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The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor
The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor
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Unique undercard artists that will bring the soul to Sol Blume

Arin Ray, Amber Mark and others may not be headliners, but are head turners
Jhene Aiko performing at the mainstage during Sol Blume 2022. Sol Blume, founded in 2017, brings R&B, soul and hip-hop to Sacramento. (Photo courtesy of Sol Blume)

Annual hip-hop, soul and R&B festival Sol Blume returns to Sacramento’s Discovery Park for a weekend of soulful sounds in the sun.

Originally scheduled in April, Sol Blume rescheduled after harsh weather flooded its venue, Discovery Park. The festival makes its return Saturday and Sunday.

English performers NAO and PinkPantheress will no longer be at the festival this weekend due to “unforeseen circumstances,” according to an announcement by Sol Blume.

The 2023 lineup is topped by Maryland product Brent Faiyaz and Oakland native Kehlani, but sprinkled throughout the weekend are artists that fit the bill of the hot Sacramento sun and the positivity of Sol Blume’s sultry atmosphere. Here are a handful of artists that festival attendees should add to their schedule this weekend.

RELATED: GALLERY: Music for the soul to blossom

Amber Mark

Listen if you like: NAO, Victoria Monét and Jazmine Sullivan

Blume Stage – Saturday – 5:10 p.m.

This Tennessee-born Capricorn grew up in parts of the United States and Germany and her diverse upbringing amplifies her genre-bending music style. After releasing her debut album “Three Dimensions Deep” to critical success in January 2022, Mark’s vocal prowess and live jam sessions align perfectly for a two-stepping date in the Sacramento sun this Saturday.

A bulk of “Three Dimensions Deep” is produced by Julian Bunetta, one of One Direction’s main producers and songwriters; however, this is no pure pop album. Instead, Bunetta supplies Mark’s catalog with dance-ready tunes curated for live perfection.

Listen to: “What It Is,” “Mixer” and “Worth It”


Listen if you like: Ravyn Lenae, Snoh Alegra and Tems

Bless Stage – Saturday – 2:35 p.m.

Mereba of the American South boasts an impressive Tiny Desk Concert that highlights her complex themes and story-telling ability, which has made her a frequent collaborator with soulful rappers like Saba, J.I.D and REASON. Mereba’s voice is equal parts raspy and pure as her producers leave plenty of space in her songs for her, and listeners, to glide through octaves in an eye-closing stupor.

With no new music since 2021, fans can expect to hear something new on Saturday as she continues to display growth and solidify her identity in the world of alternative R&B. Mereba debuted her new song, “Ever Needed,” in July and even covered Bob Marley and the Wailers.
Listen to: “Rider,” “Stay Tru” and “Black Truck”


Listen if you like: Kehlani, Omar Apollo and Kiana Ledé

Bless Stage – Sunday – 2:45 p.m.

Twenty-one-year-old DESTIN CONRAD has been a star in the making. “My mother says I could sing before I could talk,” Conrad said to Pulse Music Group. After reaching modest fame on the now-defunct social media app, Vine, and developing a friendship with Sol Blume headliner Kehlani, Conrad is flowering into the next chapter of his star-bound career.

His youth as a church singer and enrollment at the renowned Debbie Allen Dance Academy translates to an expert-level stage presence that fits him like a glove. His gospel-ready voice and natural knack for performing make him one of contemporary R&B’s top contenders. His recent single “OUTTA CONTROL” released on Aug. 2 and he has not performed since January. Expect Conrad to use Sol Blume to catapult himself toward the new heights he is destined for.

Listen to: “OUTTA CONTROL,” “ON 10” and “UNPREDICTABLE (feat. Kiana Ledé)”

Arin Ray

Listen if you like: SiR, dvsn and Lucky Daye

Bless Stage – Sunday – 1:10 p.m.

After repeat appearances on “The X Factor,” Arin Ray was enlisted as a writer for the likes of Jason Derulo and Omarion. He stepped out from behind the scenes in 2016 and released a full-length project “Platinum Fire” in 2018, which awarded him a Sol Blume appearance that same year. His sophomore release “Hello Poison,” released in 2022, is having the same effect.

Ray features a calm voice and works with rap producers like Nez & Rio to give his contemporary R&B a bounce similar to the sounds of Tinashe. The other half of his catalog shows his range by utilizing his effortless singing voice with neo-soul production that is easy to fall in love with. If Discovery Park is blessed with a breeze this weekend, expect it to peak during Ray’s afternoon serenade.

Listen to: “Reckless,” “Communication (feat. DRAM)” and “Bad Idea (feat. Blxst)”

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About the Contributor
Chris Woodard, Managing Editor
Chris Woodard joined The State Hornet in 2022 as a third-year transfer student. He previously worked as the editor-in-chief of Cosumnes River College’s publication, The Connection. He is a Sacramento native and hopes to cover arts & entertainment after graduating in the spring of 2024.
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