All this week, KUTX profiles the Ones To Watch—seven must-see artists at SXSW 2019. Hosted by Jody Denberg/produced by Art Levy.
L.A.’s Sasami Ashworth spent years as a studio musician, scored short films and commercials, and played with the up-and-coming band Cherry Glazerr, but now she’s going solo. Recorded under the simplified name SASAMI, her self-titled debut is both scrappy and polished. Songs like “Not The Time” have the eclectic charm of Yo La Tengo, while “Callous” and “Jealousy” are darker, with electronic touches skittering around the edges.
Sasami grew up playing the French horn, earning a classical degree from a music conservatory. These days though, you can catch her playing guitar and sharing stages with Liz Phair, Blondie, the Breeders, and more.
For Austin’s Roger Sellers, a piece of gear helped him unlock his musical potential. After getting a looping pedal, he started creating electronic music, layering sounds in real-time, all under the name of Bayonne. Remarkably, he can recreate all these big songs onstage. And Drastic Measures, Bayonne’s new album, feels even bigger to Sellers.
“The first thing I noticed when writing this record was I actually had choruses and structures, rather than only loops or ambient drones going on for a long time,” Sellers told KUTX’s Laurie Gallardo in Studio 1A. “So I guess [this album is] a little bit more accessible.”
Abhi the Nomad
Abhi Sridharan Vaidehi is the son of an Indian diplomat, which meant that as a kid, Abhi moved to a new country with his family every few years. Making music became something of a necessity.
“That’s the way I’d keep my memories, personally,” Abhi told Fresh and Confucious of The Breaks last year in Studio 1A. “I got to put them into writing, and it’s kind of the only thing that’s consistent because everything changes.”
Now based in Austin, he performs under the name Abhi the Nomad. His 2018 album Marbled shows that there are positive aspects to his nomadic life. Abhi raps about moving past faults to move forward, all set to some forward-thinking production.
Cautious Clay is the moniker for Josh Karpeh, who grew up in Cleveland and learned to play flute and saxophone as a kid. He started out remixing other artists’ songs before slowly finding his own voice.
“There was a whole underground scene of producers on Soundcloud,” he told Jody Denberg last year in our Studio 1A. “So I really started to just get into production really heavy. And I started singing more recently, in the last two years.”
Cautious Clay’s music is a blend of electronic and R&B, filled with atmosphere and unique details. He’s only released a handful of songs so far, and they’re anything but cautious—they’re big, bold, and instantly memorable.