Top 5

04 – 03 – 2021

Our Picks for SXSW 2021

Returning digitally after its cancellation in 2020, this year's South By Southwest will be a festival like no other. In addition to the usual key-note speakers, exhibitions and networking, the festival is moving its world-renowned music showcase online, with artists from around the globe broadcasting from venues in their home country for what the festival is describing as a premium viewing experience.

With panels around the discovery of independent music and the future of the industry pencilled in for the virtual festival, it seems that all eyes are on where the music business is heading next.

In celebration of SXSW and International Women’s Month, we've uncovered five of the most exciting new female acts from the UK being showcased at the festival.

Connie Constance

Blending R&B with indie pop, singer/songwriter Connie Constance is making waves as an independent artist, featuring on playlists curated by Spotify, Starbucks and Annie Mac with followers totalling 481k. With a unique sound, blending the smooth R&B of Jorja Smith with 2000s indie rock, Connie Constance is truly repping for the UK sonically.

Ego Ella May

South London vocalist Ego Ella May’s tracks feature in playlists with a combined following over 700k on Spotify, exposing her neo R&B to a huge audience. Her track ‘Girls Don’t Always Sing About Boys’ has already racked-up over 1 million streams, with her COLORS Session performance of the track also sitting at 834k views on YouTube.

Lilla Vargen

Hailing from Ballymena, Northern Ireland, Lilla Vargen’s delicate acoustic ballads have found her over 300k monthly listeners on Spotify. With significant editorial playlist support from Spotify - featuring in The Most Beautiful Songs in the World (2.1m followers), Your Coffee Break (433k followers) and Sounds of Love Island (73k) - Vargen’s tracks have racked-up millions of streams since she started releasing music two years ago.

Nayana Iz

London hip hop artist Nayana Iz has been on a role since the end of 2020, when she boosted her Spotify following by 24% overnight following an appearance on A COLORS SHOW, performing her track Partner in Crime. The video now has over 300k views, with its performer added to Spotify editorial playlists including the Conscious hip hop playlist and Oyster, where she features alongside the likes of Arlo Parks and SZA.

Rosehip Teahouse

Finally, Cardiff indie band Rosehip Teahouse are representing Wales at SXSW. With consistent growth across all of their platforms throughout early 2021, this group features on the Particle Detector playlists The Edge of Shoegaze and Noise Pop, indicating that the Spotify algorithm has marked them as one to watch within their genre. Released last month, Rosehip Teahouse’s music video for ‘No Gloom’ already has 25k views on YouTube and 4,000 streams on Spotify.

With close to one hundred acts already announced for this year’s SXSW, these five acts barely scratch the surface of the talent on display. South By Southwest takes place online from March 16 - 20, 2021. Find out more info on when streams take place on their website.

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