By Kamren Curiel
I'm ashamed to admit I've never been to SXSW, and won't be going again this year (*tear), but one can live vicariously through those who are going, right? Voto Latino will be on the ground getting exclusive interviews (stay tuned) and our founding executive director, Maria Teresa Kumar, is on a panel with Craigslist founder Craig Newmark about Socializing the Presidency. Remezcla broke down the full list of Latin artists performing at SXSW, and here I give you six acts not to be missed.
Lila Downs: The soulful Mixtec/Scottish-American songstress and composer started singing at 5, and with six albums under her belt, recently released her latest one, Pecados y Milagros, which she's on the tail end of her tour promoting. I was in awe of her guest DJ stint on NPR's Alt Latino that started with Miles Davis (her father played his albums in Oaxaca) and included Orishas. I must say, sista has great taste in music. Catch her at the SXSW Speakeasy on March 14.
Ximena Sarinana: Gearing up for her Coachella debut, the Mexican singer, who now lives in L.A., just released her super cute "Echo Park" video which features some serious Mipsters (Mexican hipsters) and a catchy sound. If you haven't grabbed her latest self-titled album, get it now. Catch her at the Easy Tiger Patio on March 16 and at St. David's Bethell Hall on March 17.
Miguel: I thought I could never be mad at Gael Garcia Bernal, but when he said he hated R&B on NPR, I took offense. How can one hate R&B? It's music from the soul. But back to Miguel. The L.A. native and, yes, R&B singer, has some raw falsettos that melts your heart and you can experience them yourself at Malaia Upstairs on March 14 and The Stage on Sixth March 15.
Il Abanico: I love hearing about music the old-fashioned way: in the car in conversation with a cousin about what she's listening to. That's how I discovered Il Abanico, the experimental Colombian duo made up of Juliana Ronderos and Nicolas Losada. Together they create the kind of music that makes traffic fun. They'll be playing the Flamingo Cantina March 15 and The Whiskey Room March 16.
Zuzuka Poderosa: This badass half-Indonesian/Brazilian baile funk superstar always pumps me up when she comes on my iPod. I can only imagine what she does on stage. Check her out at the Speakeasy Kabaret March 16. We caught up with her last year:
Quantic: Quantic is the umbrella name for UK-born producer/musician/DJ Will Holland, who's been playing various styles of soul, jazz, electronic, Latin, reggae, and cumbia for 10 years. Based out of his Cali, Colombia studio, Sonido del Valle, he's Colombia at heart. Peep game March 15-16.
Can't pick just 6. There are so many amazing artists performing. Here are some more picks:
Y La Bamba
La Vida Boheme
Girl In A Coma