Emerging artists from across Europe are taking part in this official SXSW showcase presenting joint female forces within this 1000 capacity venue. Keychange is a pioneering European Union initiative empowering women to transform the future of music and encouraging festivals to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022. Together, Keychange and the Reeperbahn Festival present an evening that proves there is no longer an excuse for unbalanced line-ups. Besides our new ambassador Mavi Phoenix of Austria and long-term Keychange participant GURR from Germany, we also have Lowly from Denmark and SOAK from the UK.
It’s safe to say Gurr have had a busy year. Aside from beating off stiff opposition (The XX, Laura Marling & King Krule) to win the much coveted IMPALA European Album of the Year Award, the German duo have toured relentlessly – a sold-out headline tour and support tours with Kraftklub and Wanda in Germany and Shame and The Go Team in the UK – and still found time to pen In My Head’s highly anticipated follow-up. Despite it’s bold title and seemingly warm connotations, upcoming single and first taster of their new material single Hot Summer was conceived on a very grey day in London. The pair tried to capture “that feeling of despair when everyone around you is happy, but somehow you just don’t feel it” and produced by Richard X (Roisin Murphy, Goldfrapp, Kelis,) the result is no-nonsense anti-summer anthem. The Hot Summer festival tour included playing a bumper section of over 20 European festivals this year, including performances at Rock Am Ring, Melt, Fusion, Deichbrand, Lollapalooza Berlin and many more. End of 2018, their second single “She Says” will be released – the debut record is expected to be out Spring of 2018.
MAVI PHOENIX (Austria)
At 11, Phoenix’s Dad gave her a laptop for Christmas, and she quickly began making beats and loops in GarageBand, inspired by Foo Fighters as much as Eminem. “Music was an escape,” Phoenix says. As a producer, songwriter, and performer, Phoenix has never been afraid to blaze her own trail. Her genre-mashing three EPs and one-off singles to date have drawn unexpected links between pop, hip-hop, and electronic sounds, and listening to them in sequence can feel like a thrilling plunge into a selection box of assorted musical treats. In this way, her multifaceted music sticks a middle finger up to the narrow margins that women artists can be forced to exist in — Phoenix can be an Amazonian warrior, hedonistic party girl, and confessional songwriter in the space of an 18-minute EP. A resolutely independent artist who releases on her own LLT imprint (the name stands for Love Long Time), Phoenix now has global domination in her sightline, and she’s resolutely determined to achieve that status on her own terms.
Lowly consists of Nanna Schannong (vocal, guitar), Soffie Viemose (vocal, samples), Kasper Staub (synth), Thomas Lund (bass, Moog) and Steffen Lundtoft (drums). They released their debut album Heba in February 2017 on Bella Union, and it received a glorifying 7.8 from Pitchfork. The album and their altogether expression is eclective, overwhelming and intimate and they top it off with a hint of pop music. Their music and lyrics convey a story that is sensitive and sometimes even heartbreaking, but delivered in a very (sneakily) abstract way, so you don’t really know what hit you, until your lying on the floor grasping for air. Lowly’s next album will be released in 2019.