Next week, music fans from around the world will gather in Austin, Texas, for the annual South by Southwest Music Festival which. The five-day (March 12th-17th) festival, which is preceded by a Tech, and Film Festival, is the place where artists like 50 Cent, The Delfonics and Lianne La Havas meet. It’s the place where great music can coexist regardless of genre. With all the great performances that are said to rock the festival this year, there are some artists who are likely to make history at the festival that you won’t want to miss.
Toro Y Moi
In 2010 South Carolina bred Toro Y Moi entered the scene with the debut album Causers of This. With the project, it introduced listeners to the electronic, genre-bending sound that has become synonymous with Toro Y Moi. After the release, Toro Y Moi released two follow up projects showed the group exploring more sounds – 90’s R&B, Dance, and etc and creating two successful projects in the form of Underneath the Pine, and Anything in Return released earlier this year. Toro Y Moi is currently on a National tour, will be bringing their energetic live stage show to Austin’s SXSW for 4 different showcases, beginning Wednesday March 13th at the KCRW Showcase at Haven, March 14th at both the Pitchfork Day Party at 1100 Warehouse, Dickies Filter Part at Lustre Pearl, March 15th at the Windish Agency Party at Mohawk, Carpack Showcase and lastly, at The Hype Hotel’s showcase on Sunday.
Solange has become a name known for more than just music, but also for her killer style. The singer with Texas roots (Houston), has been making a name for herself for years as more than just the younger sister to icon Beyonce. Riding high off of the acclaim of her third and most recent release TRUE, Solange has made a name for herself by incorporating her own sound, a unique blend of 60's pop/soul and contemporary electronic hip hop vibes. The vintage quality that resonates in her music is also evident in her style. The fashionista is the complete retro package, rocking curly Afros, mod inspired clothes and makeup. This style hasn't gone unnoticed; she's graced the covers of a number of magazines, as well as been highlighted as a fashion icon in various outlets. She'll be playing a set at the highly anticipated Fader Fort. You can also catch her at Hype Machine's Hype Hotel, Friday March 15th at 1AM.
Since releasing her debut album, UnFresh, in 2009, singer Andy Allo has gone on to make her mark in the entertainment world. Allo can be seen in National magazine campaigns for brands like Clean and Clear, as well as part of Prince’s touring band New Power Generation where she is a singer and guitarist. Allo is often referred to as Prince’s protégé, and while on tour with the legend she had the opportunity to collaborate on three tracks, which made their home on her sophomore album, Superconductor. With the album, Allo revisited her soulful, indie vibe and is finally gaining the exposure she deserves – she performed on late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, and will be bringing her signature big hair to two live shows at SXSW this year. Allo will be performing at two showcases this year, Friday March 15th at St. David’s Bethell House at 8:45PM and Saturday March 16th at 10PM.
Charly & Margaux
Brooklyn based composer duo, Charly & Margaux have been making a name for themselves for lending their services to projects like Kendrick Lamar’s debut album Good Kid m.a.a.d City, and Pharoahe Monche’s W.A.R (We Are Renegades). Adding to their cute, boho-hipster type personal style, they are also classically trained string composers - having met while students in Boston. On March 1st, the duo released their highly anticipated debut project, The Gallerina Suites. The three-track project, which consists of three suites, shows the range and the diversity the two have, yet the respect to their classical training. While in Austin, the two will be doing a documentary on March 13, entitled “From Bedstuy to South By.” The documentary will highlight the two playing for bystanders while taping their reactions. Follow their Twitter at @Chargaux to find where they will be for your chance to catch them.
New York based collective, Phony Ppl is comprised of a young crop of musicians, singers, rappers and producers who are focused on preserving quality music. With a sound that blends together Hip-Hop, House and Soul, the group is on the forefront of a new Renaissance coming from the East Coast. With three projects under their belt thus far: WTF is Phonyland?, Phonyland, and nothinG special, the collective have been popping up at shows around the East Coast like last Summer’s Afro Punk Festival, as well as D.C’s Trillectro Festival. The group has even toured with vocalist Erykah Badu and recently shut down their show at Brooklyn Bowl. Given their body of work thus far and the live quality appeal within their tracks, Phony Ppl’s showcase Thursday March 14th at The Scoot Inn at 10PM is a showcase that should not be missed.
Jesse Boykins III
Singer/songwriter Jesse Boykins III has become a favorite of the female gender. The big-haired soul crooner from New York City has been grinding hard since releasing his 2008 debut EP Dopamine: My Life on My Back. The project, which was a narrative of sorts, explored the various stages of a relationship from love lost, infatuation and more, and set a beautiful precedent for the rest of the material coming from the crooner. As part of The Romantic Movement, a collective of talented artists, Boykins has managed to sustain his career selling out shows around the United States and overseas, collaborating with multiple artists, being nominated for a Soul Train award, as well as appearing on magazine covers. Boykins will be performing at SXSW for three different showcases. On March 14th, Boykins will be performing at the Ninja Tune Showcase at 10PM located at Elysium, on March 15th, Boykins will performing at The Couch Sessions Showcase “The Circus” at Empire Automotive Garage, and on March 16th he will be performing at Nat Geo Showcase at The Stage on Sixth Patio.
With their debut project, Social Studies, Brooklyn based quartet, Body Language earned the cosign of publications like NPR and The New York Times who referred to their sound as a Madonna, disco-like fusion. After releasing Social Studies, the group began touring with artists like Zero 7, and Sia, becoming a fixture in the New York dance party scene. Staying consistent with the scholarly references, the group followed up with their EP, Grammar, which penned the addictive track “Lose My Head,” which can be heard in Express, and Forever 21 stores around the country, and dance clubs everywhere. Body Language is gearing up to release their new album, this year, but before that comes, the group will be bringing their fun and funky style to SXSW with two showcases. On March 14th, Body Language will be performing at The Bond Music Group on 401, as well as Friday March 15th at The Couch Sessions Circus Showcase.
After touring with Caribou as the drummer, Ahmed Gallab founded the group Sinkane, a group bridging that down home funk sound with guitar, bass, keys, and great drum work. Taking their name from a line in Kanye West's track, "Never Let Me Down," referencing Amistad Rebellion leader Joseph Cinque, the Brooklyn based quartet has made a splash onto the scene with two EP's and four LP's and are currently opening for Toro Y Moi on his nationwide tour. On Thursday March 14th, Sinkane will be performing at the DTS/Slacker show at 10PM. The group will also be performing at MailChimp and Pop Montreal’s Pop Montreal showcase, which will be March 16th at 12PM.