When it comes to Red Bull Sound Select, their mantra can be easily summed up in just two words: Break music. And this Labor Day weekend the artist development program did just that. Known for partnering with tastemakers across local scenes (Afropunk in New York and Fake Shore Drive in Chicago) throughout the country, the brand hosted its first-ever 3 Days in Miami event.
As expected, each night brought out hoards of 305-based music junkies ready to take in the sonic soundscapes ranging from well known headliners to artists on the verge, representing a medley of genres reaching from rap and R&B to electronic. VIBE had the pleasure of attending 3 Days in Miami, taking in tons of music from headliners A$AP Ferg, Cashmere Cat and Aluna George, and even lesser known acts, who accomplished the always tough task of winning over a crowd that might not know who you are, let alone your lyrics.
Amid the artist-inspired libations, positive vibes, and good music, we comprised a hand-picked list of some of the most noteworthy acts during 3 Days in Miami that are certainly poised to break through to the mainstream sooner than later. Continue scrolling to see who made the cut.
Who: Formally known as SPZRKT, the first note that escapes from Xavier Omär’s mouth makes it clear that he’s here to deliver the sound of tomorrow’s R&B with a twist of the nostalgic soul your parents and grandparents two-stepped to. However, it’s not the forced, microwavable sound that audiences have settled for lately in music. Actually, nothing about Omär is forced whatsoever. The singer who got his start by uploading songs to Soundcloud from his bedroom some odd years ago while working at a fast food chain in San Antonio, Texas, stage presence is calming yet booms with confidence. It’s the kind of surefire solidifier that he’s an artist you ought to know.
Take These Tracks For A Spin: The intro of “Hesitate” is serious ear candy and the melodic verses that float over the slow-rolling, jazz-tinged beat is too damn good. Do yourself a favor and venture back into his catalog (aka SPZRKT days) for the gem that is “Middle Of Things, Beautiful Wife.”
Steven A. Clark
Who: Miami-based singer-songwriter (via Fayetteville, NC) Steven A. Clark may be billed as a pop artist, but after a few listens, it’s apparent that his mellow and spaced-out, vibe-heavy reverb tips its hat more to burgeoning sub-genre of alt R&B that’s been earning its bones in the mainstream (think Frank Ocean, even the eccentricity of Miguel’s Wildheart). Releasing his first full-length album, The Lonely Roller, in 2015 via Secretly Canadian, we’re hungry to hear more.
Take These Tracks For A Spin: We’ll admit it, the lovesick narrative of “Lonely Roller” has been on repeat in the VIBE office. The sensuality of the record paired with a dose of grunge guitar riffs and Clark’s dreamy vocals is the perfect musical concoction. If you still aren’t convinced, “Can’t Have” proves not only his range but just how sick his pen game is.
Who: You haven’t heard jazz and electronic music fused into one quite like sibling duo Luke and Tess who make up Tennyson. Hailing from Edmonton, Calif., the teens (the verdict on their exact ages are still sketchy, but let’s just say they have yet to have a legal drink in America), got their start by playing covers of songs from The Beatles, Coldplay and Weezer. With Luke on the production and keyboards and Tess repping for chicks with sticks, the music they make is emotive like without saying a word. Seriously, between dreamy electrocution synths and warped neo sounds, the raw talent of Tennyson speaks for itself.
Take These Tracks For A Spin: Their latest track “XYZ” feels worldly (like the ambiance music that may be playing during a wildlife tour but better), transporting you to the perfect escape from reality in seconds. “Slipperz,” a rework of Destiny’s “Cater 2 U” (“I got your slippers, your dinner, your dessert and so much more”) breathes new energy into the song that’s nearly a decade old.
Who: Just last month we crowned 23-year-old Jazz Cartier as the “new fearless voice in Toronto’s rap scene,” and he continues to live up to that every time he hits the stage. Hearing Cartier’s brazen, straightforward bars on wax is just one element to his artistry, as his live performances bring the vigor of his lyrics to life (think stage diving and moshing). Pushing the post-Drake era forward with hailed mixtapes, Marauding in Paradise and Hotel Paranoia, there’s certainly more greatness to come from Cartier.
Take These Tracks For A Spin: If you’re not familiar with Jazz, we recommend you take a listen to his most recognizable track “Dead Or Alive” that pushed him through the underground scene of Toronto to hoods across the world. “Tell Me” also lets his dark persona breathe, revealing his more emotional side, making for a jam the ladies can appreciate.