WHRB's 10 Artists to Watch at SXSW 2018
Thumbnail image: Oshun
Today marks the first official day of the SXSW Music Festival, and we’ve sent two of our correspondents, Luke Martinez and Ilana Harris, to get all the scoops. Here’s a list of 10 artists we’ll be keeping special eyes and ears on this week at the festival!
A spanish rapper on the rise, Bad Goal first made a scene with her spanish cover of Rihanna’s "Work," but has since proved herself to have a fresh new voice of her own.
Watch: Her incredible video for the Dubbel-Dutch-produced Jacaranda.
A DC DIY outlet with a soft, powerful tone. Their first gained attention with their self titled EP and have since been spread their tasteful melodies and potent lyrics.
The new messiah for hip hop heads who have been craving confident, aggressive, experimental rap is here, and he’s not letting up. With 4 releases in 2018 already, including the acclaimed "Veteran," JPEGMAFIA is splashing onto the scene, don’t miss the fun.
Listen: Baby I’m Bleeding
A digital girl in a digital world, Prylene is part of a new wave of electronic artists who are crafting new ways of computerized expression. With releases on Chicago’s Pallets and Australia’s Sidechains, we’re excited to see where she moves next.
I first ran into this band on a late night binge at the Deli(Mag). Delay-pedaled misty rides through Suburbia, blowing past neon-signed convenience stores—Ceramic Animal takes you back. Foxygen’s Computer Science majored first cousins, these Philly boys are sure to win you over with nostalgia-strung choruses and baby blue guitar lines. Looking forward to catching up with these guys in person after months of cyber-correspondence.
Say hello to the newest freshman in the pop girl class. Kim Petras first got acclaim for being one of the youngest people to have gender reassignment surgery, and has since moved into position to be the Next Big Thing in music. Her high profilecollaboration with Charli XCX and a series of singles indicates a spicy new direction for her.
Watch: I Don’t Want It At All
The excitement only grows. Hailing from Tokyo, Machìna is a sound sculptor, a songwriter, a performer…bridging the world of gesture-fronted electronics and lush vocals bolstered by tickling polyrhythms in impeccably collaged compositions, Machìna is seriously one to watch. I saw a glimpse of her beautiful self-designed Eurorack today, and will be delving into the nitty of her live setup tomorrow morning over coffee.
A PC Music oriented producer, photographer, and multimedia artist, Ben Aqua will be showcasing their re-mixes, deconstructions, and compositions all week in their hometown of Austin.
Listen: Ben Aqua deconstructs HoK's Bonfires of Urbanity
“They’re like the Boston DIY scene during Track Shack’s golden age,” I tell Luke. Glasgow’s finest, Breakfast Muff come in strong with the dichotomous tellings of a 20-something queer Generation X-er. Facing issues re-gender norms and pervasive misogyny head on, the bands brings up real scenarios of femme-fronted strength/”no more of this bullshit” in thought-provoking lyrics. Their narratives ranging from soft bedroom vocals to raucous up-tempo rages, this tell-it-like-it-is punk trio are sure to see me in their mosh pit.
Watch: Baby Boomers
“Born in the mountains of Chattanooga, Tennessee, the brainchild of Robert McCurry and Caleb Dills.” And so the tale begins. I wrote up Superbody’s "Patricia" this past July, intrigued by their existentialist view on being a pop artist in our transnationalist age. I’m really looking forward to see the live realization of their act—earringed cyber cowboys in their full-3d glory. We’ll catch up with Superbody later this week to grill them on more of their philosophical meanderings…stay tuned.
Modern pioneers of afro-futurism, Oshun have been self-defining for years, earning themselves a loyal following and the attention of many an idealist. With elaborate, outlandish music videos and rich West African spiritual influences, they for sure aren’t one to miss.
With all the official and unofficial showcases happening over the course of the week, its impossible to catch it all, but serendipity is key at SXSW, so we’ll be bringing you all the best of what we find!
Luke Martinez and Ilana Harris are hosts on the Record Hospital and The Darker Side. Follow Luke on Instagram as @luke.at.me.noww or catch their live mix Sunday nights 1-2am.