meta-scriptSXSW Looks Forward With Virtual Festival Offerings For 2021 |

Laura Jane Grace And The Devouring Mothers At SXSW

Photo: Justin Zamudio 


SXSW Looks Forward With Virtual Festival Offerings For 2021

The newly announced SXSW Online: A Digital Experience will happen March 16–20

GRAMMYs/Sep 24, 2020 - 03:35 am

South By Southwest (SXSW) announced Sept. 22 it will go virtual for their conference and festival events in 2021. 

The virtual edition will happen March 16–20 with SXSW EDU Online happening before on March 9–11. SXSW Online announced screenings, showcases, keynotes, exhibitions and networking opportunities will make up some of the digital event. SXSW also noted they are working with public health authorities and the city of Austin "on plans for a physical event in 2021."

"The challenge of building a new future is one that we’re excited to tackle. This has been such a year of change and we, like the entire world, are reshaping our perspective on how we connect," said CEO and Co-Founder Roland Swenson in statement on the SXSW website. "We’re pleased to be working on SXSW Online as part of our program for 2021, and regardless of platform, we will continue to bring together the brightest minds from creative industries worldwide."

The major music, film and tech live event in Austin announced in March it would cancel their 2020 edition due to fear of the spread of COVID-19.

SXSW and SXSW EDU PanelPicker proposals and Film Festival submissions will open on Oct. 6. Staff will program the 2021 music festival edition. Priority will be given to presenters and artists who were on the 2020 lineup. 

For more information, visit the SXSW website.

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(L-R) Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney attend the 'This is a Film About The Black Keys' world premiere as part of SXSW 2024 Conference and Festivals held at The Paramount Theatre on March 11, 2024 in Austin, Texas.
(L-R) Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney attend the 'This is a Film About The Black Keys' world premiere as part of SXSW 2024 Conference and Festivals on March 11, 2024 in Austin, Texas.

Photo: Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images


5 Memorable Moments From SXSW 2024: A Significant Protest, The Black Keys, De Facto, & More

More than 340 new bands played SXSW for the first time in 2024, while many others returned to the annual fest. Read on for some of the most inspiring and exciting moments from SXSW 2024 — from performances by legends to groundbreaking new acts.

GRAMMYs/Mar 18, 2024 - 10:57 pm

The 2024 South By Southwest Festival got off to a dramatic start: approximately 80 artists, speakers, and event sponsors pulled out of the event to protest the sponsorship of the U.S. Army and defense companies and then a hit-and-run traffic incident in a crowded festival area resulted in a fatality and serious injury early Tuesday.

SXSW spokespeople issued statements about both. They were "saddened" by the tragic traffic incident, and reiterated that they are an organization that welcomes diverse viewpoints and therefore saw no issue in allowing the military sponsorships. They also did not criticize anyone who pulled out of the festival to show solidarity with Palestine and protest genocide. Republican Texas Governor Ron Abbott was not as diplomatic.

And yet the music portion of the festival pushed on. 

Some of the bands who pulled out of the festival performed "unofficial" shows, and as with previous SXSW festivals, the diversity of music offerings was staggering: artists played genres such as folk, pop, indie rock, psychedelic cumbia, punk, electronic, and Americana, but also offered regional lenses to musical styles — Texas rap, Southern California soul-jazz  — and social justice viewpoints like indigenous hardcore. Artists also offered global perspectives on jazz, hip hop, and psychedelic funk.

Read on for TK of the most inspiring and exciting moments from SXSW 2024 – from performances by legends to groundbreaking new acts.

The Black Keys Take Audiences Behind The Scenes (And Back To Their Salad Days)

Music keynote offerings felt slim compared to previous years, but festival goers did get an authentic, revealing glimpse into the world of the Black Keys — there to promote a new documentary film about their band history and to perform two shows. 

Drummer Patrick Carney stole the show with humorous, deadpan anecdotes —including that time he slept in the van to guard the $500 they made at a show and woke up in the middle of the night to a crowd of drunk people dressed like Santa Claus in the middle of July — and self-effacing jokes about himself and the group: "The first time we came to SXSW we couldn’t afford to stay in town." 

