DJ Huw Stephens blogs for NME about what you can expect from BBC Introducing at this March’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas
BBC Introducing is now established as a brilliant way of supporting new music. Bringing all the BBC new music shows together under the Introducing umbrella, we support new music and play it for new audiences who love it.
Festivals are a big part of what we do, with BBC Introducing host stages at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, T in the Park and Radio 1’s Big Weekend. It’s a big opportunity to establish an artist live. City festivals are big too, and as BBC Introducing grows, its reputation grows also.
In March, we are heading back to SXSW in Austin, Texas – a musical mecca for new artists to play and show the world what they can do. Last year we introduced SXSW to Jack Garratt, Little Simz, Blossoms, Gengahr and Spring King and this year, BBC Radio 1, 2, 6Music and 1Xtra will once again be there with artists they love, giving them a platform and finding new music to play on their shows.
Representing BBC Introducing this year we have six artists playing there for the first time. The Sherlocks from Sheffield are astounding live, and will bring their infectious singalong anthems to 6th Street, the main street of action for SXSW. From Cardiff, Estrons are one of the most talked about bands around thanks to singer Tali’s passion and enthusiasm on stage. Viola Beach are a band very much on the up too, bursting with rhyming guitars and short, sweet joyous songs. Keeping things mellow is songwriter Isaac Gracie (pictured above) who we heard via BBC introducing in Norfolk and Billie Marten, another astonishing performer who will knock you sideways. Completing the bill is Frances, whose recent single Borrowed Time surprised many and established her as an artist.
So it’s a varied bill and coupled with a 1Xtra line up soon to be announced, will be a definite highlight of the week at SXSW. BBC Music are recording and filming the sets of course for broadcast soon after, and during SXSW, live on the BBC.