Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage
Austin City Limits 2019: 7 Rising Artists To Watch
When it comes to music festivals, you pay for the headlining acts and leave with newfound emerging favorites. Over the course of two weekends, Austin City Limits 2019 gave festivalgoers more than enough chances to check out both sides of the spectrum, with both major-label marquee names and a heaping handful of up-and-comers. From Kat Dahlia to Pink Sweat$, here are several rising artists to add to your rotation from Austin City Limits 2019.
For fans of: Jessie Reyez, Alessia Cara, Kali Uchis
Dahlia is one of those genre-defying indie artists who has grown into her skin in front of all who are smart enough to keep tabs. The Cuban-American singer, who performed at the BMI stage at ACL weeked two, established a strong pop foundation with My Garden in 2015, whose titular track earned a spot on the Billboard 200. After a hiatus, Dahlia's re-introduction this year makes a case for taking a reprise to find the right wave to ride. Her new tracks, "Dime Si Te Llego" and "Mojada," spotlight her bilingual roots and lead towards seemingly effortless, airy urbano. It’s the kind of music that requires ample personal space for your arms to sway about freely.
For fans of: Omar Apollo, Mac Ayres
David Bowden has earned recognition in the music industry and beyond with just two bite-sized EPs. But, of course, he’s surely more than willing to take new membership applications for the pink gang (as he calls his fans). Sporting a baby pink vest and a pink in-ear monitor to match, he poured his soul out with a sultry, interactive performance. The Philadelphia native’s voice needs little instrumental support, and is a treat for solo over-ear headphone listening and outdoor group belting alike. His eclectic sound is due to his own musical tastes. "I feel like my ears are always eclectic to catchy things, but just different sounds," he said.in an interview with the Recording Academy at ACL.
For fans of: Mr Eazi, Burna Boy
Anything but a larger-than-life set is unlikely coming from this 19-year-old. If you’re a person who leaves the house, you’ve likely touched noses with someone as the sound of "Toast" filled the room. The Jamaican reggae and dancehall queen (born Mikayla Simpson) is a must-see and, being that she doesn’t yet have a collection of songs to her name, definitely one to keep an eye on. Safe to say standing still while listening to this multi-talented teen is nothing short of impossible.
For fans of: Megan Thee Stallion, Rico Nasty
This 24-year-old rapper is just getting started. But with a GRAMMY nomination and covetable spots on best end-of-year roundups and Pitchfork’s best-of-the-decade list, she’s accomplished more than most. Her 15-track debut pronounced her an unparalleled, refreshingly quirky addition to the hip-hop spectrum. The collection, Whack World, which clocks in for a total of 15 minutes, proves that longer isn’t always better—a notion she doubled down on with her live ACL setlist. At one point during her performance on weekend one, she took a dive into the crowd. "Not your average girl/He needed swag and I provide it," she sings on "Hungry Hippo."
For fans of: Jorge Drexler, Juan Pablo Vega, Monsieur Periné
Though this trio from Colombia has always been a delight, with hundreds of live shows and a Latin GRAMMY for Best Rock Album win in 2017, their latest shift towards funk and a more experimental sound feels like the final stage of their artistic metamorphosis. Their latest album, Buitres, is a dreamy concoction. This is one of the very few Latin acts that made appearances both weekends.
For fans of: Dolly Parton, Aretha Franklin, Johnnyswim
For country music fans, Yola is a breath of fresh air. Adding a pinch of pop and a cup of soul to the classic guitar kick, this singer/songwriter’s sound is sweet and timeless. The U.K. artist made her official debut with Walk Through Fire. She followed that up with a booked schedule filled with impressive live performances at SXSW festival, Music Midtown, Newport Folk Festival on Rhode Island, and last but certainly not least, opener sets on Kacey Musgraves' tour.
For fans of: Jorja Smith, Ella Mai, Summer Walker
Signed to Atlantic Records at the age of 13, this young artist will envelope you with her honey-bathed voice, while her lyrics unleash relatable words of love and heartbreak. Her debut album, Love And Compromise, is a testament to her capabilities. She even stopped by backstage with the Recording Academy to share some details on who helped shape the album. If you managed to catch her at ACL's Honda stage this weekend, you can officially say you were an OG stan before she becomes a headliner.