SXSW Sydney announces first wave of artists for the 2024 MUSIC FESTIVAL

May 6, 2024

The SXSW Sydney Music Festival has everyone buzzing with its first look at the 2024 lineup, featuring an electric list of names and showing a taster for what’s to come! First up are:

  • Ayesha Madon | Performance in all its forms has always been intrinsic in Ayesha Madon’s life, from learning drums and piano in her early teens, through to her starring role in Netflix’s smash series Heartbreak High (currently #4 on Netflix globally), to building a full recording studio in her Grandma’s garage in the suburbs of Sydney the day she finished shooting Season 2. She can’t help herself. For the rising creative, music and songwriting remain at the fore of her creative output as she strives for humility and grit in all aspects of her work. A deep consideration for authentic storytelling and humility and a natural ability to keep it real is how Madon continues to captivate in whatever medium she harnesses.
  • BALTHVS | Bogota based psychedelic funk trio BALTHVS was originally formed in the Colombian countryside, while the group waited out the 2020 pandemic. Their genre-defying sound combines elements of  cumbia, surf rock, funk, and Anatolian musical influences. The result is a multi-lingual, technicolour sonic journey, painted with lush instrumentals  that meld mysticism and psychedelics. “Colombia is very psychedelic, there’s plenty of availability and a lot of traditional medicine involving entheogens and plant medicine around.” The result is a captivating musical tapestry that transcends conventional boundaries, captivating listeners with its multifaceted influences.  
  • Nick Ward | A multi-talented artist, Nick Ward emerged with his brand of bedroom pop on triple j Unearthed, releasing multiple tracks and refining his sound across debut EP ‘Everything I Wish I Told You’. Then came 2022’s ‘Brand New You’ about which NME raved: “…a tightrope balance of bravado and self-doubt… few can make it as relatable, redemptive and hopeful”. After a successful headline tour in 2022, Nick was recently named the Ticketmaster 2023 Breakthrough Artist.  Ward is also a member of the Sydney music collective Full Circle, which brings together young creatives, including fellow artists FRIDAY*, SOLLYY, Dylan Atlantis, Breakfast Road, and Zion Garcia, who collaborate to push the boundaries of the pop music experience. From starting as a triple j Unearthed high finalist in 2019, Nick Ward has attracted the attention of local and international tastemakers, press alike, including V Man, SideNote, PAPER, GQ, Wonderland, Notion, 10 Magazine, NME, Junkee, and more.
  • total tommy | total tommy is an artist armed  with a boldness that is instantaneous and undeniable, both on record and in person. Emerging into 2024 with the addictive debut single ‘microdose’ and nostalgic, shoegaze-inflected follow up ‘Losing Out’, total tommy has quickly garnered support and praise from the likes of DIY Mag, NME, BBC Radio 1, triple j and FBi Radio. Mixed by Dan Carey (Wet Leg, Fontaines DC, Squid) and produced by Mark Zito, the tracks showcase a songwriter with great depth in her creative range and sonic versatility, and the quiet confidence of an artist in control.  total tommy sounds like the first time you got high, because she broke your heart, and makes you wanna do it all over again.  total tommy is an artist to experience from the front row with your friends, where she’ll leave nothing on the sidelines with a willingness to share herself and her experiences.  
  • SAHXL | Australian singer-songwriter SAHXL released his debut EP, ‘COME THRU’, in late 2023 and is gearing up to release his follow up this May off the back of his latest single documenting a tale of heartbreak, ‘Negligent’.   SAHXL first  started making music as a 14-year-old as a form of emotional release,  eventually uploading his music to SoundCloud, which quickly caught the attention of APRA Billion Stream award-winning producer Khaled Rohaim (Rihanna, Polo G, The Kid LAROI, OneFour). Since this time he  has gone on to release a string of exciting singles, been featured in Apple Music’s Up Next Local series, and has been shouted out by US radio personality Ebro Darden and fellow Australian superstar The Kid LAROI. Last year SAHXL made history by becoming the first Australian artist to sign with the iconic hip-hop label Def Jam.
