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10 Austin Artists You Need To See at SXSW 2022

If you want to support Austin music during SXSW, check out our top ten artists to see that live in Austin.
6th street in downtown Austin during the South By Southwest

6th street in downtown Austin during the South By Southwest

SXSW is back! The festival and conference returns this week, starting on Friday, March 11 and going through Sunday, March 20th. The entire city of Austin, Texas is completely taken over and is a huge staple for the capital of Texas. It first began in 1987 as a local music festival and has evolved into a premiere launching point for up-and-coming music acts, under-the-radar movies, and tech startups. Tons of artists have played SXSW in the years past to only blow up in the following years, like Kid Cudi for example. 

Talent flies in from all over the world to show the world what they can do on stage, but for this feature, we wanted to give some love to the local artists since there are so many talented ones here already! Here is our choice for the top 10 local artists you have to check out for SXSW 2022. Included is a little bio on the artist, their music, and where you can see them this year. 

1. PASTEL GHOST

PASTEL GHOST is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and producer. Creating music she calls "dreamrave," PASTEL GHOST laces elements of dream pop, post-punk, and electronica with her ethereal vocals melting over chilly synths and thumping dance beats. 

PASTEL GHOST at Mohawk Indoor
Mar 17, 2022
10:40pm — 11:20pm

PASTEL GHOST at Higher Ground
Mar 18, 2022
12:00am — 12:40am

2. DOSSEY

DOSSEY is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer from Austin, Texas. Her energetic brand of alt-pop was launched into the public consciousness with the feature of her 80s synth-pop earworm, Heartbeats, by none other than NPR’s All Songs Considered, who touted her as one of 100 artists to see at SXSW in 2019. Soon after, her collaboration with Canadian EDM producer Disero, "Better Run," debuted on Spotify’s official “All-New Indie,” “Indie Radar,” and “New Music'' playlists.

DOSSEY at Easy Tiger East
Mar 19, 2022
9:30pm — 10:00pm

3. Mama Duke

Mama Duke is a two time Austin hip-hop award-winning artist and one time Austin Music Award Nominee. Taking home both “Artist of the Year” and “Female Artist of the Year” in one night. She has also recently been named the Austin Statesman’s “Artist of the Month.” Altogether she has performed over 300+ times and is currently on an international tour. She also curates and hosts a live-streamed hip-hop show she founded called ATX Social Club.

Mama Duke at Lustre Pearl
Mar 15, 20228:40pm — 9:05pm

Mama Duke at Swan Dive
Mar 19, 2022
10:50pm — 11:05pm

4. Primo the Alien

Primo the Alien is another Austin-based pop artist creating contemporary electro-pop laced with 80s-inspired nostalgia. A multi-instrumentalist and producer, Primo charms and disarms listeners just before letting loose her signature, powerhouse vocals. Primo the Alien is a 2022 Austin Chronicle "Best Pop Artist” nominee and was billed alongside Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus, and Doja Cat at the 2021 Austin City Limits Music Festival. She is currently working on a full-length album to be released later this year.

Primo the Alien at Saxon Pub
Mar 16, 2022 1:00am — 1:55am

Primo the Alien at Sheraton BackYARD
Mar 18, 2022 8:00pm — 8:40pm

5. Magna Carda

The MC-producer duo is notable for their eclectic musical style, a genre-defying blend of rap-meets-jazz-meets-R&B-meets-electronic and performing with elaborate live arrangements and instrumentation. Their music is rooted in freedom of expression and Black liberation. 

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Magna Carda at Stubb's
Mar 15, 2022
10:00pm — 10:40pm

Magna Carda at Sheraton BackYARD
Mar 17, 2022
9:30pm — 9:50pm

6. JT Donaldson

JT Donaldson is another Austin local that is a must see if you feel like dancing to some house music. JT has collaborated with the likes of Spencer Kincy, Sandy Rivera, Isabelle Antena, LoSoul, DJ Heather, Ge-Ology, and Cpen to name a few. 

JT Donaldson at Higher Ground
Mar 15, 2022
12:00am — 12:55am

7. Tomar and the FCs

If you are feeling funky, you have to check out Tomar and the FCs. The band self recorded and released their first EP, Day by Day, which The Austin American Statesman selected as a top release. They were selected by NPR Music to represent Austin for the Tiny Desk Concert Series, played the Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL), have made yearly appearances at SXSW, and were voted in the top Five of the Austin’s Chronicle’s Music Poll for blues, funk and soul.

Tomar and the FCs at Half Step
Mar 18, 2022
1:00am — 1:50am

Tomar and the FCs at Parker Jazz Club
Mar 19, 2022 (Performance time is TBD)

8. Lion Heights

If you want some Reggae, you need to see Austin's favorite reggae band, Lion Heights. A small band with authentic roots and an amazing Jamaican sound. Lion Heights began in 2013 on the West side of Chicago between friends, Dane Foltin (Bass/Vox), Jeremy Carlson (Keys/Vox) and James Campbell (guitar). The trio met while studying music at Columbia College and began playing together in various bands. The result was creation of their own musical trademark influenced by roots reggae music pumping out of Jamaica in the 60’s and 70’s. 

Lion Heights at Flamingo Cantina
Mar 16, 2022
10:00pm — 10:40pm

9. We Don't Ride Llamas

If you want some Afro punk rock make sure to check out We Don't Ride Llamas, made up of these siblings, big brother, Chase (lead guitar) and sisters, Max (lead vocals), Blake (drums), and Kit Mitchell (bass guitar). They don't have a ton of music out at the moment, but the songs' they do have are enough to have us excited to check them out. They have three shows going on during the week so ton's of chances to see them. 

We Don't Ride Llamas at Valhalla
Mar 16, 20221:00am — 1:50am

We Don't Ride Llamas at The Iron Bear
Mar 17, 2022 (Performance time TBD)

We Don't Ride Llamas at Flatstock Stage at Austin Convention Center
Mar 19, 2022 1:30pm — 2:10pm

10. The Tender Things

And last but not least, you need to hear some country! The band’s music is born in the folk forms of Appalachia and mixed in the honkey tonks and dancehalls of central Texas.

The Tender Things at Easy Tiger East
Mar 16, 2022
8:00pm — 8:40pm

You can also find our picks in the Official SXSW 2022 Playlist with tons of other artists performing. Badges are still available for you to purchase as well as wristbands here.

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