Inside Rolling Stone’s Future Of Music Event At SXSW 2024


It seems like there’s a new “emerging artist” every day. TikTok viral hits become international earworms overnight, propelling artists to instant, but fleeting, fame. It makes sense then, that artists with staying power have often toiled away for years before achieving mainstream success.

It’s easy to believe that, these days, the music industry values virality above all. But the artists shaping music as we know it rarely emerge from nowhere.

Just look at the
2024 Grammy Award Winner for Best New Artist, Victoria Monét. Monét released five EPs before her debut studio album, Jaguar II (2023), and its lead single, “On My Mama,” gave her commercial success. But before Monét’s solo career took off, she was a frequent collaborator of Ariana Grande. She’s also worked on songs and albums for artists like Nas, Travis Scott, Blackpink, Fifth Harmony, T.I., Lupe Fiasco, Chrisette Michele, Brandy, Coco Jones, Chloe x Halle, and more. Over a decade in the industry prepared her to become the verifiable star she is now.

Some of our other
artists to watch for 2024 have experienced similar tenures in the industry before finally garnering long-term success. Sabrina Carpenter started her career with Disney and has finally become the popstar she was born to be with Emails I Can’t Send — her fifth studio album. Same with queer trailblazer Renee Rapp, who starred in Mean Girls: The Musical on Broadway before landing the role in the film adaptation and bursting onto the music scene with her debut album Snow Angel.

What sets these artists apart from the bright but brief flames sparked on TikTok is their dedication to their artistry and self-image. Years of learning how to perform, sharpen their sound, and crafting their public persona prime them for impact and longevity. It takes time to hone lasting talent. And time makes it more satisfying when a musician or a band finally punches through to the mainstream.

Many artists thrive in niche subcultures playing to curated crowds. Those are some of my favorites — there’s nothing like a basement show packed shoulder-to-shoulder with a small group of people who share your private music obsession. But the artists that shape music as we know it today are coming from all genres. They manage to transcend their niches and add to the collective conversation in a fresh way. But how do they do it? And how do we know which artists are changing music in real-time?

What is the Rolling Stone Future of Music Showcase?

Everyone fancies themselves a music critic these days. I’m not immune to this. I watch deep dives on my favorite artists on TikTok, curate my
Spotify playlists like they’re museums, and wax poetic about why my favorite albums deserved Grammys.

Here at Popdust, we know a thing or two about emerging artists. Which is why we went down South to Austin, Texas for SXSW to catch some of this year’s most exciting acts in person.

SXSW 2024 was bigger and better than ever. Its crowning jewel is the Rolling Stone Future of Music Showcase, which brings together the buzziest and best music acts across genres. The four-night event caps off each evening at SX, bringing an array of artists and audiences together in Austin, Texas.

What an ideal compliment to the dive bar shows and daytime music showcases. But this high-octane event is more than just a flashy festival. It’s a great predictor of the artists who will prove themselves influential in the coming years. “Artists of tomorrow,” as
Rolling Stone likes to call them.

Last year’s performers included artists like Coco Jones, Remi Wolf, Chlöe Bailey, Blondshell, and others who have only become even bigger stars over the past year.

After this year’s lineup, wiill
Rolling Stone’s penchant for successful predictions be proven again? Given the record-level excitement for the event, all signs point to yes.

Emerging Artists to Watch From the Rolling Stone Future of Music Showcase 2024

With 40,000 fans RSVP’ing for the ACL Live event, Austin’s iconic Moody Theater was packed. Each night, fans lined up for hours for a chance to make it into the venue — some for over 14 hours — with the line for Música Mexicana superstar Peso Pluma stretching for blocks and blocks. Sponsors like StockX, ~Pourri, and Bacardi also put on activations and events to celebrate the music and the fans.

With this much fan excitement, the lineup simply
had to deliver. Genres included urbano, Southern rock, Afrobeats, hip-hop, amapiano, soul, funk, and good old indie-alt.

