The entrepreneurial spirit will be alive and well this week in Austin when independent musicians take to the SXSW stage. And we’re especially excited because over 700 of these artists have distributed through TuneCore. Though we think you should make it a point to check out all of the artists in the TuneCore community, we’ve highlighted a few artists of varying genres and backgrounds who we think are particularly poised for success.
So here you have it: The TuneCore Artists to Watch at SXSW 2014.
Kendall Schmidt (from Heffron Drive)
You may know him best as the leader of Big Time Rush, the band born from the Nickelodeon show of the same name. With incredible success under his belt from BTR, Kendall’s starting a new journey, releasing a debut pop single, “Parallel,” with his new band, Heffron Drive. With major labels courting him, he chose a different route, the independent one. He’s formed his own record label, TOLbooth Records, and has partnered with TuneCore for digital distribution.
Try to describe electronic artist Lindsey Stirling in just a few words. We dare you. With so many titles and accomplishments under her belt, she transcends labels. You could call her a musician, or a dancer, or a performance artist, or a composer or a YouTube star, and you’d be right. With over 500 million views on her YouTube videos, a YouTube award under her belt, and a style that’s unmatched, she’s an independent artist to follow.
Isaiah Rashad is a name you’re going to keep hearing. Signed to independent hip hop label Top Dawg Entertainement, Rashad is in good company with label mates (and fellow TuneCore Artists) Ab-Soul and ScHoolboy Q. His highly-anticipated debut album, Cilvia Demo, came out late January and no one was left disappointed. He’s got quite the SXSW debut planned, playing the iTunes Music Festival showcase and two other shows during the week.
Folk singer/songwriter Jeff Black is a seasoned artist. He’s written songs covered by notable artists like Allison Krause, Waylon Jennings and John Oates, and he continues to release and perform his own work, much to the delight of critics and fans. Folklore, his 10th release, is now available for pre-order on iTunes. He continues to be recognized as an artist shaping the industry. In fact, Boston’s WUMB listeners named him one of the top 100 most important folk artists of the last 25 years. We couldn’t agree more.
Hand-picked by Depeche Mode to join their tour, Feathers is no doubt an artist to watch. Behind the name is Austin-based electronic-pop singer/songwriter Anastasia Dimou, whose work continues to receive attention from media and fans alike. Clash Magazine sums it up pretty well: “Epic atmosphere, thriving on huge moments, lavish textures and massive choruses.” We can’t wait to see her rock out in her hometown.
If you’ve ever watched Showtime’s The Big C, you’re familiar with Leftover Cuties. That’s their song that plays in the opening credits while Laura Linney swims around her backyard pool. The alternative band has had a whole slew of other impressing licensing placements (like an ad for Samsung played on repeat during the 2012 Olympics), and high praise from critics and fans worldwide. Their latest album The Spark & the Fire has been no slouch to media approval, lauded by critics from Paste Magazine, Lucky Magazine, American Songwriter and WNYC (just to name a few).
Congrats to all of the TuneCore Artists to Watch at SXSW 2014 who continue to find success through independence. Can’t wait to see you in Austin.