As we wade our way through the throngs of music biz types who have descended upon Austin, Texas for South By Southwest 2012 (have you RSVP’d for Idolator’s Pray For Pop party tomorrow?), we’re left wondering who will be the big breakout stars of this year’s fest. It is, of course, far too early too decide. (Besides, many minds are still mush after Jay-Z’s Amex Sync Show last night). And so we’ll instead take a look back at the acts that made a ruckus here at SXSW one year ago then went on to ride that buzz to bigger success afterward. Head below for a recap on what Foster the People, Miguel, Neon Hitch, Oh Land, Tyler The Creator and Wiz Khalifa have been up to since their gigs in Austin in March 2011.
Foster The People
Mark Foster, Cubbie Fink and Mark Pontius had yet to release their debut LP Torches and infiltrate pop radio with “Pumped Up Kicks” when they took the stage at Stubb’s for Spinner’s South By showcase last March. Exactly one year later, “Kicks”, which rose to #3 on the Hot 100 and stayed lodged there throughout last summer, was performed by contestants this week on NBC ratings juggernaut The Voice. Meanwhile, FTP are hitting the road this summer for their third tour in the past year, in support of their Gold-selling debut.
We had the honor of hosting Miguel’s SXSW gig at our Pray For Pop party last year. Soon after, he cracked the Top 40 of the Hot 100 twice, with his own smash “Sure Thing” and his feature on Wale’s “Lotus Flower Bomb” — both of which were also Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart-toppers.
Crimson-haired Neon Hitch was another one who hit up the stage at our South By event in 2011, where she completely bewitched the crowd by premiering songs like “Fuck U Betta”, which just recently got an official release (with an appropriately-naughty video, to boot). The British songstress is, of course, currently all over the radio via her feature on Gym Class Heroes current single “Ass Back Home”.
Tyler, The Creator
Yes, the Odd Future frontman’s bug-eating, vomit-depicting “Yonkers” video totally creeped us out, too. Still, the controversial MC, known for his homophobic and misogynistic lyrics, went on to snag the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist in August, five months after performing at South By Southwest. The 21-year-old is currently wrapping up his third solo LP Wolf for a release this year.
Like Neon Hitch, synth-tastic Danish singer-songwriter Oh Land played at our Pray For Pop party in 2011. (It just happened to be the same week her self-titled LP was released.) Coincidentally, Oh Land and Neon Hitch both also landed features on Gym Class Heroes’ The Papercut Chronicles II LP. The singer (real name: Nanna Øland Fabricius) wrapped last year up by opening for Katy Perry on her California Dreams tour through North America and the UK.
You could argue that Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa had already broken out by the time he picked up the mic at Atlantic Records’ South By showcase in 2011. After all, he topped the Hot 100 with his pro-Steelers jam “Black And Yellow” a month prior. But he continued to rack up successes throughout the year, like releasing Gold-certified LP Rolling Papers, which debuted at #2 on the Top 200. He also won the BET Award for Best New Artist, cracked the Top 10 again with his Snoop Dogg pair-up “Young, Wild & Free” and proposed to girlfriend (and sometimes-music-partner) Amber Rose. Don’t be surprised to see him headlining his own Amex Sync Show in Austin someday.
Catch the artists we’re looking forward to at this year’s SXSW fest here.