10 Acts You Need to Catch at SXSW 2022
After two years of virtual showcases, the South By Southwest (SXSW) hybrid film, music, and comedy festival is returning to being held in-person at various venues around Austin, Texas. Taking place March 11-19, 2022, SXSW features a stacked lineup of film debuts and a remarkable roster of live performances led by artists from all parts of the globe. SXSW is back, and we’re ready to indulge in every bit it has to offer this year!
We compiled a list of artists ahead of the festivities – ranging from soul-stirring blues crooners to hip-hop-laced electronic music creators – we can’t wait to experience live.
Hailing from East London by way of South Africa, Toya Delazy fuses her signature Zulu rapid-fire vocals with tantalizing techno and African percussion. The contagious energy of Delazy can be felt throughout her album Afrorave Vol. 1 – a soundtrack riddled with the elements we love about electronic music (bass and synths galore) seasoned with hip-hop rhythms. While we’re addicted to Delazy’s authenticity as an artist, it’s her carefree approach to everything – from music to her sense of style – that has us craving the live performance. - Gabrielle Pharms
This 23-year-old singer-songwriter caters to music lovers by pairing punchy pop sensibilities with sultry R&B. Cruz’s prowess as a vocalist earned her an opening spot, which served as her debut performance on Justin Bieber’s Purpose Tour in 2017, where she performed in front of 90,000 people. As if that’s not exciting enough, Cruz has entered the metaverse. She released an NFT in tandem with her 2021 three-track BUFFERING…EP. - Gabrielle Pharms
Houston’s very own Gulf Coast soul band, The Suffers, radiates through the atmosphere every time they take the stage. Each of the eight members brings a unique ingredient to the perfectly curated mix. Since 2011, the global group has dropped two albums, with their third set to be released later this year. "We make music for all people," said lead vocalist Kam Franklin on the band’s website. "At this point, we've played all over the world, and one thing is certain – if the music is good, the people will enjoy it." - Leah Aulisio-Sharpe
Top-notch music out of Korea is more than the mainstream K-pop that’s made its way to the States. Yes, the Korean music scene is more varied than what meets the eyes (and ears). One such artist boosting the R&B sound out of South Korea is sogumm – and we’re slightly obsessed with her soothing, soulful vocals. We’d be remiss if we didn’t gush about her trippy music videos – which are next-level fun. - Gabrielle Pharms
A sweet, sensual, calming presence flows from the Austin bred, modern R&B artist Mélat. The Ethiopian-American storyteller roots her work in exploring all-encompassing tales of love (as she believes is the only truth). Mélat, who’s always been a writer at heart, invites her audiences to go on a journey of ecstasy and ache through her music. - Leah Aulisio-Sharpe
Caribbean pop artist Jimmy October’s electrifying music will lift your spirit and levitate your waistline. The national award-winning artist’s talent has taken him from his home island of Trinidad & Tobago across the globe. His first international release was his single “No Time” featured on Steve Aoki's album KOLONY. October has opened shows for J. Cole, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and Major Lazer. - Leah Aulisio-Sharpe
The multidimensional musician Sudan Archives continues to explore her captivating creativity with intention. First hitting the scene as an avant-garde violinist, the complex artist has taken the stage at Coachella, Pitchfork Midwinter, and FORM: Arcosanti. The culmination of Sudan's brilliance lives in her debut album, Athena, moving you to transcend through every layer. - Leah Aulisio-Sharpe
From her catchy hooks and power-packed vocals to her lyrical message boasting female empowerment, South African artist Moonchild Sanelly reigns as the self-proclaimed “Queen of Gqom.” The bass-heavy hypnotic house music sound out of Africa, gqom, is laced throughout Sanelly’s music. Plus, anyone who’s had the pleasure of collaborating with Beyoncé, Gorillaz, Major Lazer, Ghetts, and other revered artists, such as Sanelly, is rightfully crowned as queen in our books. - Gabrielle Pharms
Electronic indie-pop artist KAVYA channels her raw emotive release at every stage of her artistic journey. From New Delhi, India, she began performing at the age of 14. The ever-evolving artist has documented her growth as a performer, lyricist, and creator by authentically sharing her process on and off the mic. Her work has been featured across outlets such as Dummy Magazine, BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio 6, Worldwide FM, Foundation FM, and more. Her debut EP, Know Me Better, brings her intimate vision to life. - Leah Aulisio-Sharpe
The powerful sounds of Jackie Venson light every stage she steps on fire. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Venson has notably headlined her own tours and supporting acts such as Gary Clark Jr., Melissa Etheridge, Aloe Blacc, and Citizen Cope, amongst others. Throughout the pandemic, she’s been passionate about connecting with fans and creating a supportive community to voice change. Venson also released two studio albums, two live albums, and several electronic albums on the side, proving that this jack of all talents artist is here to stay. - Leah Aulisio-Sharpe