North Texas making some noise at South by Southwest 2023

Standing in front of tall, green plants, Jason Bobadilla, dressed in all white, places his hand over his face

Jason Bobadilla (who performs as Ariel & the Culture)
Photo: Clarissa Medrano

North Texas is making a ferociously strong showing at the music portion of this year’s South by Southwest, which kicks off Monday in Austin, and continues through Sunday.

More than 35 artists, from Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton and Arlington are descending upon the capital city for official showcases (and a great many more playing unofficial day parties or other SXSW-adjacent events), bringing with them a full range of musical expression — everything from Afrobeat to inventive hip-hop to indie rock.

Because there are so many musicians heading down to Austin this year, we’re splitting our preview into two parts. Here’s the first installment — a look at five musicians with North Texas roots poised to use SXSW as a springboard to what’s next.

Ariel & the Culture
The man born Jason Bobadilla heads to Austin with his recently released EP, buena vista!, in tow, which is a sharp calling card capturing his vivid blend of indie pop and mesmeric R&B. The EP builds off the success of his breakthrough single, “Dame tu Amor.”

Baba Kuboye
The Nigerian-born, Dallas-based son of jazz stars Fran and Tunde Kuboye — and the grandnephew of Afrobeat icon Fela Kuti — Baba Kuboye blends social consciousness with a laid-back approach to jazz. Kuboye is performing in support of his 2022 EP From Ikoyi with Horns.

Hannah Jadagu
Mesquite native and Sub Pop artist Hannah Jadagu is building on the momentum of her break-out 2022 and the acclaim she received for her debut EP, What is Going On?, with her debut album, Aperture, due out May 19. The teenager is also set to tour North America as a headliner in the coming months.

The Fort Worth-based singer-songwriter-producer Tiffiny Costello is finetuning songs she recorded during a 2022 trip to Iceland for release later this year or early next, but while that work continues, she’ll take her atmospheric work — under her musical moniker Housekeys — down to Austin.

Summer Dean
Riding high from her acclaimed sophomore album, Bad Romantic, the Fort Worth-based country singer-songwriter continues to rack up fans with her dynamic live performances, as she also works on the follow-up to Romantic, reportedly due out sometime later this year.

Additional North Texas artists performing during SXSW include: Brody Price; Cure for Paranoia; Cush with a C; Danny Bonilla; DJ Does IT All; DJ Tazia Alexa; El Nick; Erica Banks; House of Von Dutch; Ken LaFlaire; Lorelei K; Lil Texxan; Luna Lee; The Majestic KiKi House of Moschino; Max and Heather Stalling; Old Navy; Pearl Earl; Rizkilla; Robert Ellis; Schuy; Supermcn4sty; Teethe; Thee International Iconic House of Juicy Couture; Willo; The WRLDFMS Tony Williams; Zach Witness.

Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.