Recognizing that its never too early to kick off the festivities, the good and extremely diligent folks over at NPR Music have blessed us with “The Austin 100,” an ambitiously extensive and eclectic preview of 100 up-and-coming acts scheduled to perform at SXSW later this month. Whats more, the NPR Music team has generously made each of the featured tracks available for free download, as individual MP3 files or via bundled zip file, for a limited time through April 2nd. The playlist can also be streamed via their easy-to-navigate app.
As our readers know, nothing brings the team here at soulhead more joy than discovering and sharing our passion for new artists and their music. So we’ve happily devoted a few hours to listen to all 100 tracks hand-picked by NPR Music and selected our 10 favorite tunes to highlight for you below.
We hope you enjoy them and look forward to knowing what you think!
The 29th Annual SXSW Music Conference and Festival takes place March 17-22, 2015 in Austin, TX. More information here.
Little Simz Devour @LittleSimz
With her complex, rapid-fire wordplay, this 20-year-old emcee from London is mature beyond her years and appears destined for worldwide acclaim, sooner than later.
Shamir On the Regular @ShamirBailey
Recently nominated for BBC Musics prestigious Sound of 2015, Shamirs unique voice and buoyantly playful sound will have you pressing repeat on the regular.
Vérité Strange Enough @Verite
Widely tipped as one of the years most intriguing new artists, Brooklyn-based Vérités atmospheric electro-pop and seductive vocals prove an alluring combination.
Boogie Bitter Raps @BoogieTheBeast
Boogies Thirst 48 mixtape took the hip-hop underground by storm last year, and this highlight from the song set showcases his penchant for provocative, melodic rhyming with a sharply critical eye.
Ibeyi Ghosts @IbeyiOfficial
Loosely reminiscent of the global soul of Les Nubians, this French-Cuban twin sister duo merge sonic inspirations from their Yoruba heritage with contemporary pop and R&B to create a refreshingly distinctive sound.
Your Old Droog Bad to the Bone (Remix) @YourOldDroog
With a smoky tone and measured delivery obviously influenced by Nas rhyming style, this Coney Island-based emcee just might fool you into believing that hip-hops Golden Era never ended.
Fantastic Negrito An Honest Man @MusicNegrito
Carrying on the Black Roots music tradition for a new generation, Oaklands Fantastic Negrito sounds like Jack Whites bluesier, more soulful long-lost cousin.
THEEsatisfaction EarthEE (feat. Shabazz Palaces, Porter Ray & Erik Blood) @STASandCAT
Self-described as funk-psychedelic feminista sci-fi epics with the warmth and depth of Black Jazz and Sunday morning soul, the Seattle duos spacey, hypnotic sound is undeniably addictive.
Tuxedo Number One @Tuxedo
Indebted in equal measure to 80s funk and 90’s hip-hop as evidenced by this homage to Snoop Doggs Aint No Fun, the collaborative partnership between Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One is already proving a fruitful one.
Amber London Strikkly 4 My Sippaz Freestyle @KlvnAmberLondon
Flexing her commanding, baritone wordplay over Aaliyahs At Your Best (Remix) instrumental, we suspect that this precociously and prodigiously talented underground queen is primed for an aboveground breakout soon enough.