Cultura

5 Mujeres Who Rocked SXSW

Top female artists to add to your playlists.

Mexican-American songwriter and performer Nancy Sanchez was among the SXSW featured artists. Photo contributed by Erika Goldring for BMI.
Mexican-American songwriter and performer Nancy Sanchez was among the SXSW featured artists. Photo contributed by Erika Goldring for BMI.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting some fierce mujeres who performed at South by Southwest and should be on your radar and playlists year round.

Nancy Sanchez

(Los Angeles via Toluca, Mexico)

Before her SXSW performance even started, artist Nancy Sanchez won our hearts during the sound check when she asked for “absolutely more reverb, I want to feel like I’m in space.”

Sanchez, a songwriter and vocalist, does make you feel like you’re floating, listening to her mariachi-inspired música ranging from what she describes as “socially conscious cumbia” to gut-wrenching rancheras. But there’s also lighthearted songs like “Money Pa’ la Fiesta,” about the age-old dilemma of wanting to go out but not having enough money to party.

There was something extra special listening to Sanchez belt out a ranchera on a SXSW stage and feeling seen. Here’s to more música for la gente represented in music festivals across the country.

Queralt Lahoz made her SXSW debut in Austin. She's among several artists representing Spain. Photo by Nancy Flores
Queralt Lahoz made her SXSW debut in Austin. She's among several artists representing Spain. Photo by Nancy Flores

Queralt Lahoz

(Barcelona, Spain)

Carving her own musical path that defies genres, Queralt Lahoz brings a distinct flavor to what we’re calling flamenco fusion (for lack of a better word to describe her work). Lahoz’ music, though rooted in tradition, weaves elements of soul, R&B, hip hop and more to create a contemporary sound uniquely her own.

It’s shows like hers that make us grateful for live music to be back in person. Lahoz was part of the Sounds from Spain showcase, which annually presents diverse artists from across that country.

Not only will you want to add Lahoz to your playlist, but her charismatic stage presence and engaging performance make it worthwhile to seek out upcoming live shows to soak in some of that music magic.

3 SXSW DOCS PARA EL ALMA

Bivolt has been part of Brazil's music scene for the past decade and released her first album in 2017. Photo by Nancy Flores
Bivolt has been part of Brazil's music scene for the past decade and released her first album in 2017. Photo by Nancy Flores

Bivolt

(São Paulo, Brazil)

Keep your eyes on Brazilian rapper Bivolt, whose SXSW shows marked her first international performance after establishing her career in South America for the past decade.

Bivolt was recently nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for “Best Short Form Music Video” for the song “Cubana.”

Bivolt was hit with the enormity of reaching another career milestone during SXSW when she shared with the crowd how meaningful it was for her to go from growing up in a Brazilian favela to stepping onto a SXSW stage as a featured artist for her international debut.

5 SXSW ARTISTS TO ADD TO YOUR PLAYLIST

Mexican American songstress La Doña performed at several SXSW shows. She's no stranger to Austin as she also was among the featured Austin City Limits Festival artists in October 2021. Photo contributed by Erika Goldring for BMI
Mexican American songstress La Doña performed at several SXSW shows. She's no stranger to Austin as she also was among the featured Austin City Limits Festival artists in October 2021. Photo contributed by Erika Goldring for BMI

La Doña

(San Francisco)

Cecilia Peña-Govea, vocalist and trumpeter, performs under the name La Doña to deliver the bicultural dance grooves you need right now.

After a successful Austin City Limits festival performance, we’re so glad to see La Doña return for SXSW. She delivers hip-shaking magic while simultaneously making us proud that Chicana artists are blazing trails in the music world and making festival crowds feel represented.

We can’t wait to see how much more brightly her star will inevitably shine.

Latin-folk Puerto Rican artist Andrea Cruz returns to SXSW 2022. Photo by Nancy Flores
Latin-folk Puerto Rican artist Andrea Cruz returns to SXSW 2022. Photo by Nancy Flores

Andrea Cruz

(Puerto Rico)

Get ready to go on a deep musical journey with Latin-folk Puerto Rican artist Andrea Cruz. She made her SXSW debut four years ago and returned this time with another album under her belt -“ Sentir No Es Del Tiempo.”

Stepping into one of Cruz’ performances during the frenzy of SXSW offers a reflective respite from the hectic energy that comes with a global fest. The best way to listen to her music is to let her lyrics envelop your spirit.

At a Friday night SXSW showcase, Cruz noted the need for inclusivity in music and festivals, noting that she was the only woman on the showcase’s line-up that night.

Cruz was among the indie Puerto Rican artists whose concerts and promotional efforts came to a halt after Hurricane María devastated the island in 2018. Instead, she handed out food to affected families and her folk-pop became a healing tool for many.

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