By indie rapper and music marketer extraordinaire Kosha Dillz
This year will be my 12 year at SXSW and 11th year as an official artist. Since the beginning of my career, I knew that this place was the place to go to set my year off perfectly. I came up with 9 quick reasons to convince you to go to Austin and gain 4 pounds of BBQ weight, as well as schmooze it up with the industry's best. While you're there, make you play shows, pick up bands and network to the top and also buy yourself brand new vintage T shirt on the east side.
But yeah...here are the 9 reasons!
- The panels - Every year I say I want to go tot he panels. This year I will actually go to one atlas, because I am on one of the panels. That is right! How to make $50,000 this year in music. Sounds easy but for some of us who suffer from OCD, addiction, scrolling on Instagram syndrome or looking at others and pointing fingers, it can be difficult!
- All the free shows and networking - Every year I want to discover more artists. This year I actually am. From other years of big artists playing like Big Freedia to newcomers like Fragile Rock or Abhi the Nomad and MC Bravado, there are lots to discover. Check out their official Spotify playlist and hear over 1,000 songs!
- Free Press - Who needs to hire a publicist when there is all the free press. Don’t stay home and say I will spend money on a publicist. Go down there and play and get a publicist who loves you and will do a better job with you there. Then you get the best of both worlds…SXSW and a new team mamnber!!
- All the Content - I hate to say it but all the people who will talk trash about how SXSW isn’t what is used to be or that is doesn’t make a real difference are wrong. They just aren’t there and they will still digest your content. Also , your fans will digest your content. Basically everyone will want to know what you are doing!
- New clients - If you run a business or are a artist manager or marketer or label guy, who cares ? Go there. Tons of new talent from all over the world. Tons of new ideas and exchanges and fun. And tacos. You can find your new people. This year might be the year. I say that every year and I really mean it!
- Less Corporate - No matter Doritos stages and no more long lines. This year is the year of the indie come up. This is the year that people can make all the difference. This is the year that you an impress new agents and new people.
- It’s cheap and can lead to $$$ - Feeling stale back at home and need to shake it up. Get out of your comfort zone. Currently flights to Austin are pretty cheap and if you can’t seem to get that going, fly to Houston / Dallas / or San Antonio. Get a reasonable price on Air B N B or craigslist rental and find out how you can also make the week work. Consider SXSW the lottery. Sure you did it before, but you have to stay in it …to win it!
- The Comedy and Tech and Film - Don’t think that it is just about music. There are tons of future employees and teammates in the Edu portion of SXSW, as well as your new mixtape hosts and podcast friends with Comedy and Tech and Film. Maybe you can get roasted on the street by Jeff Ross? Don’t just go for the showcases you know. Go wander and make new friends and find the people that enjoy music with their $100,000 parties. Last year I made over $1200 as a 10 minute opener for Shaggy. I can only imagine that the DJ and Shaggy made quite a bit more, but it was probably the best show I had.
- Need a manager or agent or job? I know they are all here. How do I know? Well I am chatting with them and they are going. This is great place to meet with agents and managers and invite them to see you play, or better yet lend them a charger for their phone when they are in dire need. SXSW is an experience, so if you contribute to those things, you surely can land yourself in the right room and the right time. If you are currently out of job, you might just find your next crew to work with in the lovely land of Texas BBQ.
This article was a quickie to get you pumped while you also get your ducks in a row. 2019 is upon us and I am keeping tabs before I get there. I already have managed to land a rap video with Jeff Goldblum, landed a pickle sponsorship, an opening slot for Machine Gun Kelly show, and recorded my album Nobody Cares Except You. On top of all that I even did a collaboration with Grammy nominated Matisyahu. Hell... I even performed at the Grammys!! How did I do it all?
I went to the place of action and took part in it. If you are in the NJ area, feel free to come to some of my upcoming shows on March 1st (jersey city) and 2nd (asbury park) that you can find on bandsintown. If not, I'll see you at SXSW !!
Kosha Dillz is a super tight rapper that writes articles for Hypebot when he decides to but has also toured the world with Matisyahu and once landed a tour with Snoop Dogg after befriending a Dutch booker at SXSW. He also write for Variety and Billboard sometimes and is a good human being that has a cool website and raps at synagogues sometimes too, which are called syna-gigs. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org