Showcasing Artist Yard Act at SXSW
Tiny Desk Meets SXSW 2022
Feel the beats with KAINA, Maxo Kream, Pom Pom Squad, and Yard Act during NPR's curated SXSW Showcase
NPR’s Tiny Desk first came to the festival in 2019 when the Tiny Desk Family Hour Showcase was created and hosted by Bob Boilen. After the 2020 event cancellation, NPR Music programmed a virtual “stage” of Tiny Desk (home) concerts for SXSW Online in 2021. Thus, Tiny Desk Meets SXSW was born.
This year, KAINA, Maxo Kream, Pom Pom Squad, and 2022 SXSW Grulke Prize recipient Yard Act brought the SXSW Music Festival amazing music and performances, all filmed in various locations.
A first-generation Latina, born and raised in Chicago, has created generational music that surpasses borders. Her debut EP, sweet as, was released in 2016. KAINA’s music can feel like a bridge to others or a reflection of yourself. With lyrics that balance comforting warmth and sharp interrogation of her thoughts and the world around her.
Maxo Kream was born in Houston and raised in nearby Alief. Informing the frank narratives of the rapper, is his history of the street life and the struggle to make ends meet. He reminds us of the importance of story-telling in hip-hop music.
Pom Pom Squad
When Pom Pom Squad’s Mia Berrin was 21 years old, she fell in love. Sure, she’d been in love before, but this time, something was different: “It just felt like a switch had flipped inside my head,” she says. “I realized I had been living a life that was not my own, watching myself from the outside.” As a kid who bounced from town to town growing up, and as a person of color in predominantly white spaces, Berrin had become accustomed to maintaining a constant awareness of how others perceived her—a “split-brain mentality” that she adopted as a necessary means of survival.
But now, tumbling through her first queer romance—and her first queer heartbreak—some of that self-separateness began to mend. The result of this stymying, galvanizing period—of escaping to come back—is their debut album, Death of a Cheerleader. Pom Pom Squad offers a fresh and decidedly queer take on picking up the pieces—from heartbreak, from injustice—and creating yourself anew.
Yard Act formed in Leeds in September 2019 when Ryan Needham found himself temporarily living in James Smith's spare bedroom. Settling into a system of programming, looping and layering, the alchemy between the two created a base from which to build their complex and ever expanding narrative world. Now expanded to a four-piece, joined by Sam Shjipstone (guitar) and Jay Russell (drums), their debut album “The Overload”, was released in January '22, landing a number 2 album in the UK, smashing vinyl sales records in the process and making them one of the most talked about band on the planet.
Yard Act received the 2022 SXSW Grulke Prize for a Developing Non-U.S. Act.
Watch SXSW On-Demand Content
Let's take a look back at SXSW 2022, so you can relive all things before we see you again next March 10-19 in Austin, TX and online for the 2023 SXSW Conferences & Festivals.
Registrants with a SXSW Badge or Online Pass can relive exciting Keynotes, Featured Sessions, select music showcases, and more via on-demand content. Weren't able to attend this year? We’ve got you covered with the SXSW After Pass, which grants you exclusive access to view select SXSW Online content now through April 17, 2022 on the SXSW Schedule and SXSW TV app to keep the SX party going.
Stay tuned for more 2022 recaps as well as information about 2023 registration and participation opportunities coming later this summer. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.
2022 SXSW Showcasing Artist, Yard Act – Photo by Renee Dominguez