Words by LargeUp
Photo by Martei Korley

This year, for South by Southwest, LargeUp brought a bit of Virgin Islands niceness to Austin, Texas.

Austin Island, our third-annual Caribbean music showcase at the world’s premiere music conference, brought the biggest names in U.S. Virgin Islands music together — including R. City, Verse Simmonds, Pressure Busspipe, I Grade Dub — for a first-of-its-kind celebration, at Bungalow in Austin’s Rainey Street district.

The party, sponsored by the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, opened with a screening of R. City’s What Dreams Are Made Of documentary, and also featured guest appearances from artists from across the region, including Jamaica’s Jovi Rockwell, DJ Delano of Renaissance Sound, and Spanish Town; Jahdan Blakkamoore out of Guyana; and Colombia’s Freaky Colectivo, as well as selectors DJ Gravy and Deejay Theory. But it was all about the USVI, as V.I. rappers Paebak and Prya also made brief cameos, highlighting the diversity and vibrance of the Virgin Islands music scene, alongside headliners R. City, Verse and Pressure. The V.I. is definitely on the rise —if you didn’t already know, now you know!

And we must large up the Austin Caribbean Cultural Exchange, Blacka Di Danca, DJ Synapse, Isaiah From Texas, and all of the Virgin Islanders who came from across the country to be a part of the showcase!

Catch the vibes in the video highlight reel below, click here for a full recap of the event and more photos, and look out for more webisodes with R. City, Verse Simmonds and Pressure Busspipe/I Grade Dub.

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