Latin music is the fastest growing genre in the country, and that dynamic surge is visible in SXSW lineups that are more diverse than ever before. Bills showcasing traditional Latin styles as well as Latin rock, hip-hop, singer/songwriters, pop and more from all over the world will fill clubs in downtown Austin this week. Here are four BMI Latin SXSW performers not to be missed.
La Vida Bohéme
1 a.m., Billboard Latin presents at Soho Lounge (217 E 6th St.)
Hailing from Venezuela, La Vida Bohéme has created a lot of noise since their first appearance in the U.S. at the Latin Alternative Music Conference. They recently received their first Grammy nod for Best Latin Pop, Rock or Urban Album and wrapped up 2011 with the iTunes “Latin Breakthrough Artist of the Year” title, two Latin Grammy nominations and as finalists of MTV Iggy’s “Best New Band In the World” contest.
(Also: Thur., March 15 at NPR Day party @ Parish [214 E 6th St]; Fri., March 16 Nacional Records presents @ Maggie Mae’s [323 E. 6th St] at 12 a.m.)
Listen: “Radio Capital”
8 p.m., Billboard Latin presents at Soho Lounge (217 E 6th St.)
Radiad – which translates to “child of the sun” or “protected by the sun” – are from Guadalajara, MX. The band’s sound is a melting pot of the world. Incorporating different instruments from India, China, the Middle East, and Africa, Radiad contemporize their truly unique sound with electronica, trip-hop and rock. Radiad have toured throughout Latin America, Spain, France and Portugal. (Also: Thur., March 15 at La Banda Elastica & LARAS presents @ Buca Lounge [422 B Congress Ave.] at 9 p.m.)
11 p.m., Flamingo Cantina (515 E. 6th St.)
From Panama by way of the Bay Area, duo Los Rakas is made up of cousins Raka Rich and Raka Dun. Known for their mix of hip-hop, plena, reggae and dancehall music in both English and Spanish, Rakas have mastered pan-American flows. In addition to sharing the stage with stars including Cypress Hill, Erykah Badu and Manu Chao, Los Rakas have released several mix tapes that have received rave reviews from critics such as NPR’s Alt Latino, Fader, Remezcla, and Club Fonograma.
Listen: “Ta Lista”
3 p.m., Torreblanca Y Amigas at Ballroom G Day Stage
Javiera Mena is making her U.S. debut at SXSW 2012. One of Chile’s up-and-coming stars known for her disco/dance-electro pop sensibilities, Mena has been touring throughout Latin America and has performed at top festivals including Lollapalooza Chile, Vive Latino, and Corona Festival. Must-read blog Club Fonograma praises Mena as a “pop genius.” (Also: Thur., March 15 at Mercadorama/Caradura presents @ Maggie Mae’s [323 E 6th St.] at 11 p.m.; Sat., March 17 at Sala De Espera presents @ Beale Street Tavern [214 B E. 6th St.] @ 12 a.m.)
Listen: “Hasta La Verdad”