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FFF Fest artist spotlight: SZA

Staff Writer
Austin 360


From: St Louis, Miss., Maplewood N.J.

At the fest: 2:15 p.m. Friday, Blue Stage

About the artist: The first female member of the Top Dawg Entertainment clique (home to Kendrick Lamar) spins dreamy watercolor swirls of abstract R&B over cool chillwave grooves. Her afternoon performance at the Fader Fort during South By Southwest was both understated and engrossing. In between songs she paused to share an emotional moment with the crowd.

“Last year at South by I was homeless, I didn’t even have ten dollars and I couldn’t get in here,” she said, “so I just want to thank you.” Then she went back to singing in silky tones backed by a three-piece band playing intricate neo-soul arrangements with complicated. arpeggiated bass patterns.

These days, she’s pedaling a fine new album that includes features from Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar, and her star is most certainly on the rise.

Could share a bill with: Jhené Aiko, Janelle Monae, Kendrick Lamar