Day 5 of SXSW kicked off the legendary music festival. For Austin Woman that means incredible womxn-identified local acts that shook the foundations!

By Austin Woman magazine, Photos by Cy White

Flores

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One of the more enchanting performances of SXSW took place at Speakeasy. Indigenous Mexican-American R&B powerhouse Flores possesses vocals with an aching amount of vulnerability. Her brand of veritas sits in the soul. Restless as she no doubt was when penning such heartrending songs as “Fool’s Gold” and “Oceans.”

However, her message, particularly with her latest single “American dirt,” is biting and fearless. On that small stage, her heady vocal and the intimacy of the acoustic guitar (compliments of longtime collaborator Maths Time Joy) were stronger than a hot breeze across the desert. Flores is a singer for the people. A woman who uses her words to grasp at the heartstrings. Engage the wandering attention span of a mainstream public. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wasn’t utterly captivated with the young woman. A voice and an emotional intellect well beyond her years.

The DAWA Fund Presents: U*N*I*T*Y

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Let’s face it. Work for Black and Brown artists will always carry a level of uncertainty. Organizations like DAWA Heals (and by extension the DAWA Fund) ensure these artists get the money they need to continue to serve the community. The U*N*I*T*Y showcase was such a powerful feat of ingenuity and visibility for Black women artists in Austin. Providing her unconscionable talent on the 1’s and 2’s, DJ Kay Cali kept the energy between sets.

The lineup included rappers She’Keeta B and Magna Carda, polar opposites as far as rap subgenre, but equally powerful in message and delivery. Meanwhile, songstress Mélat soothed the weary hearts of everyone standing and milling about Stubbs’ backyard. What an immensely powerful and equally engaging night. Jonathan “Chaka” Mahone most certainly understood the necessity of giving every woman on that stage her flowers. Part concert, part fundraiser, U*N*I*T*Y was a truly astounding night of music for visitors and locals alike. Helping fans of genuinely good music and phenomenal artistry to wake up to something they’d never heard before.

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