AUSTIN, Texas – It’s midweek and SXSW has been going on strong with thousands of visitors that came for the film and interactive events leaving the city – and now thousands more flying in for the music portion.
While weekend one was a whirlwind that kicked the festival into high gear, the week has been packed with official SXSW sessions, as well as special events geared toward crypto. A common theme that seems like it has taken over interactive.
As interactive and film conclude, we explored and visited with some well-known artists and up-and-coming artists to kick off the music festival.
Crypto and music align, putting artists’ work back in their hands
Darryl McDaniels, also known as DMC of legendary rap group Run DMC, spoke and performed at the crypto event focused on content creators, in addition to the performance DMC spoke on his mental health struggles and his advocacy for mental health.
DMC partnered with blockchain platform Algorand to release a special song on the blockchain called “Million Scars.” The song is a third release for the crypto concept Song That Owns Itself (STOI). STOI enables fans to co-own a piece of the song with the artist and allows for future success, including any revenue earned from streaming, licensing, and more to be shared and lives on the blockchain.
“I have a responsibility for everybody performing, currently with me and everybody coming after me. I just needed that one situation to empower me. When you think about the music industry it’s always been one-sided, it’s always been abuse and disrespect, and people getting taken advantage of. We hope for that one thing that will allow us to put the power back into the creator’s hands and bring together a community,” DMC explained.
Although he was promoting his new crypto partnership, DMC spoke to us about how he has joined the charge to promote mental health and wellness.
“It was in rehab where I discovered therapy. Now if I tell you what to wear, you know, Adidas, ‘Walk This Way.’ Now if I share that I struggle, like you, I am not alone. That can inspire and motivate you to see the power that’s inside of you. It was a personal experience with suicide, alcoholism, and death. What’s important about those situations is to continue the dialogue,” said DMC.
DMC performed a medley of classic Run DMC hits including “Walk This Way” and “It’s Tricky.”
A highlight of the event was DMC performing Run DMC’s classic hit “Walk This Way” alongside his son to a loud crowd reaction. To learn more about Algorand and DMC’s new single, visit algorand.com
SXSW interactive programming and film sendoff with Apple TV+ world-premiere and FaZe Clan session
As SXSW interactive begins to wrap and film has wrapped up for the week, some final world-premieres happened on Wednesday as well as some last-minute interactive sessions.
FaZE Clan CEO Lee Trink was in attendance and spoke with Axios business reporter Sara Fischer on how FaZE has continued to evolve and how to capture an engaging Gen Z audience.
In preparation for their IPO, Trink gave insights on how FaZe had become a global brand with 50% of its core audience in North America while the other 50% spread across the globe.
“There are things along the way to help define who we are to people outside of the gaming community. It takes something like Sports Illustrated. Sports Illustrated was great for our community, although, I think we were surprised at how excited they [Sports Illustrated] were about it, even the gaming community. It felt like we had accomplished something for gaming. A cover story,” Trink said.
Apple TV+ premiered its new documentary series, The Big Conn, Wednesday with former Wallstreet Journalist Damian Paletta.
The series focuses on the true story of Eastern Kentucky attorney Eric C. Conn who stole $600 million from clients in the largest Social Security fraud case in history.
The series is slated to make its debut on the streaming platform in May.
In addition to the episodes, each episode of the series will premiere alongside an Apple TV+ companion podcast that will explore Conn’s life in more detail with additional interviews and more.
Austin based artist David Shabani kicks off music opening for Ashanti; T-Pain appears at Empire
One of the core pieces of SXSW is local artists breaking out at the festival and what it means to them. With many artists spanning multiple genres pouring into the city, it’s a race to stand out amongst the others.
Austin based musician David Shabani spoke with us on what it means to be an official SXSW showcase artist opening for iconic singer Ashanti.
“It feels good man, it means a lot to me, it means a lot to the local artists. I’ve been doing music in Austin for seven years now. I’m seeing a lot more local artists get put on good stages, good opportunities, and good festivals. It means a lot to me but its dope for the community to be able to get up here and do our art and showcase our talent and what our city is all about,” Shabani said.
Shabani played songs off his recent 2021 album, Shabani’s Smooth Sounds of the Summer, to a large crowd.
“It would be nice to get the right eyes, you’ll never know who you’ll run into here. If we’re big enough to be on a big stage with a good lineup, then the next level is maybe to be more known in Texas. Then nationwide touring, then after that world-touring, you control your market then you move on to the next market and the next market and then you’re a nationwide act,” Shabani on the potential reach playing at SXSW.
David Shabani’s music can be found on available music streaming platforms including Spotify.
T-Pain performed at Empire Control Room to a packed crowd, and it was elbow to elbow all the way to the back. T-Pain performed most of his classic hits including, “Buy U A Drank,” “Bartender,” and more.
This performance was energetic, and the crowd erupted in sing-alongs for the rest of the night. What made this moment even more special is when T-Pain invited legendary Houston rapper Bun B to perform a song together.
As music overtakes the city for the music portion of SXSW, there will be other events we will be providing coverage for.
Enjoy SXSW tweets and more here: twitter.com/jamiebarriento
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