41 SXSW 2015 Artists You Need In Your Life

Even if you’re not headed to Austin, get to know all the up-and-coming artists everyone will be talking about. In no particular order.

1. Meg Mac

Littlebigman Records

Need To Know: An Australian singer-songwriter whose soulful, soaring piano ballads are at the forefront of pop’s gospel revival.

Listen To This:Roll Up Your Sleeves.”

2. Goldlink

Mr. Oxblood / Flickr / Creative Commons / Via

Need To Know: A Rick Rubin-approved rapper with a nimble ’90s flow and audible charisma.

Listen To This:Sober Thoughts.”

3. QT

XL Recordings

Need To Know: Candy-coated future pop from PC Music founder A.G. Cook and Sophie.

Listen To This:Hey QT.”

4. Kehlani

Aris Jerome. / Via

Need To Know: A teenage pop and R&B dreamer from the Bay Area who’s not safe for Disney.

Listen To This:FWU.

5. Courtney Barnett

Marathon Artists.

Need To Know: A wry rocker from Melbourne whose humorous and sharp-witted songwriting quickly won her international praise.

Listen To This:Pedestrian at Best.”

6. Mick Jenkins

Lawrence Agyei

Need To Know: A Chicago-via-Alabama rapper with enough talent to skip the gimmicks.

Listen To This:Rain.”

7. Tei Shi

Eric White

Need To Know: A Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter-producer whose gauzy synth-pop bears an undercurrent of mischief.

Listen To This:Bassically.”

8. Tobias Jesso Jr.

Sandy Kim

Need To Know: A hard-luck piano man from Vancouver whose timeless melodies and accessible, sentimental songwriting made fans of both Adele and Taylor Swift.

Listen To This:How Could You Babe.”

9. Dej Loaf

Columbia Records

Need To Know: A Drake-and-Eminem-approved rapper from Detroit with a singular voice and plentiful lyrical charms.

Listen To This:Try Me.

10. Fetty Wap

RGF Productions.

Need To Know: A Patterson, New Jersey, singer/rapper whose viral love-in-the-trap anthem “Trap Queen” earned him a deal with Lyor Cohen’s 300 Entertainment.

Listen To This:Trap Queen.”

11. Alvvays

Polyvinyl Records

Need To Know: An indie-pop quartet from Toronto that make wistful, daydream rock for misfit romantics.

Listen To This:Archie, Marry Me.”

12. Sam Hunt

MCA Nashville.

Need To Know: A good-time country singer who’s more snapback than cowboy hat.

Listen To This:Leave the Night On.

13. Natalie Prass

Spacebomb Records.

Need To Know: A former Jenny Lewis backup singer with a birdlike tenor and hard-to-forget songs that pair Amy Winehouse’s Motown brass with Jon Brion’s orchestral whimsy.

Listen To This:Bird of Prey.”

14. Title Fight


Need To Know: Pennsylvania punk veterans with shades of shoegaze.

Listen To This:Chlorine.”

15. Vic Mensa

Daniel Gregory / Flickr / Creative Commons / Via

Need To Know: Chicago new-wave rap with Kanye-approved takes on melody and deep house music.

Listen To This:Down on My Luck.”

16. Summer Moon

Alex John Beck

Need To Know: An indie supergroup featuring members of The Strokes, Au Revoir Simone, and The Like.

Listen To This: There’s no music available yet, but expect that to change after the band performs some of their first shows at SXSW this year.

17. Speedy Ortiz

Carpark Records.

Need To Know: Songwriter-driven alt rock that recalls DIY’s scrappier decades.

Listen To This:No Below.

18. Hudson Mohawke

Tim Saccenti / Warp Records.

Need To Know: A Glasgow electronic/trap producer who helped craft the bombed-out, fight-or-flight music of Kanye’s Yeezus phase.

Listen To This:Chimes.”

19. Vince Staples

Getty Images

Need To Know: Hard-hitting neo-gangster rap from a 21-year-old Long Beach native.

Listen To This:Blue Suede.”

20. Spring King

Spring King

Need To Know: A U.K. four-piece making inroads with rousing pop punk you can sing from the rafters.

Listen To This:Mumma.”

21. Shura


Need To Know: A stylish, midtempo pop auteur of the Dev Hynes mold who does Janet and Paula proud.

Listen To This:Touch.”

