Happy International Women’s Day! World music is one of our favorite parts of the South by Southwest Music Festival so we decided to celebrate by spotlighting the fabulous female artists coming to the fest.
Of the roughly 2000 bands who will play the festival this year, over 25 percent will come from outside the U.S. Many of the artists playing these showcases are top tier talent in their native countries. They bring with them rhythm, passion and beautiful stories from around the globe. For the second year in a row, Team 360 joined forces with Michael Crockett from KUTX 98.9 FM’s Horizontes to produce our annual South by Southwest world music feature:
SXSW 2018: Around the world in 6 days
Worth noting, SXSW world music showcases tend to be somewhat under the radar and in many cases, uncredentialed music lovers can pay a cover at the door.
Here are ten amazing women from around the world who are playing SXSW 2018.
Amara La Negra. (Miami, FL) Here at home, VH1’s“Love and Hip-Hop” is becoming a consistent launchpad for America’s hottest female urban music stars. The Dominican American artist starred in the Miami edition and she’s about to make a huge pop crossover with her jubilant Spanglish club bangers. She has used the platform created by the show to call out colorism in the Latin music industry and in the process, she’s become an Afro-Latina style icon. (1 a.m. March 12, Empire Garage; March 14: 1 p.m. Radio Day Stage, 1 a.m. Half Step) — Deborah Sengupta Stith
Pussy Riot (Moscow, Russia) The protest punk outfit made international headlines in 2012 when members of the group were arrested for performing “Virgin Mary, Put Putin Away” in Moscow’s Savior’s Cathedral. Since their release in 2013, they’ve become international activists, advocating for freedom, feminism and LGBT rights. Recently, they’ve been releasing songs in English, including the Trump-taunting track “Make America Great Again.” (7:15 p.m. March 13, the Main; Also: Midnight March 14, the Belmont) — D.S.S.
Luna Lee (Seoul, South Korea) Luna Lee isn’t just a musician – she’s a pioneer. As the one and only gayageum rocker, she’s managed to bring a traditional Korean zither-like string instrument into the 21st century by redesigning it to fit her love of rock music. Seoul-based Lee developed a custom gayageum to play everything from Pink Floyd songs to Jimi Hendrix, which has earned her scores of loyal fans on YouTube. (9 p.m. March 15, Russian House; also 1:30 p.m. March 16 at Flatstock Stage at Austin Convention Center) —Nancy Flores
Alsarah & The Nubatones (Brooklyn/Sudan) Sudanese singer Alsarah and her sister sing traditional music from their homeland accompanied by the oud, bass, various percussion and electronics of their Brooklyn-based band the Nubatones. Also playing at the Palm Door on 6th on Friday (9:30 p.m. March 15, Flamingo Cantina) — Michael Crockett (Song: Ya Watan)
Bad Gyal. (Barcelona, Spain) The Spanish sensation who hit viral gold with a cover of Rihanna’s “Work” is having a moment. Less than an hour after we left a meeting where SXSW staffers raved about her charisma and easy swag, the Washington Post crowned her the “future-present of club music” in a review of her D.C. debut. Her crowd in D.C. was relatively small, but by the time she leaves SXSW, we predict her rooms will be packed. ( March 13 6:15 p.m., the Main; 11 p.m. March 14, Bungalow;) — D.S.S.
Christina Rosenvinge (Madrid, Spain) Part of the 10th annual Sounds of Spain showcase, singer-songwriter Christina Rosenvinge first appeared at SXSW in 2001 introducing the first of three English language indie rock albums recorded in New York. She has since returned to Spain and recording in Spanish including a great Spanish version of Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat”. (9 p.m. March 14, Bungalow) — M.C. (Song: Romance De Plata)
Ace Tee (Hamburg, Germany) Born in Germany to Ghanaian parents, the rapper also known as Tarin Wilda, makes upbeat hip-hop with a ‘90s R&B vibe. She scored a major smash in at home last year with “Bist de Down” and we promise you don’t need to know a word of German to “Bounce auf dem Beat” with her. (10 p.m. March 12, Barracuda; 10 p.m. March 14, Waller Ballroom; 10 p.m. March 15, Friends) — D.S.S.10 p.m. March 15, Friends) — D.S.S.
The Chamanas (Ciudad Juárez/El Paso) These SXSW alums draw musical influences from 1970s Mexican pop and contemporary indie music. The Chamanas have credited Austin singer-songwriter David Garza with motivating the band members to launch the group that’s been on the rise in the Latin alternative music scene. (9 p.m. at Speakeasy) —NF
Adahzeh (Kingston, Jamaica) It’s inspiring to see this all-female outfit break barriers and excel in a male-dominated reggae genre. It was vocalist and keyboardist Karissa Palmer’s dream to form a female ensemble, and now the rising artists are gaining buzz beyond Jamaica. (11 p.m. at Flamingo Cantina) —Nancy Flores
Deluxe (Aix-en-Provence, France) The French six-piece has an affinity for ridiculous moustaches, copious sequins and brassy, sassy glitz. With a vintage cabaret aesthetic and ample modern electronics, they play a new school version of gypsy jazz. ( 11 p.m. March 14, Sheraton Backyard; 1 a.m. March 15, Maggie Mae’s Rooftop; 1 a.m. March 17, Mohawk indoors)