Sony Music hosted the first night of their #LostInMusic showcase for South By Southwest on March 15 at the Trinity Warehouse.
Before entering the venue, concert goers are taken through a display of Sony’s latest virtual reality project, the AVO576. It uses spatial audio technology to take users on an acoustic journey through moving sound.
Walking into the main stage area, puffs of clouds hung from the ceiling while warm hues of pinks and purples created a dreamy atmosphere. Before checking out the performing artists, attendees were encouraged to try out Sony’s VR headsets.
Will Blake, Ohio resident, said he came to SXSW for the second time this year for his 25th birthday. As a photography hobbyist, Blake said he wanted to attend the festival as a volunteer photographer to experience and capture it through a different lens of view.
“What’s been eye-opening is seeing how people coalesce to one place, at one time, at one moment and being able to be immersed in an experience that is one of a kind,” Blake said. “That’s what SXSW is about, being able to experience something new and delve into something that is out of your comfort zone.”
Blake said he chose to come out Sony’s showcase because he is an extreme lover of R&B and wanted to be introduced to new artists as well as see a few of his favorites.
The #LostInMusic showcase featured five R&B artists.
Brooklyn, New York based pop singer-songwriter Olivia Noelle killed the stage with her smooth, powerful voice. Her songs center on women’s empowerment, from embracing the power of the female body to taking charge and claiming what you want without apologies. Olivia Noelle writes all of her own music, typically with her friends, and draws inspiration for her lyrics from personal life experiences.
Her most recent single “High for Me” featuring Kid Ink was released January 2018. The song is partially about the feeling of wanting to know that the person you are with will pick you up when you fall, as represented in the line “when all I feel is low, will you get high for me?” However, the song is also a subtle sign of her support for weed. During her performance, Olivia Noelle changed the tones of her lighting green and tossed rolling papers out to the audience. This up-and coming artist is definitely one to keep an eye out for.
Walking onto the stage wearing her signature bandana mask alongside her three-woman dance troop dressed from head to toe in black, Leikeli47 brought the party to the Sony showcase.
The Brooklyn based rapper dropped her debut album in September 2017 and has gained esteemed recognition since from artists such as Jay-Z and had her catchy soundtrack “Attitude” appear on HBO’s hit show Insecure. The artist has also partnered with Milk Makeup to create a music video for the first song, “M I L K“, on her debut album after have joining the make-up brand’s family at their launch party in 2016.
Many of her songs are about shaking off your haters and unapologetically doing your thing. Leikeli47 embodied black girl magic throughout her performance and closed with “Money“, a song celebrating her hard work and success.
This tripy R&B artist brought hazy, psychedelic jams to the cloud space showcase. A.CHAL, based out of Los Angeles, California, released his debut, self-produced album Welcome to GAZI in June 2016 and signed with Epic Records earlier this month. After performing “To the Light”, a song about finding your path in life, A.CHAL took a moment to remind his fans that “no matter what life might throw our way, we all come from love.”
Alejandro Salazar is a R&B artist who was born in Peru and moved to Queens, New York when he was four years old. His Latin roots are embedded in his lyrics as he effortlessly switchesbetween Spanish and English in his verses. Towards the end of his set, A.CHAL called out to all of the fellow Latinos in the room. He then jumped down from the stage to join the crowd while performing his songs with Spanish lyrics, closing with “Love N Hennessy” featuring 2 Chainz and Nicky Jam which dropped in January 2018.
It could be debated that this pop star’s killer dance moves are more iconic than her sweet and sexy voice. Regardless, Tinashe’s sexy R&B jams are sure to get anyone in the vicinity grooving. A force to be reckoned with, Tinashe has dabbled in acting, modeling, songwriting and producing. She performed her new single “No Drama” featuring Offset was released in January 2018 and is part of her latest album Joyride set to release in April 2018.
In March 2014 her debut single “2 On” quickly topped the charts, landing a spot as 24th on the US Billboard Hot 100 and earning a platinum certification. It was a no brainer that Tinashe would choose to end her performance with this signature song.
With an infectious smile and euphoric beats, this 20 year old from El Paso, Texas closed the night’s showcase. Khalid has been praised for his authenticity by his friends, both those famous and those not, and it was easy to see why. The young R&B singer-songwriter made a point to recognize his fans by shouting out to one girl he had seen at multiple shows before, thanking one guy for wearing his tour t-shirt and generally waving at or making eye contact with his fans.
Khalid’s parents divorced when he was very young and his father was killed by a drunk driver when he was in second grade. Because of his mother’s service in the military, Khalid spent time growing up in Kentucky, Georgia, Germany and New York before starting high school in El Paso, Texas. Many of his songs reflect on these personal experiences, among others, and the cyclical nature of the pains and joys of growing up and living life. Some of his songs relate to situations of love and loss, friendship or just facing reality.
His debut single “Location” dropped in 2016, reaching the 16th spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 and earning a quadruple platinum certification, while Khalid was still in high school. Just before performing this song, Khalid said it was one he would probably never get away from. Based on the crowd’s loud cheering, he is probably right. Khalid ended the night with his famous anthem “Young Dumb & Broke“, leaving concert goers yelling their hearts out to this catch sing-song.