It didn’t seem like much was happening at 209 Augusta Avenue, given the semi-inconspicuous printouts bordered in red tape, flanking the entrance to its alleyway. To the common eye, it was just a random flyer or bill plastered on a wall; to those who knew about IIIN happening that night, the signs were like a proverbial red carpet, paving the way to a night full of performances and dancing.
The event was an all-black attire event, which was adhered by many – including a black cat found wandering around the room at times.
The night begins with open mic, for anyone who wishes to bring out their vocal prowess. Almost as soon as people start arriving, a list of several attendees quickly forms. It all starts with Marcus, a DJ who goes by Gocho, and he drops some beats while anticipated performer Sabali does a freestyle cypher alongside Ed Erb$. After their performance, the night sees performances by Deuce, Satine, Martina, Renee, Bay Richards, and then concluding with a solo performance by Erb$.
To willingly volunteer to perform on a microphone is a harrowing task in itself, as some of the performers reveal through their words or lyrics – but each takes full control of the situation, and expresses themselves in a way which captivates the audience – sometimes, to the point of singing along.
After open Mic rounds out, the performances begin, to which each scheduled performer is allotted approx. 15 mins to perform 3 songs.
The first performer, Blues, steps up to the mic. She counts off the crowd to snap to a soft tempo, as she performs an acapella to warm up. Soon after, she performs some tracks off her latest EP, Black Tea and Mint, as well as a never-before heard track, Stay.
Followed by performances from Sabali, Gene One and Keysha Freshh, The first act of performances comes to a close with a performance from Just John. Having recently released a music video for this song, he starts off his performance with Mediocre, to which everybody in the room sings along to. After his performance, he closes out with an acapella, then gives a short message on the all-black theme behind IIIN: it’s about the fact that each person in the room is an artist in their own regard – whether as a writer, a singer, a photographer, or any way in which one comes to express their creative side.
Despite the wide assortment of creativity that we partake in, we’re still all united as one cohesive unit, especially when we all come under the same roof to share that unity with one another.
After a brief intermission, the second act of performances kick off with Adria Kain, who sings her heart out right from the start to help bring up the crowd’s vibes, after some downtime. Adria is followed by Erik Flowchild, who sings, and mixes in some strong acapellas, followed by birthday girl Dizzy Donero, with roses in her hand (part of a bouquet from her friends), and sings with her soft yet powerful voice.
At this point, Marcus (a.k.a. Gocho) points out that “it’s like every person in the crowd is a performer!”
After her, the night is rounded out by Josh, who invites his friend Pearce on stage for a song, and is followed by Kenny Coldcuts, the last performance for the evening.
After all the performances, twin DJ duo Lank takes over the stage, and drop some tracks and beats, ranging from deep house, to Hip-Hop, to Nu-Disco, to rap. It’s not long before people are up on stage dancing away, and knocked over a laptop – which thankfully survived the fall.
At this point, it was well past midnight, and spring had officially begun – whether or not people were aware, the lifted spirits, thanks to the recent performances, as well as from Lank’s set, had everyone partying as if winter was officially over.