The SXSW Music Festival is an iconic global music industry event taking place every March in Austin, Texas.

by Lorena Kelly, SaskMusic

March 9, 2018 in SaskMusic News

SaskMusic and two Saskatchewan artists are heading south for a major international market export event, the annual South by South West (SXSW) Music and Media Conference in Austin, Texas, March 12-18/2018. ‘The world’s leading music industry event’ offers attendees the opportunity to explore the future of the music industry during the day through important panels discussions, talks, trade show, gear expo and other activities. At night, the music festival showcases over 2200 artists, including over 500 international acts from 60+ countries.

SXSW’s innovative approach melds music, film, and interactive industries together into one enormous business and networking opportunity. With over 30,000 delegates to the music conference component alone – and millions attending the festival – it’s easy for an artist to get lost in the roar. To rise above the noise, SaskMusic partners with other Canadian music industry associations to present targeted events, with artists who have been selected by SXSW organizers as representing the best in Canadian talent.

SaskMusic sustains an international market presence by representing and showcasing Saskatchewan talent at a number of highly respected music industry events annually, including Canadian Music Week (Toronto ON), The Great Escape (Brighton UK), Reeperbahn (Hamburg DE), and Folk Alliance International (Kansas City MO), among others.

SaskMusic is preparing for another successful year in Austin, where we will present showcase events and network with delegates as part of an international marketing partnership with BreakOut West, Alberta Music, Manitoba Music, and Music BC. We are pleased to promote our talented export-ready Saskatchewan artists to the international music industry through the following official showcase events:

M for Montreal SXSW

“Free Trade Music from Canada”
Tuesday March 13
Presented by M for Montreal and Exclaim!  with SaskMusic, Manitoba Music, Musicaction, SODEC, and Telefilm Canada

We’re pleased to partner for the first time with M for Montreal and Exclaim to present jointly at SXSW, with a Canadian showcase held at the RDV Canada’s home base at SXSW. The RDV CANADA base will bring all aspects of SXSW under one roof, from interactive to film and music, with a VR garden, screenings of top short films, and clips of Canadian features, with amazing Canadian interactive and musical showcases each night. Saskatchewan’s Samurai Champs will perform, along with Helena Deland, Lisa LeBlanc, John Jacob Magistery, Ghost Twin, and Boniface.
Venue: Bungalow, 92 Rainey St (open to SXSW Badge Holders), 8:00PM-1:30AM
Event page

BOW Poster

BreakOut West at Canada House
Thursday March 15
Presented by CIMA, BreakOut West, Alberta Music, Manitoba Music, Music BC, and SaskMusic
Breakout West Page

BreakOut West has been established as an internationally recognized marketing brand of Western Canadian music through activities over the past several years. Ten Western Canadian artists will showcase this event, including Saskatchewan’s Samurai Champs, and The Hearts, Ghost Twin, Living Hour, Strvngers, Boniface, Scenic Route to Alaska, Said the Whale, Little Destroyers, and The Wet Secrets.
Venue: Swan Dive, 615 Redriver St
Day Party, 11:30am-3:00pm
          SXSW page   FB Event Page
Official Artist Showcases, 8:00pm–1:30am


All SXSW Showcase Times for Saskatchewan Artists
Subject to change, defer to official schedule 

The Dead South SXSWThe Dead South   SXSW page 

The Dead South is an acoustic ensemble singing about murderous, estranged spouses and runaway lover cousins in a boot-stomping acoustic configuration that includes banjo, mandolin, cello and guitar, some whistles, hoots and hollerin’, and finger snappin’.With Nate Hilts' gritty vocals and aggressive guitar strumming, Scott Pringle's soaring harmonies and mandolin chops, Colton Crawford's/Eliza Doyle's blazing banjo licks and steady kick drum, and Danny Kenyon's prominent cello melodies, The Dead South blends elements of folk, bluegrass, classical, and rock which results in a unique, modern, and authentic blend of boot-stompin' acoustic music.

  • Friday March 16: The Continental Club (Official Showcase), 12:00–12:40AM
  • Saturday March 17: South Congress Hotel, 6:00–6:40PM
  • Saturday March 17: Lucille (Official Showcase), 12:00–12:40AM


Samurai Champs SXSWSamurai Champs   SXSW page

Samurai Champs is an R&B/hip-hop duo consisting of new-wave rapper Jeah and dark-soul/R&B singer Merv xx Gotti. The duo draws influence from their Southeast Asian heritage while taking pride in their urban-Canadian identity. Blending Jeah’s versatile rap vocal delivery with Merv xx Gotti’s emotional R&B vocals, the duo create a smooth, yet dark coalescence of modern hip-hop/R&B.

  • Tuesday March 13: Texas Green Rush – Tefrondon DJ Set, 3:00–5:00PM
  • Tuesday March 13: BackYARD – Sheraton Hotel, 7:00–7:30PM
  • Tuesday March 13: M for Montreal – RDV Canada (Official Showcase), Bungalow, 1:00–1:50AM
  • Thursday March 15: BreakOut West Day Party – Canada House, Swan Dive, 1:30–2:00PM
  • Thursday March 15: BreakOut West Showcase – Canada House (Official Showcase), Swan Dive, 8:00–8:40PM
  • Friday March 16: Trooper Lifestyle: Adult Prom Party, Crowne Plaza, 8:00PM

SaskMusic’s participation is made possible with support from Creative Saskatchewan's Market & Export Development Grant Program.

About Creative Saskatchewan
Creative Saskatchewan is dedicated to the growth and commercial viability of Saskatchewan's creative industries; visual arts and craft, publishing, music and sound recording, live performing arts, and screen-based media. Creative Saskatchewan's funding programs are designed to introduce Saskatchewan's creative products to the global marketplace. The agency facilitates the expansion of a business environment advantageous to the growth of the creative industry and to the growth of new employment, investment and production opportunities in Saskatchewan, and encourages and supports innovation, invention and excellence in the creative industry by stimulating creative production and new models of collaboration.

About SaskMusic
SaskMusic is a non-profit association that stimulates growth and development in the commercial music industry of the province of Saskatchewan, Canada through leadership, promotion, training, advocacy and partnership. We offer programming including career consultations, workshops, marketing, artist listings, export assistance, networking opportunities and much more. We represent the four components of our industry: creative, interpretive, technical and administrative. Our artists and music professionals hail from across Saskatchewan, and produce music in every genre you can imagine. We are a source of information and resources for both the public, and the music industry.

About Canada House   Facebook
Canada House is presented by Canadian Blast, the showcase and export brand coordinated and operated by CIMA (the Canadian Independent Music Association). Canadian Blast seeks to connect Canadian music professionals with other industry professionals around the world via showcases, meetings and events, from SXSW in Texas to Music Matters in Tokyo, featuring a diverse range of Canadian talent both up-and-coming and established. In addition, Canadian Blast is an import/export tool for anyone interested in finding out about Canadian music. With representatives in Toronto, London, Singapore and Los Angeles, Canadian Blast is a one-stop music import/export portal, a blog to find the best new Canadian tastemakers, a listings site of every Canadian band touring Europe, the UK and soon the rest of the world, and the most comprehensive database of international business contacts.

Canadian Blast is an initiative of the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), with support from the Government of Canada and the Ontario Media Development Corporation.