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Let’s talk about Standout Artists from SXSW!

Mar 25, 2024 | Live Event, Review

Muse spent a week in Austin, Texas with Greater Than Distribution and there was a lot to see and take in. I did interviews for Greater Than and talked to a lot of people and listened to a lot of music. But let’s look at which artists I saw live that should definitely be on your radar.

Greater Than Distribution had a showcase at Lucky Duck where Sú North, Kydd Jones, Hollo, and Kitty Coen performed. They were all fantastic but I really want to highlight Sú North for a moment. I chatted with him one of the nights and he’s an artist that has so much depth, but is still so down to earth. Both the man and the music feels like listening to a friend. He’s so easy to vibe with and his music is incredibly authentic to him as a person and also just downright relatable! This showcase was early on in the week and I was still navigating having Jizo with me, so I didn’t get any good pictures, but here is one with Jizo.

After the Spin & Greater Than Distribution panel (featuring the one and only Randy Jackson), Hollo performed again. And the voice on him! His tracks sound great on their own, he’s a very talented singer. His music is such a perfect blend of soulful vocals and pop vibes. But if you ever get the chance to see him live, you must! There is a certain quality to his voice, like a for-the-stage-only charisma perhaps, that doesn’t translate to a recording and needs to be experienced in real time. Trust me.

Outside of Greater Than events, I literally gave up my lunch to chat with OUTSDRS. They are the absolute perfect mix of hip-hop and R&B and I regret nothing. They have the swag and the confidence to deliver the most beautiful melodies that they have to offer in such a memorable way. Definitely go add them to your playlist, you will not regret it.

I also caught a handful of artists that Jaded had in their 2 day long showcase. If you saw my SXSW list at the end of last year, it should be no surprise that Arches is here again. They performed at the Empire Garage and were fantastic, definitely came with their Rock Game at 100%. The crowd was vibing. The band was amazing. The singer was a Rockstar. I really hope I get the chance to see them again because I ended up in a corner and couldn’t see much. But the sound was great! You can see how packed in the crowd was in this Jizo Shot photo.

I also saw BÉBE YANA and iiso later than same night at the Empire Control Room. BÉBE YANA was phenomenal. Her live vocals were beautiful. And her crowd work was top notch. She had that small venue engrossed in everything she had to say. It was so much fun to dance and sing along to the songs I knew while watching my friend and colleague have a blast listening to a new-to-her artist. Watching the crowd have a great time was almost as fulfilling as watching her perform.

Not to be overshadowed, iiso‘s set was equally a blast. Her and her DJ rocked the stage. She alternated between pre-recorded robotic messages to the audience and playful scripted skits in between her tracks. And the songs themselves were mostly unreleased hyper pop/EDM tracks that had everyone jumping and moving. I did have to step out for a bit because of the flashing lights, but I think a bigger venue would have suited her big energy better.

And the last artist I want to highlight is Bryn. I went into her set expecting it to be good, but it was amazing. I forgot I was there to work and was dancing and singing and having a great time because she’s a natural born performer. Her voice is fantastic for live shows and her energy was contagious! I didn’t catch the name of her DJ, but she was fantastic as well! I did have to swoop in and grab an interview for Greater Than Distribution’s upcoming Mic Magazine debut. And also asked if she’d be interested in doing an interview for Moon Culture Cafe so come back on Wednesday to hear how that went! You want to make sure you’re ready for everything Bryn has coming in 2024 because I know I’m ready to see where she goes from here. Definitely make an effort to catch her live if you can because it was hands down my favorite show of the festival.

All in all, it was an amazing experience, I talked to so many artists and industry professionals. Chatted with photographers and journalists, record label owners and artist managers, and the entire week solidified that this is the industry for me to grow roots in. So look for that to be reflected in more of the content moving forward.

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