With so many music groups in Austin for SXSW it is easy for any of them to get drowned out by all the noise, but luckily for World Music artists, their foreign musical stylings give them a uniqueness that audiences tend to stop and pay attention to.
The language barrier doesn't seem to matter
Many world groups sing in English in order to tap into the English-speaking market, but there is still a healthy demand for music sung in foreign languages.
Not understanding the language is not much of a problem and people enjoy the music for the beat and instrumentation. Besides, people are basically the same throughout the world. They sing about the same things.
The following are some of this year's world music performers that are worth giving a listen.
Sammy Decoster - Grenoble, France
Though he had to overcome sound problems throughout his set, he kept on performing, showcasing his melancholy brand of folk from eastern France.
Listen to more online at: www.last.fm/music/Sammy+Decoster
Franny Glass - Montevideo, Uruguay
Franny glass is the solo project of Gonzalo Deniz, who also performs in several other groups. This singer/songwriter has won several Uruguayan music awards and his fourth album will be released this year.
Get his music online at: frannyglass.bandcamp.com
Charan Po Rantan - Tokyo, Japan
These two talented sisters take on accordion carnival music with precision, and their talent keeps it from being campy or gimmicky. Koharu is a champion accordion player and Momo sings.
Learn more about the group at: www.nextmusicfromtokyo.com
Usman Riaz - Karachi, Pakistan
His self-written bio states that he picked up the guitar at age 16 and taught himself to play by watching YouTube videos. Usman plays what is called "percussive guitar," which involves... well, you just have to watch.
Listen to more at: www.reverbnation.com/usmanesoterica
Campo - Montevideo, Urugyay
An offshoot of Bajofondo, the Argentine/Uruguayan supergroup that just released a massive new album two weeks ago, Campo delivers an easily digestible take on suptropical music.
Get more online at: campomusic.net
Chihiro Yamazaki + Route 14 Band - Tokyo, Japan
Chichiro plays trumpet and leads the band through instrumental arrangements using elements of Jazz, Fusion, Classical, and Rock. Fans of Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass will enjoy this.
Learn more about them online at: www.route14.rdy.jp/about.html