From Agoraphobia to Zionstereo, Your Almost A-Z Guide for SXSW

Despite the influx of marquee talent like Jay-Z, Kanye West and Lady Gaga, there’s still plenty of up-and-coming artists to discover at SXSW. It’s tough to follow all the music that’ll shake up Austin this year, but it’s worth checking out which Latino acts will leave their marks.

Here’s your primer on some don’t-miss Latino acts – along with some bands from Spain – to keep your SXSW festival ear and eye on.

Apolo

Credit: APOLOMXTV / YouTube

As straightforward a rock n’ roll band as they come, the Mexico-city based crew resurrects early-Sabbath vibes on jams like “La Noche.”

Honorable Mention: Agoraphobia

Bomba Estéreo

Credit: Nacional Records / YouTube

With appearances in ’09, ’10 and ’12, the electronic-based Colombian outfit is a SXSW regular, bringing their cumbia-fueled “Fuego” to the U.S. festival scene.

Honorable mention: Buenaparte

Centavrvs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I-93_i_E7Y

Credit: SXSW / YouTube

With corrido sensibilities and chilled-out synth productions, the innovators of Centavrvs blend an iconic Mexican sound with the modern global dance scene.

Honorable mention: Chancha Via Ciruito

Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta

Credit: aguzate / YouTube

These “musical omnivores” might hail from Chicago, but they’ll tell you their backgrounds in indie, rock, afrobeat and jazz trickle down from the Cumbia glue revived in their overall sound.

Honorable mention: Deers

El Freaky

Credit: Canal de ElFreakyColectivo / YouTube

With generous support from Diplo, Bogota’s El Freaky Collective staples together a pastiche of Afro-Caribbean musical lore onto a backbone of EDM and booty bass.

Honorable Mention: Él Mató A Un Policía Motorizado

Felipe El Hombre

Credit: Felipe El Hombre / YouTube

They call these guys Latin Rock, but short of their Spanish vocals, these guys grind a psyched-out, garage-rock sound you expect to hear in Austin, making SXSW a perfect fit.

Gina Chavez

Credit: MusicVideoRace / YouTube

If you’ve caught onto the whole culture-mashing motif going on here, then consider this multi-ethnic songstress’ pop take on Mexican roots music.

Honorable mention: Ghost Magnet Roach Motel

 

Homeboy Sandman

Credit: Stones Throw / YouTube

Rapper Angel Del Villar II is a native New Yorker (via Queens) but the Dominican and Puerto Rican roots of his immigrant parents shape an honest sound that knows no boundaries.

Ibeyi

Credit: Ibeyi / YouTube

Twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz come from Paris, but their Afro-Cuban roots are on full display. Their indie/electronic sound was recently noticed by the A&R minds at XL Recordings.

Honorable mention: Irene Diaz

Juan Pablo Vega

Credit: Juan Pablo Vega / YouTube

Go ahead and coin the nickname “Juan Legend” for this buttery pop vocalist out of Colombia, because he’s going to be melting hearts in Austin come March.

Honorable mention: Javier Escovedo and the City Lights

La Gaucha

Credit: Twitsessions / YouTube

A bombshell frontwoman makes no difference in the sound, but this Chilean quartet brings a dose of sexy to Austin. Look for some Latino-style bumpin’ and grindin’ on the dance floor.

Macaco

Credit: MacacoOficialVEVO / YouTube

These guys bring together people from Brazil, Cameroon, Sweden, Venezuela and Spain, a perfect fit at a festival that celebrates the positivity of music.

Honorable Mention: Matias Cena

Oso Leone

Credit: Oso Leone / YouTube

Spaniards Carles Baena and Abel Suárez produce an inventive post-rock sound that could be from anywhere. The band is one of the least bound by cultural roots to hit SXSW this year.

Honorable Mention: O Amor Existe

Percance

Credit: PercanceTV / YouTube

SXSW wouldn’t be the same without a few Ticos in the mix. That’s exactly what the uptempo pop punk/reggae/roots outfit Percance brings to this year’s fabulously diverse lineup.

Honorable Mention: Pommez Internacional

Quantic

Credit: Silvina Sodero / YouTube

British-born Will Holland has 15 studio albums to his credit, with much of that output grounded in a soulful blend of Latin-influenced electronic music that never ceases to entertain.

Raquel Sofia

Credit: NPR Music / YouTube

After a career backing the likes of Juanes and Shakira, this gifted Puertorriqueña has spread her wings and taken center stage with force.

Sonido San Francisco

Credit: Sonido San Francisco / YouTube

Psychedelic tropical electronic music isn’t a figment of your imagination, it comes in the form of this quasi-ravey cumbia music group making an appearance at this year’s SXSW.

Honorable Mention: Sexores

Txarango

Credit: Txarango Oficial / YouTube

If you’re looking to sway, mosh, dance or see an all-around party of a stage-show, be sure to keep your eye out for this Barcelona-based reggae/pop/latin rock/salsa fusion band.

Honorable Mention: Twin Shadow

URSS Bajo el Árbol

Credit: URSSbajoelarbolTV / YouTube

This experimental music project began in 2009 in the heart of DF and helped shape Mexico’s bustling indie rock scene with a sound reminiscent of In Rainbows-era Radiohead and Porter.

Zionstereo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRB3oD62TCY

Credit: SXSW / YouTube

Zionstereo’s anthemic shoutout to Colombia’s Cali combines the country’s local rhythms with the communicative power of hip-hop.

Honorable Mention: Zalama Crew

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