From jazz to hip-hop to neo-soul and indie...

As SXSW’s music festival gets underway, here are Clash’s 12 top tips to fit into your schedule this year…

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Megan Thee Stallion

Houston’s Megan Thee Stallion has been rapidly building momentum since the release of her ‘Tina Snow’ mixtape late last year.

The phenomenal Texas rapper is already looking to be one of the highlights of this year’s SXSW and can be seen performing at Cheer Up Charlie’s on Thursday night, as well as Fader Fort.

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Joe Armon-Jones

One of the founding members of Ezra Collective (who also play SXSW this week), Joe Armon-Jones is emerging as one of the front runners of South London’s buzzing jazz scene. As well as contributing to Brownswood’s seminal ‘We Out Here’ compilation, Armon-Jones released his debut LP ‘Starting Today’ last year.

You can catch Joe Armon-Jones playing The Main II on Wednesday night. Joe Armon-Jones is funded by PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund to attend SXSW 2019.

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Kari Faux

Fresh off the release of her ‘CRY 4 HELP’, Little Rock, Arkansas, native Kari Faux will be headlining our official SXSW showcase at Scratchouse on Wednesday night. Kari has been rising rapidly since she first broke through with 2014’s ‘No Small Talk’.

She’s regularly collaborated with Donald Glover, most recently appearing on his acclaimed Childish Gambino album ‘Awaken My Love!’, as well as contributing production to The Internet’s ‘Hive Mind’ and writing original music for Issa Rae’s award-winning HBO series, Insecure.

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Sports Team

Sports Team are a deeply English phenomenon. Lush summer lawns at Barrett homes, hosepipe bans and vainglorious exits from the World Cup - they're all in there, even if it's not apparent on the surface. Packing their bags for a trip to SXSW, Sports Team are set to put themselves to the test, and chow down on a few complimentary burritos while they're at it.

Sports Team are playing Lucille on Wednesday night and Swan Dive on Thursday. Sports Team are funded by PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund to attend SXSW 2019.

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Yung Baby Tate

Atlanta singer, rapper and producer Yung Baby Tate has been making waves over the past few years with a trio of conceptual mixtapes; the latest being ‘Girls’, an entirely self-produced selection of 11 songs that see her exploring different alternate female identities.

We’re honoured to welcome the versatile and vital new talent to our official SXSW showcase on Wednesday night, and she also plays Antone’s on Thursday and Palm Doot on Saturday.

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Novelist

Hailing from Lewisham, South London, 22-year-old Novelist has already secured his name as one of the UK’s most creative grime MCs and producers. His anticipated debut ‘Novelist Guy’ garnered a Mercury Prize nomination two years after he appeared on previous winner Skepta’s ‘Konnichiwa’. Having cut his teeth in London’s radio and rave scenes from an early age, his live show promises to be equally explosive and thought-provoking.

Novelist plays The Den and Clash’s showcases at Scratchouse on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, as well as the British Music Embassy on Thursday.

Novelist is funded by PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund to attend SXSW 2019.

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Flipp Dinero

Brooklyn’s Flipp Dinero has established himself as one of New York rap’s most versatile new voices between his street certified mixtapes, ‘The Guala Way’ and ‘Guala See Guala’, as well as his infectious platinum single ‘Leave Me Alone’ and it’s follow up ‘Feelin Like’.

Given how inescapable his singles have been, it’s unsurprising that Flipp has attracted the attention of celebrities and artists like Drake, Kim Kardashian, Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner, all of whom have co-signed his fluid melodic rap fusion. Last summer DJ Khaled personally signed him to a joint partnership between his own We The Best imprint, along with Cinematic Music Group and Epic Records.

With an anticipated new project on the way this Spring, you can catch Flipp Dinero playing our showcase at Scratchouse on Wednesday, as well as Empire Garage on Tuesday and Ironwood Hall on Thursday.

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Rico Nasty

Riot-starting Maryland rapper Rico Nasty left us with a show to remember when she played London’s Birthdays venue last year. The outspoken 21-year-old delivered a raw and energetic show that remained unmatched as the rest of the year went by, and has us anticipating more while she continues to build upon the success of her Atlantic Records debut ‘Nasty’ at SXSW.

You can experience Rico Nasty’s performance at the Main on Tuesday, Mohawk Outdoor on Wednesday, The Belmont on Thursday and Empire Garage on Friday.

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Pink Sweat$

We’ve had ‘Volume I’, the debut EP by Philadelphia’s Pink Sweat$ on heavy rotation on the run up to SXSW and are looking forward to witnessing it in a live setting. Having started his career as a songwriter, Pink Sweat$ music combines the language of rap, with R&B tendencies and melodies, delivered over stripped back acoustic production.

Pink Sweat$ will be performing at Mowhawk Outdoor on Wednesday afternoon, Palm Door on Thursday and Lucille on Friday.

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Cautious Clay

Hailing from Cleveland, and based in Brooklyn, Cautious Clay has been connecting with fans by making them feel; combining emotive and honest songwriting with production that fuses elements of R&B, hip-hop and forward-thinking indie, to create relatable songs that we’ve found ourselves returning to time and time again.

The independent soul singer and producer had a viral hit with his lead single ‘Cold War’, but demonstrated he was much more than one song with his ‘Blood Type’ and ‘Resonance’ EPs.

You can catch Cautious Clay playing Elysium on Tuesday, Mohawk Indoor on Wednesday, Lustre Pearl on Thursday and the Radio Day Stage at Austin Convention Centre on Friday.

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DaBaby

SXSW has played a big part in the career of North Carolina rapper DaBaby already, after he made headlines in 2015 for walking the streets wearing nothing but a diaper. It was there that he cemented his reputation as an exciting live performer, and was fuelled to continue building upon his notoriety with a string of successful mixtapes.

Following last year’s breakthrough, ‘Blank Blank’, DaBaby signed a major label deal with Interscope, releasing his first project on the label, ‘Baby On Baby’, two weeks ago.

Now he returns to Austin with more eyes on him than ever before, and you can catch him playing Empire Garage on Saturday.

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Nerija

Jazz seven-piece Nerija comprises seven rising London musicians, who draw their inspiration from jazz, hip-hop, afrobeat and South African township music, including tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia, trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey and guitarist Shirley Tetteh.

Following the release of their 2016 self-titled EP, the collective have continued to establish themselves as versatile live performers, able to share stages with acts that range from rap and pop, to top names in UK jazz.

Nerija are performing at The Main II on Wednesday night and Edwin’s on Thursday.

Nerija are funded by PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund to attend SXSW 2019.

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Words: Grant Brydon

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