  • Ena Mori | Ena Mori is a Japanese-Filipino pop artist and a singer-songwriter from Manila. Pushing the dynamic facet of pop music, ena mori fuses her musicality, personal experiences and thoughts to create her own sophisticated pop sound. In 2019, ena mori signed with Offshore Music and released her infectious self-titled debut EP. In the ensuing years she has released her 2022 debut album ‘DON’T BLAME THE WILD ONE’ - which went on to win the Philippines’ prestigious Awit Award for Best Album - as well as being named amongst NME’s top 100 essential emerging artists. 
  • J-MILLA & Yung Milla present ‘BRUTHAS’ | After a huge 2023 which included winning the NT Music Award for hip-hop and being named triple j Unearthed’s NAIDOC Week Feature Artist, rising Marranunggu rapper J-MILLA has joined forces with his brother and fellow artist  Yung Milla to present their new live collaboration ‘BRUTHAS’. Having honed the show on remote Aboriginal communities throughout the NT, the duo will hit the SXSW Sydney stage in October.  Their explosive energy, flow and shared performance  dynamic  is inexplicable and a force to witness. Expect to party. Hard!
  • Joel Sunny | Joel Sunny allows listeners to be drawn into a world woven from a visual tapestry of 60s/70s cinema, folklore, and celestial imagery. Drawing inspiration from his violinist grandfather's heritage, alongside a childhood immersed in choral hymns, and a later passion for pop music, Sunny crafts evocative melodies set against lush cinematic soundtracks.  Joel Sunny has amassed over 4 million followers across all social platforms, bringing a younger audience into instrumental/soundtrack music.  Luminary has been featured on over 1.6 million videos across Instagram and TikTok, including on the official accounts of the Paris Olympics, McLaren, Manchester United and many more.  In his debut live performance, Joel Sunny will reorchestrate his unique sonic world into a real-life, communal experience.
  • Maina Doe | Sydney-based singer-songwriter Maina Doe is a captivating and singular talent. Since 2019 Maina Doe has continually reshaped and refined her signature style of electronica-tinged, euphoric and experimental R&B into a distinctive sound that underpins her lyrical chronicles of the pleasures and pains of urban life. With co-signs from the likes of BBC Radio, VICE, Soulection and Vogue, a sold out performance at the Sydney Opera House and support slots for Masego and Tkay Maidza, Maina Doe is now entering 2024 with the imminent release of her extraordinary debut EP ‘ODIWAMS (onedayitwillallmakesense)’. 
  • HighSchool | Championed by the likes of NME, The FADER, DIY, The Line of Best Fit & So Young, HighSchool are Rory Trobbiani & Luke Scott, a duo from Melbourne whose two EPs to date – ‘Forever at Last’ and ‘Accelerator’ - are lo-fi cult classics . Relocating to London from Melbourne in 2022, they’ve since toured Australia, Europe, Japan, North America and the UK, playing numerous festivals and touring with CHVRCHES, Sam Fender, Provoker, NewDad, Sunken and zzzahara. A brilliant live band, HighSchool are now signed with [PIAS] and are working towards their highly anticipated debut album. 
  • smol fish | Indie rock four-piece smol fish are a band of best friends from Boorloo/Perth, Australia. With earnest lyricism and playful instrumentation, the band explores the lovely and lonesome aspects of being a 20-something navigating the world today. After an exciting 2023 which included the release of  their debut EP and a support slot for Alex G, 2024 is looking bright, with an EU/UK tour in April/May, and new single ‘If Only’ hitting playlists and garnering triple j rotation. Be sure to superglue your socks to your feet, because smol fish are ready to blow them off!
  • 404 | 404 is an exciting new electronic artist hailing from Seoul, Korea. Cosigned by Mixmag, he has quickly gained a reputation  for his production chops, high energy DJ sets and eclectic style. Having worked with an array of artists in the Korean scene including the likes of SXSW Sydney alumnus HYPNOSIS THERAPY and NZ-Korean artist Hans, 2024 is poised to be a lightspeed year for 404 with a slew of dancefloor oriented releases and international tour dates. 

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