One thing the film makes clear is that two key elements of the Black Keys are simplicity and technology. They kept things simple by being a two-piece band: a few bass players auditioned early on but Carney and Dan Auerbach preferred the sound of drums and guitar. But the key element was Carney’s four-track recorder: he taught himself how to use it, which enabled the band to record themselves in Carney’s basement and fine-tune their nuanced approach to rock music.

 "We wanted the kick drum to sound like the speakers were blown," Carney said in an interview

Carney and guitarist/singer Auerbach later performed a blues-driven sold-out show at Austin’s Mohawk, joined by artists on Auerbach’s Nashville-based record label Easy Eye Sound. There was no banter, just music.

Bootsy Collins Brings The Funk & A Lot Of Flair

Legendary funk bassist, singer, and producer Bootsy Collins — who played with James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic, boasts a long solo career, and collaborated with artists like Deee-Lite, Fatboy Slim, Silk SonicKali Uchis and Tyler, the Creator — hosted high-energy shows with the Ohio group Zapp and his entourage of collaborators and proteges at the 2024 festival. 

A long line of people snaked down Austin’s busy Red River Street waiting to get into the packed Mohawk club for a March 15 show, which featured guest artists Henry Invisible, Tony “Young James Brown” Wilson, and FANTAAZMA. A few fans wore big hats and star-shaped sunglasses to emulate Collins’ distinct look.

Collins, who announced in 2019 he wouldn’t play bass in live performance anymore, was in town to promote his anti-violence initiative, "Funk Not Fight," and a new song and album of the same name. He also promoted his Bootzilla Productions company and Funk University, which aims to mentor younger creatives like Hamburg-based FANTAAZMA, who joined Collins for a SXSW Studio interview with TikTok creator Juju Green.

“At some point James Brown saw something in me, you know, and grabbed us in, and I’ll never forget that, and so that’s what I try to do,” Collins said about his efforts to help mentor younger artists. 

Omar Rodríguez-López & Cedric Bixler-Zavala Get Weird

What a journey these two have had: they met as teens in the hardcore scene in El Paso, Texas, formed two influential alternative rock bands — At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta — and one obscure dub project — De Facto — that earned them rock and roll acclaim from the music press and respect from musical peers in bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Omar and Cedric: If This Ever Gets Weird, a new documentary about the creative partnership between Rodríguez-López and Bixler-Zavala, premiered  at the 2024 festival. The film illuminates the duo’s struggles with bandmates, addiction, racism, Scientology, and their ups and downs in the music industry. 

Rodríguez-López recorded loads of footage over the years of them on the road, in recording studios, and in live performance. Those intimate, up-close moments used in the film reveal a partnership that begins in solidarity, drifts apart, and comes back together stronger than when they started. It’s essentially a film about friendship.

The two appeared briefly onstage before the film’s screening, alongside director Nicolas Jack Davies, but said nothing. For the first time in 21 years, the two performed at this year’s SXSW festival as De Facto, their lesser-known reggae-influenced side project, to promote the new film.

Cumbia Is The Real Soundtrack To SXSW 2024

Cumbia in 2024 is conscious party music, still closely linked to its Colombian origins but expanded and modernized by elements of psychedelia and the young players from across the country and the world interpreting the genre. 

Cumbia could be heard throughout the festival, in particular at a heavily attended party March 12 at Hotel Vegas in Austin, which featured more than 10 bands on four stages. A few fans could be seen wearing T-shirts with the phrase “Cumbia is the new punk,” the title of a song by Mexican cumbia fusion group Son Rompe Pera

Bands mostly from Texas — including the “barrio big band” Bombasta and Latin psych bands like Combo Cósmico and Money Chicha —  and the rock-influenced Denver band Ritmo Cascabel played dance music driven by hand percussion, heavy bass lines and guitars drenched in reverb.

