Support for KUTX at SXSW 2023 comes from PNC Bank and Chattanooga Whiskey
Somehow six whole years have already slipped by since London rapper Little Simz played as part of our annual SXSW live morning broadcast. Of course, Simz has blown up exponentially since her 2017 Four Seasons performance, to the extent that we probably couldn’t have booked her now even if we wanted to. But in an impressive display of “small world” kismet, KUTX at Scholz Garden showcased another Londoner with direct ties to Nigeria, Obongjayar. On top of that, it happened the same week that Obongjayar and Simz’ “Point and Kill” played as part of IMDb Pro’s music video competition during SXSW film.
When it comes to classifying Obongjayar’s style, there’s not a whole lot of consensus. Best we can say is it’s a politically-and-spiritually-inspired balance between rapping, chanting, and singing over Afrobeat-adjacent electronic soul. But there’s also something surprisingly unobtrusive about Obongjayar’s in-your-face aura that makes his outrageous originals so damn accessible. Which is doubly impressive when he’s got his live five-piece competing for a piece of the crowd’s energy.
Obongjayar was still lucid off his debut full-length Some Nights I Dream of Doors when he obliterated the Scholz Garten scene with high-octane tunes like “Message In A Hammer”. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wake up either.
Obongjayar – vocals; Ciaran Corr – guitar; Sam Jones – drums; Elias Atkinson- trumpet; Mutale Chashi – bass; Yahael Onono – percussion
Producer: Deidre Gott; Audio Engineer: Jake Perlman; Rene Chavez; Audio Mix: Jake Perlman; Cameras; Michael Minasi; Renee Dominguez; Patricia Lim; Alyssa Olvera; Jesse Curneal; Edit: Alyssa Olvera
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