On a warm Saturday, April 27, 2019, thousands of young music fans gathered at Cesar Chavez Plaza in Sacramento for the second annual Sol Blume Festival, spotlighting the up and coming in R&B and Hip Hop. The festival was well-organized and high-spirited, allowing artists to showcase their talent in short sets with only ten minutes in between each set. This was made possible through two stages a mere football field away from each other with set times that alternated from stage to stage. Suffice to say, fans were not disappointed. With a lineup of young artists performing over a flowery spring motif on the “Bless” stage and the “Blume” stage, the energy stayed high and positive from start to finish.
The co-founder of Soulection was the perfect DJ for the festival as he played a ton of flipped gems that got the crowd moving and screaming throughout the day. Fresh from Coachella, he was excited to be in Sacramento for the first time. Check out his interview here!
Newly added to the lineup, the 20-year-old Seattle Native provided a smooth opening. With about 15 minutes to perform, she engaged with the early crowd, drawing attention to the performance of her hit single, “Ballin”. She emphasized that this was her first time performing outside of the Pacific-Northwest, so she brought her family with her. When approached, her mother expressed pride for her daughter and everything that she has accomplished so far.
Check out her interview here!
The second to appear on the lineup was Philadelphia’s Ivy Sole. Her first time in Sacramento, Sole was happy for a change pace both with the crowd energy and the sunny weather. Blending elements of hip hop and neo-soul, Ivy Sole’s understated style in singing rapping showcased her strengths “Rollercoaster”. Taking advantage of her short set time, she premiered some new music and then brought out Dave B to perform “Life” for the first time together, verbalizing on “Life is Beautiful” that it is a blessing to be performing at this festival.
Moments after performing on the Blume Stage with Ivy Sole, the clock struck noon and Dave B ran to the Bless Stage to open up his set to his COLORS song, “David.” The first artist of the day that was accommodated by their live band, he engaged with the crowd and fed off the energy by dancing on stage. The incorporation of the reverb and echo in his set definitely gave more detail to his voice. Before ending his set, he brought Romero Francois out for their new feature, ending his performance on a positive note.
Back to the Blume Stage, UMI lit up the stage with such feel-good energy kindly asking the crowd to give someone a hug. With a flower vine wrapped around her microphone, she opened up with her song “Butterfly”, excited screaming coming from both the crowd and UMI herself. Mid-set, she got the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to acknowledge her sisters 18th birthday in the crowd, then dedicated “Midnight Blues” to them. As always, the live band was welcome, with the saxophonist being standout touch. Shortly after noticing that she had more time on her set, she finally performed “Better”.
Her first festival since performing overseas and receiving lots of love for her Asia tour, Jess Connelly, from Manila, Philippines, had a strong fanbase performing in the diverse city of Sacramento. Jess Connelly, wearing an all-green uni, was for sure aiming for the spring vibe fit. She said a bunch of times during her performance that she is a “sucker for love..everything I write about is love.” Her live mixed versions of her set did not do her buttery neo-soul voice but she made up for it by performing hits such as “Mine” and “Process.” Check out her interview here!
Check out the interview here!
With his middle-parted fluffy hair, unbuttoned white Jordan shirt, a star under his left eye, and sparkliest green shorts you’d ever see, Tobi Lou definitely had a stage presence that picked the energy back up from the more mellow set provided by Jess Connelly on such a hot day. Tobi Lou’s delivery in his set was clear that there was a shift in crowd energy as he provided a strong rap presence under his bass-heavy production. He definitely lived up to the hype when he pulled out his song “Orange.” Closing his set was a crowd favorite, “Buff Baby”, leaving the audience in high spirits.
Raveena noted that the environment gave off such a “gradient and spring-summer feeling.” This was perpetuated through her flowery, nature-heavy motif through her visuals and printed dress. The instrumentation was funk-heavy and transitioned extremely well. Before performing “Milk and Honey”, she encouraged everyone to spark up their incense and their weed. Touching base on songs about feminine beauty, best friendship, depression, and toxic relationships, she struck several chords with her audience. This set bought into the spring theme of Sol Blume the most and saw a powerful resonance with her crowd. Raveena’s graceful voice and all-smiles mood was an effective crowd pleaser; she easily had the best set of the day.
Check out her interview here!
Check out our intro to Raveena!
Kiana Ledé provided a confident set, playing crowd favorites like “Fair Play” and “Ex”, and utilizing the audience’s gaze to heradvantage. Her live sound is as clean and polished as her studio recording. Concluding her set with “Show Love”, she thanked the crowd multiple times for supporting her on her rise.
A calming presence with her pink leopard printed two-piece, Ari Lennox performed her whole set barefoot. The usage of echo was a very smart touch to emphasize with her soothing voice. She lastly announced when her highly anticipated project “Shea Butter Baby” will be releasing and thanking DJ Grumble for producing most of her music. She asked, “how many y’all fucked in the backseat of your car” and followed up with a performance of “Backseat”; a great performance overall.
The Philadelphia rapper’s performance was highly anticipated among festival goers. This shouldn’t be so surprising–after the release of last year’s critically acclaimed audiovisual album Whack World, and the release of some brand new singles in the past couple of months, Tierra Whack is one of the ones to watch in contemporary hip hop. Running a little late, her DJ provided a few crowd pleasers to get the crowd going before her arrival, five minutes into her set. Although she was late, she brought in an uplifting energy, engaging in call and response with her crowd, and telling her crowd how grateful she was for the opportunity to be in front of a crowd of that size, something she isn’t that familiar with. After performing cuts from Whack World, she rapped a few of her new singles, noticeably omitting “Only Child” due to her set time being constricted to 45 minutes. Still, fans were not disappointed to watch a favorite bring positive energy and a large stage presence.
Check out our Whack World review here!
More on Tierra Whack here!
With the sun coming down, another crowd favorite, Masego had drawn a large audience to the Blume stage. He recreated his favorite song “Water/Agua” in a different key that he always performs live for the audience. There was a large amount of dancing and singing along from the audience.
The sun officially gone, JID picks energy back up, dedicating songs to “peace, love, and all that fuck shit”, his cohorts Earthgang, his mentor J Cole, and his underdog upbringing for a highly technical and energetic set.
Snoh Aalegra, Queen Naija, Jessie Reyez, & Miguel were not covered due to us conducting interviews with artists and management.
Special thanks to Sol Blume, Rachel Wilson (of Giant Noise), and the whole camp.
Thanks to the artists and their managers for giving us the opportunity to conduct interviews & radio drops.
DJ Hari hosts In the Mid-noid Hour, Thursdays 10-12 am.
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