Earlier this year, Billboard predicted that cumbia music in all its entirety and subgenres — chicha, sonidera, norteña, villera — would see a massive growth in 2024, citing higher-profile artist collaborations and social media viral hits.

Classical Music Unveils Its Changing Profile

Classical music is most often associated with beautiful concert halls and polite, well-dressed audiences who sit quietly as music is being played. This was not the case for Vulva Voce, an all-female Manchester-based string quartet that played their unique blend of modern classical music at various SXSW stages this year. 

Band members wore one-piece jumpsuit coveralls with Doc Martin boots and performed mostly original, high-energy, uptempo compositions to loud crowds at dive bars throughout Austin. They shredded strings and swayed and bounced onstage as if it were a rock show, and said they loved every minute of it.  Vulva Voce also performed live with Ash, a Northern Irish rock band whose career in music spans 30 years.

Vulva Voce’s modern approach to classical music comes at a good time. Mid-week, a group of classical music artist managers, lawyers and classical music label executives spoke about classical music’s revival in gaming and soundtracks

Traditional classical music performance continues to struggle with attendance, but the genre has gained traction on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, and has seen a surge in interest in film scores, Netflix soundtracks, video games, and sports broadcasts. 

More than 340 new bands played SXSW for the first time this year. Each year, SXSW awards three emerging artists The Grulke Prize, in honor of festival Creative Director Brent Grulke, who passed away in 2012. Sabrina Teitelbaum, who performs as Blondshell, won for developing U.S. act, the South Korean alternative K-pop band Balming Tiger won for developing non-U.S. act, and British psychedelic pop band the Zombies won the career act award

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The crowd at Coachella
A crowd of Coachella festival goers on April 24, 2022 in Indio, California.

Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Coachella


Music Festivals 2024 Guide: Lineups & Dates For Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bonnaroo & Much More

Festival season is officially upon us, and 2024 is jam-packed with events to remember. Here's a breakdown of the biggest music festivals happening near you, spanning every genre and vibe.

GRAMMYs/Mar 12, 2024 - 09:56 pm

Editor’s note: This article was updated on March 19 to reflect Lollapalooza’s announced lineup.

Down in Austin, South by Southwest has returned — and it's a harbinger of so much to come. SXSW 2024 is the unofficial start of festival season, which kicks off in earnest with Coachella on April 12 in California.

If you're not west of the Mississippi, fear not. Spring, summer and beyond will bring a plethora of can't-miss music bashes, all over the country.

Obviously, it's impossible to cover them all in one post. But can provide a cross section, demonstrative of the sheer range of genres at play. So let this list spur you to find all the festivals near you!

Check it out below — and we'll see you stagefront, under the sun! (This list will be continually updated once more info comes out.)

Rolling Loud 

Inglewood, California (Mar. 14–17)

All rap fans know Rolling Loud as the summit of hyped — as Billboard once declared, they're "the be-all of hip-hop." The lineup for Miami hasn't been announced yet, but Nicki Minaj, Post Malone and Lil Uzi Vert are confirmed to rock the mic.

Tortuga Music Festival

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Apr. 5–7)

From incredible, cross-genre tunes to important ocean conservation work, Tortuga Music Festival has got it all! This year, don’t miss artists like Lainey Wilson, Hardy, Jason Aldean, and many more.


Indio, California (Apr. 12–13 & Apr. 20–21)

Coachella is arguably the mother of them all — and it's coming right up! (Exactly a month from now, at press time.)

Coachella 2024 offers two major reunions, in No Doubt and Sublime — for the latter, Jakob Nowell, son of Bradley, has taken the helm — and attention-grabbing headliners in Lana Del Rey; Tyler, the Creator; and Doja Cat.

Read More: Official Coachella 2024 Lineup: Headliners Lana Del Rey, Tyler, The Creator And Doja Cat To Lead A Pack of Performers Including No Doubt & Others

Ultra Music Festival

Miami, Florida (Mar. 22–24)

This preeminent haven for electronic music is back, with the cream of the crop from the DJ world — everyone from David Guetta to Elderbrook and beyond will be bringing the heat!


