SXSW 2018 – Korean Musicians (Round One)

It’s always exciting when South by Southwest (SXSW) makes their first round of artist announcements but it’s even more so this year as there were nine (9) Korean artists/bands listed for SXSW 2018. Now this is the fifth year I’ve been writing about the music festival and I’m pretty sure that’s the most Korean musicians announced at once. Of course, SXSW usually ends up having 14-15 Korean acts in total but my fingers are crossed that the fact that the first announcement had NINE, means there will be a record-breaking number of Korean musicians this year.

Hey, a girl can dream!

And looking at the artists (keep reading to learn who they are), it certainly looks like Korean hip hop and R&B is gaining in popularity. But there are also great indie musicians listed so the 2018 festival is off to an exciting start. And like most music festivals, there will be more announcements over the months leading up to it so don’t forget to check back (probably in mid to late November) for the next announcement.

So without further ado… here’s a quick intro of the Korean musicians announced in Round One.

CIFIKA | Courtesy of SXSW


An electronic pop artist with a fun sound you’re going to love. While I’ve never seen her live, I’m certainly looking forward to it.

Here’s her SXSW page for more info.

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Keith Ape in Toronto in 2015

Keith Ape

I caught this rapper’s show when he came to Toronto a couple of years ago and the frantic, explosive energy at a show was off-the-charts (as were the bruises I got shooting it, lol).

Here’s his SXSW page for more info.

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Luna Lee | Courtesy of SXSW

Luna Lee

I saw Luna last year, you can catch our interview with her here, and she is mesmerizing. Whether she’s playing a cover of a rock song or her own music, her playing is captivating. Catch her show if you can!

Here’s her SXSW page for more info.

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Jay Park | Courtesy of SXSW

Jay Park

I saw Jay Park at SXSW a couple of years ago and got some of my favourite photos ever at a concert. His charisma and stage presence is amazing! And now he’s had a few more years to get even better. Definitely a must-see!

Here’s his SXSW page for more info.

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pH-1 | Courtesy of SXSW


A Korean-American rapper on Jay Park’s H1GHR MUSIC label, his music will make you want to move if the song below is any indication.

Here’s his SXSW page for more info.

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Say Sue Me | Courtesy of SXSW

Say Sue Me

Super excited as Say Sue Me is one of the indie bands on my ever-growing “want to see live” list. They have a laid back indie-rock sound and their second album is coming out next year.

Here’s their SXSW page for more info.

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Sik-k | Courtesy of SXSW


Loving the smooth R&B sounds of his music, I dare you to just listen once. Colour me intrigued.

Here’s his SXSW page for more info.

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SsingSsing | Courtesy of SXSW


Updated: While they were announced in the first announcement, they no longer appear in the SXSW website. Will update once we hear more but they’re definitely worth checking out!

They recently toured in the US and I was so disappointed that they didn’t make it up to Toronto as this band intrigues me. They combine traditional and modern, different genres, and styles. I can’t wait to see them perform at SXSW.

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Woodie GoChild | Courtesy of SXSW

Woodie GoChild

One of the contestants on Show Me The Money 6 (a hip hop talent show from Korea), Woodie GoChild will be a part of the H1GHR MUSIC showcase.

Here’s his SXSW page for more info.

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Final Thoughts

This is a huge announcement of Korean music – nine artists in a single announcement. Plus it looks like there may be a showcase of H1GHR Music artists which would be cool. I can’t wait to see what the future announcements bring – hopefully lots more Korean musicians. Keep your fingers crossed. ^^

For a full listing of all the artists in the first round of announcements, click here.

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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