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Allen Stone

While the majority of the (Black) music coverage at SXSW has focused on the huge celebrity hip-hop acts (50 Cent, T.I., Kanye, Snoop Dogg, etc) a few of us actually went down to Austin with the intention of music discovery.  I had the opportunity to hear some amazing musicians whose lyrics I didn’t already know and I can’t wait to pass them along.   Check out my fave five.

1.  Allen Stone
@allen_stone
Close your eyes and you might think Allen Stone is Maxwell’s long lost cousin. Open them and you’ll see an odd-looking, red framed glasses wearing, off-centered white guy whose incredible vocals belt out surprisingly soulful tunes that will make girls and guys swoon.

2.  Blitz The Ambassador
@blitztheambassador
Ghanian born rapper, producer and musician Blitz The Ambassador plays a soulful hybrid of hip-hop infused with big band-esque instrumentation. Citing Rakim, Public Enemy and Nas as a few of his inspirations, Blitz lyricism feels effortless, his voice adding another musical dynamic to the stunning sounds of his band. Words don’t do it justice, take a listen.

3.  BJ The Chicago Kid & Kendrick Lamar
@bjthechicagokid
& @kendrick_lamar
By now, you’ve heard of Kendrick Lamar, but you may not be as familiar with BJ The Chicago Kid, a young Chicago south-sider whose vocals are giving us D’Angelo meets Jaheim with a bit more soul if you can imagine it. If not check out the song below which has become a personal favorite for me. Kendrick’s story telling is incredible and BJ kills it on the hook.

4. SautiSol
@sautisol

Bumped in to this super hip looking band on the convention center floor and though I wasn’t able to check out their live show, I did some YouTube research and found out these Kenyan crooners will bring you to tears.

5.  Zuzuku Ponderosa
I stumbled upon this group literally on accident and ended up having the best time. I think this is a Brazilian band and the lead singer has mad sex appeal.  She’s based in New York and describes the music as “Rio Neurotic Bass”.  Whatever it is, I dig it.


Follow me on twitter if you want to know more about these artist and here all about SXSW @Leighdav

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