Who to see at SXSW
It's that time of the year again, SXSW. Probably the most interesting music festival / conference in the world. I've been lucky enough to participate in SXSW the last 2 years performing with Black Violin, so consider me your bootleg tour guide. We all know the top artists that will be performing, but I would like to suggest some artists and showcases that you may not be hip to. I'm my own worst critic, so I feel like I'm a good judge of talent. That's the beauty of SXSW in my opinion, discovering talented acts that you have never heard of before. The music portion of SXSW will be from March 17th-22nd. Here is a quick list of my showcases or artists to go see.
On Tuesday, March 17th at midnight, the perfect representative of Toronto Hip-Hop / Soul will be performing live at Friends on 208 E 6th ST. That artist is none other than Mr. Saukrates. One of the greatest artists to come out of Toronto, and probably one of Drake's biggest influences in my opinion, Saukrates is a musical triple threat. He can sing, rap, and produce. Make sure you go check him out. I promise you won't be disappointed. He is one of the musicians that inspired me to get into production.
On Wednesday, March 18th, starting at 7:50 PM, checkout K-os at Bungalow located at 92 Rainey ST. He will be performing between sets. Another great artist from Toronto with TNT roots like myself. This guy puts on the sickest live show. He can pretty much do everything, so I rather not limit him with simple nouns or verbs. He also has inspired me to stretch the classical boundaries of music.
Also performing on Wednesday are my brothers Black Violin. They will be rocking St David's Bethell Hall at 12:30 AM. The address is 301 E 8th ST. If you haven't seen them live yet, you have been missing out. Their live show is one of a kind. One of those musical experiences that you never forget. I have learned so much from these brothers and got to travel the world with them.
My publicist put me on to this young artist from the UK named Little Simz. This girl can rap circles around most grown men who are doing their thing right now. She will be performing at Austin Music Hall located 208 Nueces ST on Thursday, March 19th at 10:45 PM. Be on the look out for her. She got plenty of talent and a large following, the makings of a huge global artist.
Also performing on Thursday will be MBK's roster at The Majestic, including Tiara Thomas and Elle Varner. The address is 419-B E 6th ST. Shoutout to Jeff Robinson. A real good brother with a great vision. Big respect to my brother Sam G for all his contributions in helping to develop these artists.
Lastly on Thursday, if you want to hear some sweet vocals over some Afrobeat, check out my family Rafiya performing at Speakeasy Kabaret on 412 Congress Ave. Shoutout to the team at 54 Kingdoms for putting me on to her.
Now comes Friday and Saturday, 2 of the busiest days at SXSW. There many great artists performing, both veterans and new. On Friday, March 20th, I will be heading to Palm Door On Sixth for a 2 for 1. First, on the patio, I got to support my boys Large Up who are involved with a cool Caribbean flavored showcase featuring Gyptian, Machel Montano, and Mr. Vegas just to name a few. My family DJ Gravy and Deejay Theory will be setting the musical mood right that night.
Second, Inside Palm Door On Sixth will be the sweet Sounds of Africa showcase. Featuring the sounds of Davido, R2bees, and D'Banj just to name a few. Definitely the spot to be if you want to dance while watching some great live music.
Saturday, March 21, will be my teams showcase at the Speakeasy on 412 Congress Ave starting at 8 PM. The Sol Collective will be putting on a beautiful thing we call Sol Life. Big shoutout to Estella Sanchez and my team Doctor, Dr. Melissa Leal. We'll be hitting you with all flavors of music. Maracuyeah, Quitapenas, and Sonora will be performing, just to name a few. My showcase will be starting at 10:00 PM and will feature the great Panther Jonez, providing that new age Funk mixed with Hip-Hop, RnB, and everything else in between. Anothr Breed is a team of super talented individuals that are about to take over this industry. Producers, Rappers, Singers, and Songwriters, there is nothing this crew can't do. Lastly, the great Ataklan out of Trinidad & Tobago, got lyrics and vibes for days. He's also a high energy live performer. I'm thankful to be working with each of these talented individuals on some amazing music that you will soon hear blasting on your radio waves, Androids, and iPhones. I still got love for you BlackBerry users. This showcase will be full of good vibes, positive energy, and dope music.
Now for some odd reason if you can't make it to the Sol Life showcase, then you have to go to Karma Lounge. Ask Promotions will be presenting a showcase called Callaloo, where they will be showcasing some amazing and diverse talent from Trinidad & Tobago. I saw these acts perform while I was in TNT and they are all very good. Mungal Patasar is fire. Los Alumnos De San Juan is fire. Codrington Pan Family is fire. Mighty Sparrow is a Legend. Shurwayne Winchester's voice is sick, and he always shows big girls lots of love. No time to explain, just Youtube it. More acts will be performing including the Monk himself, Machel Montano.
I'll be flying out on Sunday morning, so unfortunately, you will be on your own finding a showcase to go see. It shouldn't be hard though. Most of the bands performing are very good.
So as you can see, SXSW will be a week of great fun, great music, and hopefully some enlightenment. The original purpose of SXSW was to help catapult new artists and bands in front of new fans and tastemakers. So if you are in Austin for SXSW, be sure to discover some cool bands that you have never seen before, have a great time, and if you are going drink, please drink responsibly.