Joël - Photo by David OD

Speed Dating with SXSW 2020 Pop / R&B Showcasing Artists

We have already announced nearly 500 artists coming to Austin, TX this March for the SXSW 2020 Music Festival. To help you find your favorites, we are highlighting artists in each genre that we think are standouts. This week, get to know five Pop and R&B artists.

This year’s Pop and R&B artists display some of the SXSW Music Festival’s most diverse backgrounds and stories. The fluidity of pop and its ever-evolving nature has made it one of the most telling genres of the cultural moments SXSW is a part of each March. The common thread between this year’s pop and R&B acts is music that challenges stereotypes and lyrics marked by emotional vulnerability.

Dive into these artists’ stories below and click the photo to listen to our Spotify playlist featuring their music.

Arlo Parks


"I'm a black kid who can't dance for shit, listens to emo music, and currently has a crush on some girl in my Spanish class,” says South West London musician Arlo Parks. The Pop / Soul artist is both a singer and a poet - which is proven by her emotionally raw and straight-forward lyrics. She is inspired by musicians like Portishead and Earl Sweatshirt. Her list of literary heroes is extensive including American poets such as Ginsberg and Jim Morrison and modern poets Nayyirah Waheed, Hanif Abdurraqib and Iain S. Thomas. Arlo Parks’ music is thoughtful, insightful, and self-reflective.

Arlo Parks released her eagerly anticipated debut EP Super Sad Generation early this year consisting of entirely self-written songs the artist wrote between the ages of 16 and 18. The songs were created "to pay tribute to all those kids that are in a lot of pain and are confused as to why." SXSW 2020 will be Parks’ first performance in North America.



Meet Flavia: LA-based electronic singer-songwriter and producer whose music makes you dance hips first, eyes closed, middle finger up, and puts a smile on your face. Flavia grew up in Ireland and Italy and won the Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting competition for her song, ‘Expectations’ earlier this year.

Flavia’s music addresses themes such as strength, curiosity, love, and sexuality and the artist is an activist advocating for LGBTQ+ equality and creating community for other female pop artists in Los Angeles. She has released 5 singles this year and will be a speaker on the panel: Fan Hacking: Acquiring and Retaining More Fans at SXSW 2020.

Tim Burgess


Best known for his 30 years as frontman of The Charlatans, Tim Burgess is a seasoned British pop star with fresh solo work that transcends decades and trends. His four solo albums take in the sound of Nashville, post punk and everything in between.

Tim’s experiences go beyond the stage as he is also a best selling author, label boss, and DJ.

Nasty Cherry


Nasty Cherry is the brainchild of the multi-platinum selling singer songwriter Charli XCX. The alt pop LA-based group is two-part British and two-part American whose music is filled with both romanticism and sass. The band was formed by Charli XCX earlier this year and has already released four tracks from their forthcoming EP.

Along with their recent music releases, Nasty Cherry is also the focal point of the new Netflix show I'm With the Band: Nasty Cherry. The show documents what it takes to form and break a band in today’s music landscape.



CIFIKA is the stage name of Seoul-based Cho Yousun. The name was derived from where the artist first learned music theory in Pacifica, California. Inspired by artists like Washed Out, James Blake, Flume, and Bjork, CIFIKA blends electronic, techno, and synth pop into her own unique sound.

She has toured across 19 cities in the US, catipulting her into the global music scene. Her machine-like, deep beats are overlaid with a majestic voice, rendering ethereal, otherworldly soundscapes that you won’t want to miss.

Explore More Artists


Register to attend today and book your hotel through SXSW Housing and Travel to watch your favorite artist live.

For more discovery, dive into our Apple Music and Spotify Playlists, surf our YouTube Music Video playlist, listen to SXSWfm mixes on Mixcloud, and explore the full SXSW 2020 Schedule.

And lastly, for weekly artist highlights follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. and SXSW News for the latest SXSW coverage and announcements.

Dive into 2019 Music Tracks

Photos courtesy of artists

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