In the past four years, III Points has brought some huge to Miami, all while aiming to support local artists who might not otherwise be heard. In the festival's first year alone, James Murphy and Jamie xx took the stage. This year, the fest is bringing back some favorites (such as the xx and Nicolas Jaar) as well as a few newcomers. Here’s are the musicians debuting at III Points 2017:
1. Gorillaz. In the almost two decades since Blur’s Damon Albarn and illustrator Jamie Hewlett joined forces to create Gorillaz, the virtual quartet has never performed in Florida, let alone Miami. But this year, 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Russel Hobbs, and Noodle will finally take the stage in the Magic City at III Points. With hits like "Clint Eastwood," "Dirty Harry," and "Feel Good Inc.," Gorillaz have established themselves as the world’s most famous virtual hip-hop group. Their most recent album, Humanz, saw 2-D and crew collaborate with hip-hop powerhouses such as Vince Staple, De La Soul, and Danny Brown (also performing at this year’s III Points). 11:30 p.m. Friday, October 13, on the Mind Melt stage.
2. Skepta. If it weren't for Skepta, many Americans might have never gotten into U.K. grime. Born Joseph Junior Adenuga in North London, Skepta began MC'ing in the mid 2000s, rapping over grime’s syncopated breakbeats like a boxer training on a speed bag. The genre he championed and helped define didn’t really gain traction in the United States until the 2010s, but when it did, Skepta was one of its most prominent artists. Back in the U.K., Skepta is more than just a rapper. He’s a pop culture icon, considered one of the most influential British musicians active today. 12:40 a.m. Sunday, October 15, on the Main Frame stage.
3. Arca and Jesse Kanda. Alejandro Ghersi's (AKA Arca's) music is difficult to define (it’s better felt than described), but his references are impossible to deny. After releasing a short series of abstract hip-hop tracks, the Caracas-born producer caught the attention of Kanye West, who asked Arca to co-produce some of the most memorable tracks on Yeezus. Soon after, Arca would lend a hand to FKA Twigs on her debut album, LP1, and help Björk produce much of Vulnicura. His recent and critically acclaimed album, Arca, sees the artist dive deeper into his visceral style, accompanied by the work of Jesse Kanda, a visual artist with an affinity for the distorted human form. 9:15 p.m. Friday, October 13, on the Main Frame stage.
4. Rüfüs du Sol. It might come as a surprise that the indie electronic-dance-pop trio Rüfüs du Sol is made up of three Australian instrumentalists: guitarist Tyrone Lindqvist, keyboardist Jon George, and drummer James Hunt. Formed in 2010 and since relocated from Sydney to Los Angeles, Rüfüs du Sol layers its tracks with creamy vocals and rich bass, sounding something like a blend of modern soul and EDM. Back home, the band topped the Australian charts with its debut album, Atlas. Worldwide, the group's atmospheric melodies have made Rüfüs du Sol a regular on chilled-out playlists. 9:15 p.m. Sunday, October 15, on the Main Frame stage.
5. Willow Smith. Although Willow Smith made her acting debut alongside her superstar father, Will, in 2007’s I Am Legend, she didn’t step into the music scene until she signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and released her hit single, “Whip My Hair,” in 2010. She was 9 years old. The song was a happy-go-carefree and kid-friendly alternative to 2010's more mature hip-hop meditations (see My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). Now legally old enough to drive, Willow puts out music that is likewise grownup. The title of her 2015 debut album, Ardipithecus, is a reference to some of our earliest ancestors. In it, Willow took on more complex themes, from spirituality to substances.10:20 p.m. Saturday, October 14, on the Main Frame stage.
6. Sohn. Hailing from South London and based in Vienna, Christopher Michael Taylor made his name as Trouble Over Tokyo before dissolving the solo project (despite success) and beginning again under the moniker Sohn in 2012. A series of EPs brought the artist’s new effort initial acclaim. Leading with the single “Artifice,” Sohn's debut album, Tremors, continued to garner him attention as a singer-songwriter and producer and earning him comparisons to James Black, Bon Iver, and other ethereal-sounding indie artists. 7:15 p.m. Sunday, October 15, on the Main Frame stage.
