Oklahoma artists feel the benefits of playing SXSW Buffalo Lounge
Singer-songwriter Brave found herself living up to her stage name on Wednesday when she performed her first South By Southwest set in Austin. At 16, Brave, a.k.a Sierra Brown, was the youngest musician performing at this year’s Buffalo Lounge, and to take advantage of the opportunity, she put together a backing band in record time.
“We formed the band, like, a week and a half ago,” said Brave, a student at Classen School of Advanced Studies. “It was kind of a last minute thing and I just had my EP release party this Saturday. I was on a vacation and I randomly heard that Derek Brown (of the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma and the Flaming Lips) had asked us to play South By. So I threw a band together and here we are.”
For artists such as Brave, who distributed free copies of her six-song EP, “Your Girl,” at the event, the benefits are self-evident. The Buffalo Lounge, a three-day showcase for Oklahoma musicians, filmmakers and interactive businesses, is the largest event held by any U.S. state at the annual music conference. While a large number of attendees are from Oklahoma, RSVPs from non-Oklahomans have spiked this year, according to David Kittredge of The Idea Collective, one of the principal organizers of the event.
“The first couple of years, it was a fight to get everybody outside of Oklahoma, and it’s not good for us if we’re not exposing Oklahomans to the outside world,” Kittredge said. “But we’re seeing a lot more of that this year — the majority of the RSVPs were from outside Oklahoma.”
Over 7,000 SXSW attendees responded to the online invitation to the Buffalo Lounge, an increase of approximately 3,000 over 2012 numbers, Kittredge said. This means that more journalists, record label representatives, publicists and other industry professionals will have a chance to hear artists such as Brave and Jabee, the Oklahoma City rapper who performed during the Buffalo Lounge’s Tuesday night showcase.
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