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An online magazine about Korean culture, food and hallyu based in Toronto, Canada

SXSW 2017 – Korean Musicians (Round One & Two)

Some of the musicians mentioned below previously performed at SXSW.

Some of the musicians mentioned below previously performed at SXSW.

I’m always excited when I can talk about which Korean musicians are coming to South by Southwest (SXSW) and this time is no different. The past few years has seen 14-15 Korean acts performing at SXSW each year – mostly Korean indie but also some hip hop and K-pop acts. Like most music festivals, the musicians are announced in several parts over the months leading up to it and yesterday round two was published.

Luckily, there were some Korean acts in the announcement – some I’ve seen previously and some I’m excited to see… but all I’m excited to share with you. Without further ado… here’s a quick intro of the Korean musicians announced in Round One (just Big Phony) and Round Two (the other five).

Big Phony

For those of you who haven’t read any of our previous articles on Big Phony, he’s a Korean-American singer songwriter who is now based in Seoul, Korea. Having seen Big Phony perform several times, both at SXSW and here in Toronto at Canadian Music Week (CMW), I’m excited at the chance to not only see him perform again (definitely go if you get the chance) but to see him perform some of his new music. He released a new album this summer and you should really check it out.

Here’s his SXSW page for more info.

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Glen Check

They played SXSW in 2014, which was also when I started listening to them, and I was impressed not only with their sound but the way they grabbed everyone’s attention and didn’t let go. Want to learn more about them, check out our interview with them – it’s a bit dated but still worth a read.

Here’s their SXSW page for more info.

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Luna Lee

I’m oh so intrigued to see Luna Lee perform! She’s a gayageum (가야금, traditional Korean instrument) musician from Korea who covers popular songs by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and others on it. How could I not want to see her perform. Just check out her video below and tell me that you don’t want to see her too!

Here’s her SXSW page for more info.

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Neon Bunny

Neon Bunny is an electronic singer songwriter who has a very chill, dreamy sound. She recently released a new album, Stay Gold, and it’s well worth a listen. Want to learn more about her, check out our interview with Neon Bunny at SXSW 2016.

Here’s her SXSW page for more info.

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Windy City

I’ve seen them a couple times from CMW in 2013 to SXSW earlier this year and their sound continues to evolve which is always fun to see. Add to that fact that they have an infectious sound that just makes you want to dance – and in fact, inspired some spontaneous dancing at their Seoulsonic set at SXSW 2016 and they’re an act you’ll want to catch.

Here’s their SXSW page for more info.

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XXX

There’s been a lot of buzz about this hip hop duo this summer and their debut album, Kyomi, was released last July. And I’ll be the first to admit that their music videos intrigue me and I can’t wait to see if their live performance matches.

Here’s their SXSW page for more info.

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Final Thoughts

It’s an interesting mix of Korean musicians that have been announced so far in rounds one and two (I can’t see who’s still to come!), and one that makes me happy I’m heading back to SXSW next March. It’s one of my favourite music festivals and one I definitely recommend. Will you be there? 

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