The South by Southwest Music Festival always has had a strong international component, and as the festival has expanded, so has the roster of top-notch talent from around the world. Artists are traveling to the 2016 festival from all corners of the globe with a steadily growing contingent from Asia and Latin America joining the well-established European music showcases. Notable events this year include a hip hop from Asia showcase and a night dedicated to the music of Cuba.
Hundreds of showcases feature artists who are very successful in their home countries, but just beginning to branch out abroad. It’s meaningful for them to be here, not just representing their music but representing their countries and potentially opening the door for other musicians from their homelands.
These events are overshadowed by buzzy blogger faves, YouTube breakouts and celebrity cats. That’s unfortunate, because they’re some of the most exciting shows of the festival. The upside? Many of these shows, particularly the regional showcases, offer individuals with no official SXSW credentials entry at the door for a reasonable cover charge. As always, if you’re trying to attend a SXSW showcase without a badge or wristband, plan to show up early and wait in line.
Obviously, the best way to go around the world at SXSW is to buy the $189 music wristband. Wristbands frequently crop up for sale right as the festival begins. Follow the official SXSW social media accounts for on sale alerts.
For the next 5 days we’re going to take you on the virtual version of SXSW music’s world music tour.
DAY ONE: TUESDAY, MARCH 15[youtube=]
Hinds(Barcelona, Spain) Last year, Hinds was building small-scale buzz at accessible events like a Spanish music day party. This year, the all-female band is pushing “Leave Me Alone,” an appealing collection of emotional garage rock, and they’re one of the hottest bands at the fest. (11 p.m., Hype Hotel. Also: 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, Mohawk outside; 10 p.m. Thursday, Cedar Street; 5 p.m. Friday, Radio Day Stage. ) — D.S.S.[youtube=]
SXAméricas: Zona Indie at Sledge Hammer: Journey through South America at this showcase dedicated to indie music from Ecuador to Argentina. (Show s tarts at 8 p.m.) — N.F.[youtube=]
Zutzut (Monterrey, México): DJ/producer Alejandro Núñez forms part of the Mexico City-based DJ collective N.A.A.F.I., which has been revolutionizing Mexican dance music by launching a record label and a community around the music. (11 p.m. Barcelona) — N.F.[youtube=]
Joon Moon (Paris, France). The France rocks showcase is loaded with worthy artistes, but the cinematic soul pop of this Parisian outfit, fronted by an ex-pat from Kansas, is magnifique. (9 p.m., Trinity Hall at Old School. Also: 10 p.m. Wednesday, 3Ten.) — D.S.S.[youtube=]
Indie Labels from IMIChile at Friends: Chile continues to be a Latin alternative music incubator producing talented artists who are making innovative musical strides, especially in the pop and electronic scenes. Check out bands performing everything from psychedelic rock to dream pop. (Show starts at 8 p.m.) — N.F.