Indio, California (Apr. 26–28)

Of course, Coachella is a multi-genre festival. But if country is specifically your cup of tea — well, there's another reason to bomb out to the desert.

A week after Coachella's second weekend, Stagecoach will throw down with headliners Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and Morgan Wallen. The rest of the lineup is highly rangey, with a country essence: Jelly Roll, Post Malone, Willie Nelson, and many more will grace the stage.

Breakaway Music Festival

Nationwide (April-October)

Pop, dance, EDM — Breakaway Music Festival has got it all. And it’s probably coming to a city near you; it hits the Midwest, the South and the West Coast.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 

New Orleans, Louisiana (Apr. 25–May 5)

A massive swath of music contains jazz, and NOLA Jazz Fest underlines this reality every year. The Rolling Stones? Neil Young and Crazy Horse? Doo-wop is baked into them. So on and so forth.

Outside of dyed-in-the-wool jazzers like Samara Joy, Nicholas Payton and Jon Batiste, this year's two-weekend lineup will also feature Foo Fighters, the Revivalists, Queen Latifah, and other greats — as well as Mardi Gras Indians "Big Chief" Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles, and a slew of local talent.

Head In The Clouds 

Queens New York (May 11–12)

As spring drifts into the summer, don't miss Head in the Clouds if you're in the Northeast; it's chock full of Asian American music and heritage, across a multitude of genres, just in time for AAPI Heritage Month.

Held at Queens' Forest Hills Stadium, Head In The Clouds features (G)I-DLE to Balming Tiger to Spence Lee and others.

Lightning in a Bottle

Buena Vista Lake, California (May 22-27)

Central Valley, represent! The California region is proud to announce the lineup for the electronic-focused festival Lightning in a Bottle, with special performances by Skrillex, James Blake and many more. Head over here for the lineup.

BottleRock Napa Valley 

Napa, California (May 24–26)

This three-day music, wine, food, and brew fest in the heart of wine country will feature headliners Stevie Nicks, Pearl Jam and Ed Sheeran, rounded out by giants like St. Vincent, Queens of the Stone Age, Norah Jones, and many more.

Outlaw Music Festival

Nationwide (June-September 2024)

With the Rough and Rowdy Ways tour in the rearview, Bob Dylan is rolling around the Willie Nelson & Family, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, and Celisse for what will be an unforgettable, legend-stuffed night of music for all.


New York City (June-August 2024)

New York’s favorite outdoor concert series has come roaring back! Don’t miss performances by Kim Gordon, Sun Ra Arkestra, Snail Mail, and many more — info and full lineup here.


Manchester, Tennessee (June 13–16)

This world-renowned fest outside of Nashville boasts an incredibly vibey lineup for 2024; if you'd like to party to the sounds of Post Malone, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fred Again.., and dozens more, make a beeline down south this June.


Somerset, England (June 26–30)

No, it’s not in the United States, but it’s momentous enough to mention anyway. This year, Dua Lipa, Coldplay, SZA, and so many more will perform at the epic Brit blowout.

Essence Festival 2024 

New Orleans, Louisiana (July 4–7)

Essence Festival is turning 30! This bastion of Black music, culture and identity will ring in three decades with what's sure to be an outstanding lineup of artists.

Pitchfork Music Festival

Chicago, Illinois (July 19–21)

Artists as varied as Black Pumas, 100 Gecs, Alanis Morrissette, and Brittany Howard will headline the biggest day for the massively influential music site’s in-house fest.


Grant Park, Chicago (Aug. 1–4)

The lineup for Lollapalooza has been announced! SZA; Tyler, the Creator; Blink-182, the Killers, Skrillex, and more will headline. Check out the full lineup below.

Hinterland Music Festival

St. Charles, Iowa (Aug. 4-6)

Hinterland won’t just feature some serious indie heavyweights, like Vampire Weekend, Noah Kahan and Orville Peck; it features curiosity-piquing arts and crafts vendors and spectacular camping.