Here is each day’s lineup:

  • Day 1 (Tuesday, March 12) — Teezo Touchdown, Veeze, Lola Brooke, and Chase Shakur
  • Day 2 (Wednesday, March 13) — Peso Pluma, Young Miko, Kevin Kaarl, J Noa, and Pink Pablo
  • Day 3 (Thursday, March 14) — Flo Milli, Pheelz, Preacher, Uncle Waffles, Black Sherif, and Flyana Boss
  • Day 4 (Friday, March 15) — Faye Webster, Red Clay Strays, Scowl, Dylan Gossett, and Jackie Venson

Take note — you’ll be seeing these names everywhere soon.

Recap: Everything you missed at Rolling Stone’s SXSW Showcase

While all of the artists highlighted at this year’s
Rolling Stone Future of Music Showcase are sure to be somewhat influential, we’re most excited to see the trajectory of the headliners who are changing the game right now.

Here’s a recap of their performances and why, if you’re not already a fan, you will be soon.

Teezo Touchdown

Texas’s own Teezo Touchdown headlined opening night. You’ve probably heard him on “RunItUp” by Tyler, the Creator; “Modern Jam” by Travis Scott; or “Amen” by Drake. After years of high-level features, he finally released his debut album
How Do You Sleep at Night? in September 2023. On stage at SXSW, it’s clear that Teezo’s experience opening for Tyler, the Creator in 2022, and Travis Scott last year has contributed mightily to his magnetic stage presence. Running across the stage brandishing a microphone wrapped in a flower bouquet, Teezo’s energy was infectious. And the crowd ate it up.

His blend of rock, rap, and pop music is telling of his generation — one who resists genres and embraces the fluidity of form. He also shared a heartwarming story about how he busked at SXSW in 2018. Look at him now! He recently announced a single “MASC” with Doja Cat and A$AP Rocky for Doja’s
Scarlet 2 Claude Deluxe album. Touchdown’s only getting hotter and hotter.

Peso Pluma

Mexico’s favorite rockstar headlined Night 2. After earning the longest lines in SXSW history, his performance proved well worth the wait. Peso Pluma’s signature brand of “música mexicana,” took the crowd to exciting heights. His youthful energy filled the theater — especially when he joined the audience in the pit. It was a sight to behold.

Dubbed the “Mexican Mick Jagger,” the Gen Z star will release his new album this summer. His undeniable charisma is embedded in his music, earning him a fanatic base of loyal listeners and a chokehold on the music scene. Just wait, he’ll soon transcend boundaries beyond Latinx Pop and hit everyone’s speakers this summer.

Flo Milli

Flo Milli had a lot to celebrate as she headlined Night 3 literally as her second album dropped. Iconic behavior. She took the crowd through familiar favorites, her new songs, and premiered a new remix featuring Cardi B and SZA — not bad co-signs for an emerging artist.

I saw Flo Milli perform in 2020, and watching her on the giant Moody Theater stage was like watching her come alive on a whole new level. After her song “Never Lose Me” got massive attention last year, Flo Milli is poised to be one of music’s next It-Girls. Her versatility is thrilling and admirable, so is her personality and signature tag — if you know, you know.

Faye Webster

Like Flo Milli, I’ve seen Faye Webster before. Not once, not twice, but three times. The first was in 2017 — how can it be six and a half years ago? My penchant for “sad girl music” drew me to Webster’s artfully whiny voice and nostalgic yearning. But the Atlanta native is more than another girl whining about her breakups (even though, from Taylor Swift to Olivia Rodrigo, I eat them all up).

Webster was signed to a rap label and takes lyrical influence from hip-hop and blues artists. She has an energetic stage presence that matches her quirky sound that kept the crowd moving all throughout her set.

From the sultry sweetness of her TikTok viral hit “Kingston” to the high kicks and guitar riffs pulled off during songs like “I Think I’m Funny Ha Ha” and “In A Good Way,” Faye proves herself to be music’s ultimate cool girl. Rockstar and cry-inducing crooner in one? It’s giving Billie Eilish.

What to learn from the Rolling Stone Future of Music Showcase 2024

The future of music, according to Rolling Stone, is genre-fluid, youthful, and packed with energy. It also has one important factor: the ability to connect to an audience. Whether it’s on stage of through headphones, all the emerging artists have managed to connect with their ideal audiences and stay there thanks to their dedicated artistry and unique perspectives.

I’m excited to see what all these acts have in store for us next. And for
Rolling Stone Future of Music Showcase at SXSW 2025!

Originally Posted Here

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