions, stayed at 150+ BPM, & he rarely left records on for more than 90 seconds to give you an idea of the pace.
There was still a stage we’d yet to visit, so we ventured over to Door IV, The Electric Pickle stage for some disco dancing & bass you could feel down your spine with Terence Tabeau (& jars of pickles!). Alas, it was late Sunday night & the festival (& our leg strength) was coming to an end. Blissed out, we made our way to some bleachers to wrap up the weekend with a deep disco set by legendery DJ/Producer, Arthur Baker. Baker has worked with everyone from Fleetwood Mac to the Rolling Stones, all while changing the course of pop music with the likes of “Planet Rock” & creating New York’s revolutionary electro sound & bringing it mainstream during his lengthy career.
Way to put a bow on it, III Points!
All in all, this festival really impressed with their 6 stages all spread around Mana Wynwood’s vast footprint. Each stage had a unique & distinct feel. & MAJOR points for the III Points app – the festival app of our dang dreams!
Until next time, Miami! ✌🏽 out from us & our target-marketed “Instagram cocounut” x