Outside Lands 

San Francisco, California (Aug. 9–11)

Ditto the Bay Area favorite — but we do know it's happening from August 9 to 11. Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters, Megan Thee Stallion and other mighty artists performed last year. The full lineup has been announced — visit here for the scoop.

North Coast Music Festival

Chicago, Illinois (Aug. 30–Sept. 1)

Calling all EDM fans: North Coast is bringing Above & Beyond, Subtronics, Sullivan King, and many more to the Windy City in 2024.

Austin City Limits 

Austin, Texas (Oct. 4–8, & Oct. 11–13)

No lineup yet for the longest-running music series in TV history — but you can sign up to be the first to know about it.

Aftershock Fest

Real rockers only: Aftershock Festival has been rolling for more than a decade, and its momentum is only building. Topping the bill in 2024 are Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Slipknot, a reunited Slayer… and that's just for starters.

III Points

Miami, Florida (Oct. 18-19)

This unforgettable Miami bash just added some muscular dance/electronic talent to its lineup: Arca, Cloonee, Justice, and so much more. Click here for details.

Golden Sky

Sacramento, California (Oct.18–20)

Country music and beer are two of America's pastimes, and Golden Sky will feature the best of both. Come for Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, and so many more, and stay for the brews!

When We Were Young

Las Vegas, Nevada (Oct.19–20)

It's always momentous when the emo kids of yesteryear come back out to play — and if you can believe it, it's almost time for another When We Were Young.

My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Coheed and Cambria, and many more will be there for another helping of Myspace-era sounds — and long-dormant emotions. And they'll be playing the full albums you know and love — just check the poster!

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Kendrick Lamar GRAMMY Rewind Hero
Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic


GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system. 

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

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He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." 

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes. 

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Franc Moody
Franc Moody

Photo: Rachel Kupfer 


A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea

James Brown changed the sound of popular music when he found the power of the one and unleashed the funk with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Today, funk lives on in many forms, including these exciting bands from across the world.

GRAMMYs/Nov 25, 2022 - 04:23 pm

It's rare that a genre can be traced back to a single artist or group, but for funk, that was James Brown. The Godfather of Soul coined the phrase and style of playing known as "on the one," where the first downbeat is emphasized, instead of the typical second and fourth beats in pop, soul and other styles. As David Cheal eloquently explains, playing on the one "left space for phrases and riffs, often syncopated around the beat, creating an intricate, interlocking grid which could go on and on." You know a funky bassline when you hear it; its fat chords beg your body to get up and groove.

Brown's 1965 classic, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became one of the first funk hits, and has been endlessly sampled and covered over the years, along with his other groovy tracks. Of course, many other funk acts followed in the '60s, and the genre thrived in the '70s and '80s as the disco craze came and went, and the originators of hip-hop and house music created new music from funk and disco's strong, flexible bones built for dancing.

Legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins learned the power of the one from playing in Brown's band, and brought it to George Clinton, who created P-funk, an expansive, Afrofuturistic, psychedelic exploration of funk with his various bands and projects, including Parliament-Funkadelic. Both Collins and Clinton remain active and funkin', and have offered their timeless grooves to collabs with younger artists, including Kali Uchis, Silk Sonic, and Omar Apollo; and Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, respectively.

In the 1980s, electro-funk was born when artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, and Egyptian Lover began making futuristic beats with the Roland TR-808 drum machine — often with robotic vocals distorted through a talk box. A key distinguishing factor of electro-funk is a de-emphasis on vocals, with more phrases than choruses and verses. The sound influenced contemporaneous hip-hop, funk and electronica, along with acts around the globe, while current acts like Chromeo, DJ Stingray, and even Egyptian Lover himself keep electro-funk alive and well.

