The Prize, awarded in three categories, was developed in honor of our friend and colleague Creative Director Brent Grulke, who passed away on August 13, 2012.
Brent Grulke had a lengthy career in many aspects of the music industry, working as music editor at the Austin Chronicle, sound engineer or tour manager for many Austin bands, and production and sound engineer for clubs in San Francisco. He later moved to Los Angeles to become the manager at Spindletop Records, which eventually led him back to Austin where he was the longtime Creative Director of the SXSW Music Festival.
Brent's love of music and the spirit of the festival is reflected in the three Prize categories: Developing US Act, Developing Non-US Act and Career Act.
The Developing Act Prize is for artists who are breaking new ground with their creativity and show the most promise in achieving their career goals. The Career Act Prize is for an established artist who appeared at SXSW to reinvent themselves or launch an important new project.
SXSW 2016 Grulke Prize Winners
Developing US Act - Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals
Oxnard, California-based rapper and singer/songwriter Anderson .Paak turned heads at the SXSW Music Festival with top billed spots on two well-profiled showcases. His soulful grooves coupled with his talent as a rapper, songwriter, and performer caught the attention of fellow Californian Dr. Dre, whom he collaborated with last year. His second full length album, Malibu, was released on January 15, 2016 to wide critical acclaim.
Developing Non-US Act - Låpsley
Holly "Låpsley" Fletcher, an emerging young talent from the UK, blitzed through SXSW with two inspired powerhouse performances. Låpsley quickly gained notice after uploading her bedroom recordings online where she caught the attention of XL Recordings, who just released her debut full length album Long Way Home on March 4, 2016.
Career Act - Iggy Pop
Rock/punk provocateur and icon Iggy Pop is an artist that has continued to reinvent himself as he’s wooed audiences during his 40 year career as a performer. In his most recent endeavor, Post Pop Depression, he is joined by collaborator and Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme to create a 70’s soaked rock and funk-inspired masterpiece for his 17th full-length album as a solo artist.
SXSW 2015 Grulke Prize Winners
Developing US Act: Leon Bridges
Developing Non-US Act: Courtney Barnett
Career Act: Spoon
SXSW 2014 Grulke Prize Winners
Developing US Act: Future Islands
Developing Non-US Act: The Strypes
Career Act: Damon Albarn
SXSW 2013 Grulke Prize Winners
Developing US Act: Haim
Developing Non-US Act: CHVRCHES
Career Act: The Flaming Lips
Photo Credits, from top:
Brent Grulke, 1961-2012
Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals photo by Waytao Shing/Getty Images
Låpsley photo by James Goulden Photography/Getty Images
Iggy Pop photo by Amy E. Price/Getty Images