Reggae, soca on show at SXSW interactive festival
Nineties babies will know the infectious pop hit, Mm-Bop by Hanson, then growing into their teens, may recall the first time (or few) hearing singer-songwriter John Mayer whisper to his lover's wondrous body.
Those two successful pop musicians share more in common than achieving international acclaim. Hanson and Mayer both had career-defining performances at the annual, highly anticipated South by South West (SXSW) Interactive Festival.
Scheduled to run from March 9-18, Jamaica-born reggae acts K'Coneil, Jahmiel, Adazeh and Trinidadian soca star, Nailah Blackman, make up the group of Caribbean nationals on their way to SXSW, seeking their own career-defining, international breakout moment.
Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event has become an essential destination for global creative professionals, movie and television shows, premieres and screenings, new app demonstrations, video game competitions, and a variety of networking opportunities.
Hanson was brought to the music festival by their father to give an impromptu performance for music executives. The ploy worked, as the group left with a manager, who soon got them signed to Mercury Records.
Mayer's story is similar, where his 2000 performance at the SXSW Music Festival led to his signing with his first record label, Aware Records.
On March 13, all-female reggae band Adazeh will perform at Flamingo Cantina at 11 p.m., for half-hour. On March 15, Jahmiel will take the stage at Highland Lounge for 10 minutes (at 8:45 p.m.), but take on another stage on March 16 for 45 minutes, at Palm Door starting at 12:30 a.m. That same day, K'Coneil will make his SXSW debut at 9:45 p.m., at the Highland Lounge for 10 minutes.
Rounding up the Caribbean representation at SXSW is Trinidadian Nailah Blackman. The So-Kah singer, will perform at the 800 Congress at 9:20 p.m., for half-hour.