7. Serpentwithfeet. Serpentwithfeet (real name Josiah Wise) isn’t just another voice in the choir. Trained as a jazz vocalist, he went on to form a neo-soul outfit and once had aspirations of singing in the opera. That hasn't worked out yet, but the Baltimore-born and Brooklyn-based musician has made a name for himself in what he calls “pagan gospel.” With a provocative name like Serpentwithfeet (a reference to the biblical snake that seduced Eve in the Garden of Eden), an avant-garde aesthetic (including a pentagram tattoo and massive septum piercing), and haunting, R&B-inspired tracks, Serpentwithfeet has earned the attention of critics. 7:10 p.m. Saturday, October 14, on the Mind Melt stage.
8. Mild High Club. If you're looking for a break from the bass at III Points, take some time to lounge around with Mild High Club. As its name suggests, the psychedelic jazz-pop group is, well, mild. Its tracks are as laid-back as a lawn chair with a can of tangerine LaCroix in the cup holder. After gaining some underground traction from its debut album, Timeline, in 2015, Mild High Club returned a year later with Skiptracing, an odyssey of an album that follows a private investigator uncovering the roots of American music. 9 p.m. Saturday, October 14, on the S3ctor 3 stage.
9. Yves Tumor. One word emerges time and time again in reference to Yves Tumor: enigmatic. That is to say, no one really knows what he’s up to. His given name is the subject of some contention. His music, like his persona, is reliably elusive. The soundscapes he creates are at once crass and carefully crafted, with layers of mollifying melodies over dissonant rhythms, creating an odd but not unpleasant listening experience. His 2016 release, Serpent Music, puts the artist’s frantic experiment on full display. 9:45 p.m. Saturday, October 14, on the Mind Melt stage.
10. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has come a long way since her home-schooled upbringing on Orcas Island, Washington. Now based in Los Angeles, Smith hasn’t left the serenity of Orcas Island’s outdoors entirely behind. Her musical compositions are deep and resonating, like the cold ocean waves that surrounded her home. Although she initially intended to use her voice as her primary instrument, she has turned to synthesizers to help craft the complex and effervescent soundscapes that have become her signature. Her 2017 release, The Kid, sees Smith take a more accessible approach while continuing to create seemingly organic sounds from wholly synthetic origins. 7 p.m. Friday, October 13, on the Main Frame stage.
11. Romare. Romare is the moniker of producer Archie Fairhurst, whose down-tempo house is an outlet for his love of African-American culture. Fairhurst studied African-American visual culture in college; adopted his name from the black artist and author Romare Bearden; and titled his first release Meditation on Afrocentrism EP. Each of his album covers shows a collage of black figures (inspired by Bearden’s work), much like Romare's tracks themselves, which cut and paste samples of jazz vocals and brass instrumentals. 6:45 p.m. Sunday, October 15, on the S3ector 3 stage.
12. Kali Uchis. Colombian-born Kali Uchis takes inspiration from the likes of M.I.A. and repackages it into her own brand by writing and producing most of her own music, designing her own artwork, and even taking directorial control over her music videos. As a youngster, Uchis (real name Karly Loaiza) learned to play the saxophone and piano, and she has since taken to collaborating with big-name musicians. In 2014, she gained attention for a feature on Snoop Dogg’s mixtape That’s My Work 3. She independently released her debut album, Por Vida, in 2015, with tracks produced by Kaytranada, Tyler the Creator, and Diplo. And she recently collaborated with Gorillaz on their album Humanz. Next year, she’ll open for Lana Del Rey during her North American tour. 10:45 p.m. Friday, October 13, on the S3ector 3 stage.
III Points 2017. Friday, October 13, through Sunday, October 15, at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-573-0371; manawynwood.com. Tickets cost $125 to $345 via iiipoints.com.
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