We caught up with with Tyla from Welsh rockers The People The Poet - reflecting on their trip to SXSW during 2015.
"I'd definitely advise any bands or artists with any ambition to further their career path into music on applying for SXSW. We've applied every year for the last three years and it just so happened that three was our lucky number. Once our application to play SXSW via Sonicbids was accepted, we knew we would have to apply for funding for any chance of being able to fund our trip there. I've gotta say the staff at Wales Arts International / Arts Council of Wales were extremely helpful from day one of contacting them and we couldn't have done it without them.
We as a band feel that our main ideal target audience would be an American one just because of the music we listen to and the music we create is largely influenced by American music, so we were ready to take on the challenge of performing in front of an American audience. We couldn't have asked for a better reception from the two official showcases we performed at, and definitely felt this is where we needed to be in the future.
When planning your trip to SXSW, think about what you want to get from the trip. Whether it be contacting festival promoters, booking agents, management companies, people who work in synchronising your music for TV & Film, the list goes on. It all depends on what stage you're at as an artist. As we were already lucky enough to have management and a booking agent we felt we really needed to contact someone who works in Syncing music. We'd already been in contact via email with someone at Sentric Music and we met up with a representative after our second show in Texas. We've been in contact with him ever since, having given us a number of Sync opportunities. Whilst we were there we also got in contact with someone who works at SESAC, which is a performing rights organisation. Since that meeting we were invited to play their curated stage at Liverpool Sound City.
So to any artists who get the opportunity to perform at SXSW, try and have an idea what you want to achieve from the trip. Try and organise and contact people beforehand regarding SXSW showcases so you already establish some form of working rapport with them. And finally, just enjoy your time whilst you're out there!"
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Please note: opinions are those of the artists/representatives only and not necessarily of Cerdd Cymru : Music Wales.