22. Leon Bridges

Columbia Records.

Need To Know: Throwback doo-wop and rock ‘n’ roll from Fort Worth, Texas, that both purists and novices can love.

Listen To This:Coming Home.

23. Girlpool

Wichita Recordings.

Need To Know: Stripped-down guitar-and-bass-and-nothing-else rock with the casually reflective quality of a conversation between best friends.

Listen To This:Ideal World.”

24. Allan Kingdom

The Windish Agency

Need To Know: This St. Paul-based Corbin (formerly known as Spooky Black) affiliate crafted his own brand of dark, left-of-center hip-hop before Kanye West scooped him up for the chorus of “All Day.” (Catch him onstage at that instantly iconic BRITs performance.)

Listen To This:Souls.”

25. Autre Ne Veut

Software Recording Company.

Need To Know: The future-R&B/soul project of Brooklyn’s Arthur Ashin is set to return after widely praised 2013 breakthrough Anxiety.

Listen To This:Counting.”

26. Charlie Belle

Barclay Ice & Coal.

Need To Know: Texas teen purveyors of jangly indie folk with infectious harmonies and the sonic maturity of a band twice their age.

Listen To This:Get To Know.”

27. La Luz

La Luz.

Need To Know: A Seattle surf-rock quartet whose classic sound and Western swagger never feels cliché.

Listen To This:Sure As Spring.

28. SOAK

Rough Trade Records.

Need To Know: An 18-year-old singer-songwriter from Ireland whose vulnerable voice and spare, heartbreakingly beautiful ballads would make her a star at any age.

Listen To This:B a noBody.

29. Wayward

Black Butter Records.

Need To Know: A U.K. production duo whose futuristic takes on soul and house music are as vividly rendered as they are irresistibly danceable.

Wayward:Love Jones.”

30. Chastity Belt

Chastity Belt.

Need To Know: Punk-flavored power pop from an all-girl quartet who love awkward family photos even more than your aunt Sheryl.

Listen To This:Joke.”

31. Shamir

XL Recordings.

Need To Know: A 20-year-old Las Vegas native with a personality as big as his hometown and a penchant for post-disco party starters.

Listen To This:On the Regular.”

32. Holychild

Shayan Asgharnia.

Need To Know: A smart pop duo from L.A. whose songs have such an easy allure that Apple chose one to soundtrack its first Apple Watch ad.

Listen To This:Playboy Girl.”

33. Pity Sex

Run For Cover Records.

Need To Know: Plaintive pop punk built from the ashes of emo.

Listen To This:Wind Up.”

34. Tkay Maidza

Dew Process.

Need To Know: A post-Iggy Australian rapper with a mean flow, killer style, and a taste for where boom-bap and electro meet.

Listen To This:Switch Lanes.”

35. Lapalux


Need To Know: The Flying Lotus-approved downtempo electronic and effervescent R&B producer returns with a follow-up to his underrated 2013 album Nostalchic.

Listen To This:Closure.”

36. White Reaper

Cooper Burton.

Need To Know: Thrash-ready, Louisville, Kentucky-bred pop punk from the label that brought you Japandroids and American Football.

Listen To This:Half Bad.”

37. Your Old Droog

Seher Sikandar

Need To Know: Golden-era East Coast rap from a Coney Island native with bars so nice he was once, erroneously, suspected of being Nas in disguise.

Listen To This:Nutty Bars.

38. Bully

Angelina Costillio

Need To Know: Nashville punk Alicia Bognanno’s velvet hammer connects with sweet fury.

Listen To This:Milkman.”

39. Tunji Ige

Tunji Ige / YouTube

Need To Know: A Philadelphia-bred communications major with Kudi-descendent singsong flow and a modern take on backpack rap.

Listen To This:Day2Day.”

40. Residual Kid

Residual Kid.

Need To Know: Austin-based teenage skate punks with a practiced professionalism that bands much older should envy.

Listen To This:Friend.”

41. Little Simz

Little Simz

Need To Know: A U.K. grime rapper whose vociferous delivery and deft storytelling affect both the heart and the head.

Listen To This:Time Capsule.”

Check out more articles on!

  Your Reaction?

    Starting soon, you'll only be able to post a comment on BuzzFeed using a Facebook account or via our app. If you have questions or thoughts, email us here.


    Now Buzzing