The South by Southwest festival attracts a broad crowd to Austin each year—the ten-day spectacle is comprised of events spanning tech, film and music, and it’s the latter than always draws our full attention. This year, we kept our ears to the pulse of the hottest acts at SXSW, and noticed quite a few of them were fronted by badass, stylish females. Here, six on-the-rise musicians you need to know about.
The enchanting 21-year-old redhead toured with Kanye West as a backup dancer early in her career—she's now signed to his label, G.O.O.D. Music. Her dreamy synth music is a genre she's described as "left-field pop," and one that makes for easy listening whether at your desk or out dancing.
Sarah McTaggart of Transviolet
The LA-based group—comprised of McTaggart and male counterparts Michael Panek, Judah McCarthy and Jon Garcia—has been quickly gaining steam in the music world following a tour with Mikky Ekko. Oh, they also count Katy Perry as a fan—the popstar tweeted about their single "Girls Your Age" last July. If you like Lorde, you're going to love Sarah's angelic voice.
Caroline Polachek of Chairlift
Caroline and Patrick Wimberly make up Chairlift, the Brooklyn-based indie duo who just released their third studio album, Moth, in January. Their latest single "Ch-Ching" is a little more "hip hop" than their earlier music, yet equally catchy. (It even comes with a choreographed music video.) In case you needed further proof of their star power: They wrote the Beyoncé song "No Angel"—enough said.
Quiñ—short for her real name, Bianca Leonor Quiñones—is one platinum-haired pixie on the verge of megastardom: She appears on of-the-moment rapper G-Eazy's track "Think About You," the first of many career-defining moments for the young star. Her soulful music is influenced by the likes of India Arie and Sade, though she puts her own electronic spin on the style. (Special shoutout to her standout fashion sense: We're obsessed with the gold sequined number she wore to the House Of Vans showcase at SXSW.)
The stunning singer-songwriter is just 20-years-young but she's been at the music thing for a while—she left her home in Kosovo at age 15 to pursue her career in London. She now shares the same management as Lana Del Rey—fitting, as the two possess a similar pouty approach to pop music.
Aluna Francis of AlunaGeorge
Aluna is half of the electronic duo AlunaGeorge—her bandmate George Reid is more the behind-the-scenes, handling the production and instrumentals of their R&B-inspired tracks. If you're not familiar with her name, perhaps you recognize her vocals from DJ Snake's dance anthem "You Know You Like It," which shot up the charts last year. Aside from a burgeoning music career, Aluna is a style star in the making: At SXSW alone, she debuted a deluge of impressive outfits such as the ensemble pictured above. (Head to her Instagram to scope more of her impossibly cool sporty style.)