SXSW Music festival wrapped as the sun went down on March 20, 2016, however, coverage continues on to shed light on the Pittsburgh, Pa. area artists who left their mark in Austin, Texas.
From March 15-20, the live music capital of the world hosted many well-known artists like Rae Sremmurd, Kehlani, Drake, Aluna George, Vince Staples, Anderson.Paak, and more at house parties, day parties, branded events, and concert venues. Crowds flocked to showcases such as 40oz Bounce mansion party, House of Vans, or The FADER FORT Presented by Converse, then enjoyed the festival's atmosphere walking the streets with the very artists who performed.
Pittsburgh native photographer Jasano Brooks and Chambersburg, Pa. raised visual artist Brennan Peirson were on hand to document the eclectic experiences of South by Southwest. In their pictures, viewers see individuals whose musical and creative endeavors stem from the 412, as well as the flavors of the festival.
Jasano said in an email to ITR, "I expected to see tumble weeds and such," on his first trip to Texas, but instead he saw his hometown comrades all at a national stage. Members from rap collective The Company Only Joel Kellem and PK Delay had performances at Pittsburgh based music blog Daily Loud's private showcase, and Team Epic's lake-house function headlined by Norman Dean. Local streetwear clothier and event promoters Daily Bread sponsored acts Choo Jackson, Hardo, DJ Afterthought, and Christo for a show as well.
Brennan attended House of Vans at Mohawk, a multi-purpose venue, and caught another performance by rapper Hardo and DJ-producer Christo there also. The photographer's artist pass, courtesy of Atlanta rappers J.I.D and EarthGang, gave him access to major events, backstage, free food, and power outlets to charge his phone.
Specifically, Jasano, or "sano2fly" on Instagram, attended SXSW to capture the artists of Mo'$crill Hotel, KH and Truely AP, two more Pittsburgh ambassadors.
"You don't go to SXSW to see the big acts, you go to see the up and coming," said Brennan over the phone.
People attend SXSW to support the artists on the brink of success and popularity. The creative atmosphere breeds socializing and collaboration. "Anyone that wasn't really big, I got so many of their business cards, CDs, phone numbers, and texts asking for photos," said Brennan. He discovered a Minnesota hip-hop artist called rajítheone. Beyond the music listening and culture, SXSW proves to be valuable for its networking experience. Jasano linked with a fashionable artist from Seattle, Wash., iLL Chris, and took some photos for him.
Much of SXSW's foot traffic patrolled on Sixth Street, described by Jasano as a bigger and much livelier East Carson Street. With Sixth blocked off, entourages belonging to major talents flashed by and intermingled with the public. "I saw Rae Sremmurd walking down the street 20 deep at least. The more crew members artists had the more official they were," Jasano said. He noted rappers Lil Uzi Vert and Migos passing by too.
Additionally, Brennan bumped into star studded faces like DRAM, Rome Fortune, and Lil Uzi on the Austin streets and shared their portraits on both of his IG accounts, "ForgetBrennan," and his namesake.
"You just run into some crazy stuff you didn't plan on seeing," said Brennan. On his walk home one night, he came across a Downtown Boys punk rock show held on a bridge.
Now, all the artists who attended and participated in SXSW hope to build on the connections they made and create new experiences to reach their desired successes.