We’re really excited to announce our very first official showcase at South By Southwest Music Conference (SXSW), which will take place next Friday, March 20th in Austin Texas. Performing live at Club Fuze will be Chikita Violenta (Mexico City, MX), Niña Dioz (Monterrey, MX), We Are Balboa (Madrid/New York), Pilar Diaz (Los Angeles), Contramano (New York/Buenos Aires), and Don Yojan y La Frescura (Austin, Texas.)
For those of you who are not as music-obsessed as us, SXSW (aka “Southby” when in conversation) is a 5 day indie rock camp, with more than 1800 bands from all over the world plus fans, groupies, music industry folks and the people who love them descending upon Austin for nights and days of showcases, mingling, drinking and afterparties.
If you like going to Coachella, SummerStage, Bonnaroo, LAMC, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands or any big music series or festival, those acts were probably discovered and/or booked at SXSW. The cool thing about SXSW is that you get to see huge local and international acts such as Amy Winehouse, Zoe, Girl In A Coma or MGMT before they break it big.
Chikita Violenta- “Undecided”
Hence our excitement about our show. We’ve lined up a a diverse group of transatlantic rock and hip hop artists who are bilingual, cutting edge, and redefine the meaning of “Latin indie” music. First up is indie rock band Chikita Violenta, from Mexico City and signed to influential Canadian music label Arts & Crafts.
We interviewed the band a while ago (read interview here) when the quintet, was breaking out with their debut The Stars and Suns Sessions (2007). The guys are going back to Toronto after SXSW to put finishing touches on their next album, which is being produced by their friend and mentor David Newfield (Broken Social Scene, Los Campesinos!). Chikita is expected to tour the US in the fall after the album comes out!
Niña Dioz – “Obsesión”
Now, remember this name: Niña Dioz, because she is about to become a household name in Latin American hip hop, she’s just as good (or even better!!?) as the queen Mala Rodriguez. The 24-year old Monterrey native not only shares a birthday with Lady Sovereign (December 19, 1985) but also shares the same irreverent attitude and masterful flow.
Niña Dioz recently appeared on the hilarious “Danny Trejo” track on Plastilina Mosh’s latest album (they’re also from Monterrey) and is featured on the soundtrack of Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna’s new movie, the forthcoming Rudo y Cursi. Niña Dioz (real name: Carla Reyna) first became an underground hit in Mexico with her 07 EP Marcapasos and the song “Cuando, cuando” and her full length Nueva Escuela has been scheduled to come out in Mexico this April, and counts as producers Toy Selectah! (of course), Mood-Fu brothers (Ximena Sariñana) among others.
We Are Balboa – “It’s Getting Late”
We Are Balboa hail from Madrid, but when we contacted them for our show they emailed us saying they were actually moving to New York City right before SXSW! The reason? Even though for the past 6 years their English lyrics, power pop-rock sound and pretty vocals by lead singer Lua have earned them a popular following in Spain, the UK and Canada, they fell in love with New York City last summer.
Hey, the Euro is really strong, and they sing English (Press in Europe have compared them to Rilo Kiley) so we think it makes sense. Their last album Space Between Bodies is a pleasant listen that keeps growing on us.
Pilar Diaz – “Tu y Yo”
For the past few years, Chilean-born, Los Angeles-bred Pilar Diaz was best known as the front woman of bilingual new wave outfit Los Abandoned (RIP!) Now, on her new solo project, this multifaceted singer-songwriter explores her folk roots while incorporating modern elements and her trademark ukulele.
Her self-titled debut album was recently released to widespread acclaim and its really cool. Pilar’s musical background is simply amazing: from opera, to Balinese traditional music, to working with Danny Elfman’s film scores (Tim Burton’s go-to composer), so this is just the beginning of Pilar. She’ll be joined by Austinites Maneja Beto as backing band.
Contramano’s frontman Pablo Cubarle is a classically trained cellist-turned-rocker who blends Spanish and English lyrics with the group’s punk, electronic, chamber and world music sounds. The group’s energetic performances incorporate interactive visuals and plenty of crazy antics, electric cello included.
With two albums under their belt (Contramano and Unsatisfecho), the New York-based band spends a few months a year touring in Pablo’s native Argentina.
Don Yojan y La Frescura – “Deja Vu”
A tropical urban group from Austin? Yes! Mexican and Puerto Rican rapper Don Yojan decided it was time to tap into Texas’s rich multicultural reality and together with El Gigante (Honduras), The Prodigy (Texas), and DJ Kris (Panama), formed Don Yojan y La Frescura, a blend of influences that range from salsa to hip hop and reggaeton.
Like groups such as Orishas and Kumbia Kingz, Don Yojan y La Frescura look to their Latino heritage to create bilingual, urban music that really resonates with today’s youth.