Today, funk lives in many places, with its heavy bass and syncopated grooves finding way into many nooks and crannies of music. There's nu-disco and boogie funk, nodding back to disco bands with soaring vocals and dance floor-designed instrumentation. G-funk continues to influence Los Angeles hip-hop, with innovative artists like Dam-Funk and Channel Tres bringing the funk and G-funk, into electro territory. Funk and disco-centered '70s revival is definitely having a moment, with acts like Ghost Funk Orchestra and Parcels, while its sparkly sprinklings can be heard in pop from Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and, in full "Soul Train" character, Silk Sonic. There are also acts making dreamy, atmospheric music with a solid dose of funk, such as Khruangbin’s global sonic collage.

There are many bands that play heavily with funk, creating lush grooves designed to get you moving. Read on for a taste of five current modern funk and nu-disco artists making band-led uptempo funk built for the dance floor. Be sure to press play on the Spotify playlist above, and check out's playlist on Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.

Say She She

Aptly self-described as "discodelic soul," Brooklyn-based seven-piece Say She She make dreamy, operatic funk, led by singer-songwriters Nya Gazelle Brown, Piya Malik and Sabrina Mileo Cunningham. Their '70s girl group-inspired vocal harmonies echo, sooth and enchant as they cover poignant topics with feminist flair.

While they’ve been active in the New York scene for a few years, they’ve gained wider acclaim for the irresistible music they began releasing this year, including their debut album, Prism. Their 2022 debut single "Forget Me Not" is an ode to ground-breaking New York art collective Guerilla Girls, and "Norma" is their protest anthem in response to the news that Roe vs. Wade could be (and was) overturned. The band name is a nod to funk legend Nile Rodgers, from the "Le freak, c'est chi" exclamation in Chic's legendary tune "Le Freak."


Moniquea's unique voice oozes confidence, yet invites you in to dance with her to the super funky boogie rhythms. The Pasadena, California artist was raised on funk music; her mom was in a cover band that would play classics like Aretha Franklin’s "Get It Right" and Gladys Knight’s "Love Overboard." Moniquea released her first boogie funk track at 20 and, in 2011, met local producer XL Middelton — a bonafide purveyor of funk. She's been a star artist on his MoFunk Records ever since, and they've collabed on countless tracks, channeling West Coast energy with a heavy dose of G-funk, sunny lyrics and upbeat, roller disco-ready rhythms.

Her latest release is an upbeat nod to classic West Coast funk, produced by Middleton, and follows her February 2022 groovy, collab-filled album, On Repeat.

Shiro Schwarz

Shiro Schwarz is a Mexico City-based duo, consisting of Pammela Rojas and Rafael Marfil, who helped establish a modern funk scene in the richly creative Mexican metropolis. On "Electrify" — originally released in 2016 on Fat Beats Records and reissued in 2021 by MoFunk — Shiro Schwarz's vocals playfully contrast each other, floating over an insistent, upbeat bassline and an '80s throwback electro-funk rhythm with synth flourishes.

Their music manages to be both nostalgic and futuristic — and impossible to sit still to. 2021 single "Be Kind" is sweet, mellow and groovy, perfect chic lounge funk. Shiro Schwarz’s latest track, the joyfully nostalgic "Hey DJ," is a collab with funkstress Saucy Lady and U-Key.


L'Impératrice (the empress in French) are a six-piece Parisian group serving an infectiously joyful blend of French pop, nu-disco, funk and psychedelia. Flore Benguigui's vocals are light and dreamy, yet commanding of your attention, while lyrics have a feminist touch.

During their energetic live sets, L'Impératrice members Charles de Boisseguin and Hagni Gwon (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), and Tom Daveau (drums) deliver extended instrumental jam sessions to expand and connect their music. Gaugué emphasizes the thick funky bass, and Benguigui jumps around the stage while sounding like an angel. L’Impératrice’s latest album, 2021’s Tako Tsubo, is a sunny, playful French disco journey.

Franc Moody

Franc Moody's bio fittingly describes their music as "a soul funk and cosmic disco sound." The London outfit was birthed by friends Ned Franc and Jon Moody in the early 2010s, when they were living together and throwing parties in North London's warehouse scene. In 2017, the group grew to six members, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Amber-Simone.

Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.

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