I attended SXSW in 2017. Being that it was my first experience I had no idea what to expect. I knew the week consisted of shows and panels but the thought of what I was going to take out of the experience was a blur. I could tell you now looking back that it was one of the best experiences I have ever been a part of. The panels were inspiring and the shows made my passion for music increase exponentially. Performances by artists like Lil Wayne, Migos (when “Bad & Boujee” was #1 in the country), Solange, and Lil Yachty were unforgettable. At the time, I thought that no week could ever top what I had just experienced.
Just a year later, my whole perspective of SXSW changed. When I was introduced to the lineup this year I was disappointed at first glance, but then remembered what SXSW is really about. This is a week dedicated for new artists to introduce themselves into the music industry and display their talents so that hopefully the right person will be watching. I came into the week not knowing most of the artists, yet I left with a whole new playlist of artists like Duckwrth, Tinashe, Smino, and Jhene Aiko, whose performances stood out to me solely because of the energy they brought on stage. Despite all of the artists, there were two performances that stood out to me above the rest. Duckwrth, a hip/hop artist, has the ability to get his entire crowd involved. Between songs he would talk to the audience just like they were his old friends. Tinashe, a soon to be pop sensation, absolutely blew me away with her performance. Out of all of the performances I saw out there, hers was the only one in which I felt like I was at one of her arena shows. A combination of dancers and Tinashe’s own high energy made her show unlike the others. She played some hits from her upcoming album Joyride. When the album drops on April 13, I highly recommend checking out “No Drama” ft. Offset.
If you are someone who wants a future career in the music industry take my advice and attend SXSW at some point. As a college student, there is no better place to network, especially because of all the talent there is so young. You never know what opportunities might present themselves simply by being in the right place at the right time. This year I gained a new appreciation for SXSW, and am already looking forward to what 2019 has in store.