This year's SXSW marked the 28th year of the Austin music festival and conference which, for the first time in a while, saw smaller crowds and more emerging talent showcasing their skills in the hundreds of venues all over town.
I set off to discover some of the people who came to SXSW to “do work” and I even followed around one of the groups as they began their break-out. Of all the artists I saw, these Top 5 SXSW artists below stood out to me the most.
Moving Castle (All of them)
Facebook followers: 12k
Photo: Ryan Farber
Moving Castle have been crushing the internet and soundcloud with a slew of releases over the last year and it really felt like SXSW was their official coming out party.
Talk about representing... These kids were everywhere in Austin whether one of them was playing or not. This is why I have to give the entire collective the top spot even if they didn’t all attend. The crew is made up of members Robokid, AO Beats, Manila Killa, Hunt For the Breeze, Vices, Mark Johns, WRLD, Yung Wall St, Dugong Jr., Kappa Kavi, Jailo, Ba-Kuura Dirty Chocolate, Strehlow, Bamf Catt, Moop, Chet Porter, and Treehaus.
Their iconic long sleeve t-shirts could be seen everywhere in Austin despite the hot humid weather. Check out their most recent compilation below, which was constantly getting play at showcases during the whole festival.
Facebook followers: 34k
While already making a name for him self as a solo act, Jai Wolf had one of the most memorable sets of the week when he teamed up with his buddy AO Beats at the Nest HQ X Moving Castle Showcase which went down at Kingdom nightclub and included a crazy performance from Porter Robinson.
Jai Wolf’s production work is special and it’s no surprise to see Columbia sign him as he continues to get better with each new track he puts out. I expect his stock to continue rise in 2015 for sure.
Facebook followers: 9k
Luca is about a green as it gets when it comes to emerging talent. By that I simply mean this was his first go-around as a performing DJ/producer away from his home and I have to say I was impressed by his skills.
His song selection, energy, and the vibe that he developed for his set at Earmilk’s “Night Rumor” showcase were all on point and it was great to see people from the second room come to his stage to dance. The best part about this kid is that he’s humble, hard working, and creating music for all the right reasons. Those things alone should keep him on the right path as he continues to find success.
Facebook followers: 2k
YNGCULT is the only non-producer/DJ combo to make our list. The group is actually an electronic-indie band that specializes in “progressive soul” and performs with rotating vocalists that all offer something different to their sound.
After meeting them on the first day of SXSW, I decided to follow the band all week so I could get a better idea of what this festival can really do to “break out” an official showcasing act. Keep your eyes out for on article on them soon
Facebook followers: 25k
JSTJR was one of the bigger surprises for me at this year’s festival, as I had never heard of him before seeing him open the Mad Decent Showcase. Even as an opener, you can tell the guy has talent as he worked the crowd with his own signature tracks and bass-filled bootlegs, creating a wonderful vibe that really kicked off the party.
Honorable Mentions: AOBeats, 4B, Honest
Article by Ben de Ayora
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