Spotlight on seven SXSW artists

Year two of SXSW was no less hectic, but I did still discover or experience some very cool artists. Here are seven that made an impression on me.

Autre Ne Veut
I love r&b and this artist reminds me of The Weeknd, with that similar type of atmosphere to his music. And he almost could fit into a category with Miguel and Frank Ocean in a way. I started listening to his album a couple weeks before SXSW, so I was excited to catch his performance at the Brooklyn Vegan showcase in Austin. Check out “Play By Play.”

Lead singer of The Virginmarys performing an acoustic set at the Cricket booth (client) at SXSW
Lead singer of The Virginmarys performing an acoustic set at the Cricket booth (client) at SXSW

The Virginmarys
This Australian rock group is not necessarily the type of music I usually listen to, but seeing them perform stripped down, acoustic versions of a few tracks won me over. I know they love to really rock out on stage, but the lead singer’s raw voice is awesome on its own. My favorite track is “Just A Ride,” which is also my new favorite song to run to (not that I enjoy running or do it often, but this song is the perfect vibe for when I do).

Ghostface Killah
Obviously, Ghostface is not a new artist, but I actually had the opportunity to interview him during SXSW for my client, Cricket and Muve Music. I really enjoyed talking to him, he was so down to earth, and even though he was the headlining artist at the showcase we hosted, he was the only one who came into our interview space with no posse. I’m really intrigued by his upcoming release, 12 Reasons to Die, and the tour sounds really cool. I love incorporating old school soul sounds into this concept album and live instruments into the tour.

ghostface killah

Ahead of SXSW, I kept hearing about Bajofondo coming to Chicago, and started listening to their tango-infused tracks. I didn’t realize until I started Googling them that the group was founded by Gustavo Santaolalla, a Grammy and Oscar-winning musician. He won an Oscar for scoring Brokeback Mountain, and that is only one accomplishment on his super impressive résumé. Be sure to download Bajofondo’s album, Presente.

A$AP Ferg
I already knew A$AP Rocky and we all know my love of the song, “F*ckin’ Problems,” but I didn’t know that much about this member of the A$AP Mob. In talking to him, I was really intrigued to hear about his many talents as an artist, from music to art to design. The man is a painter. You gotta give the mob props for not being afraid to be hip hop artists but also express themselves in other artistic ways, including fashion.

Vintage Trouble
I was familiar with this band from when I worked on the Supercuts Rock the Cut campaign, but even though I’d had a chance to meet and interview them before, I never had a chance to catch them live. I’d heard they are amazing live, so when we randomly wandered up to the Doritos stage and saw they were up next, I had to check them out. The energy and the soulful, throwback dance moves of the lead singer were just what I expected, but I also didn’t realize what an awesome voice he has. So glad I got to hear these guys perform.

vintage trouble

Kat Dahlia
I hope this singer has a big year; it seems like she’s certainly poised for it. Kat is a Cuban singer from Miami, whose first single, “Gangsta,” has been getting a lot of traction. I’m really curious to see what’s next for her.

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