SXSW 2023 Houston Artist Spotlight

Written by on February 18, 2023

Spanning a nine-day period (March 10–19) and showcasing hundreds of artists, South by Southwest (SXSW), is by far the biggest festival in Texas. SXSW offers a unique opportunity to explore the worlds of Film, Music, and Comedy with parties, awards, screenings, showcases, and special events all over Austin. The Music portion of the event will take place from March 13-18 of SXSW. The Music Festival brings together artists, industry professionals, and music lovers from around the world to make connections, elevate their careers, and celebrate the magic of live music – something that truly brings everyone together. SXSW has so many amazing artists and performers this year, including some musicians from our lovely city of Houston. Check out our list of the artists representing our city that you need to check out while at the legendary festival.

The Chopstars

Photo courtesy of Facebook: The Chopstars

The Chopstars are a group of DJs and turntablists specializing in chopped and screwed remixes of popular music. This particularly style, as you may know, was born in Houston in the early 90s. The DJs have remixed numerous hits, from Drake‘s 2011 Take Care album to Little Dragon‘s 2014 Nabuma Rubberband album. Chopstar DJs are dedicated to keeping the late DJ Screw alive and in our hearts.


Photo courtesy of Facebook: DENDE

Dende is a twenty-two-year-old singer, rapper, and songwriter, and is a returning artist to SXSW. According to his Facebook, the rapper has “influences ranging from chance the rapper all the way to animal collective.” His soulful voice and well written lyrics combined with a hint of pop offer a unique style.


Photo courtesy of Facebook: DJ XO

Among the Houston Hip-hop artists, DJ XO will also be joining the Houston lineup. XO has an ability to blend sounds of varying genres with ease. According to the bio section on his website, he has the ability to reach all genres of music, which has made him one of the most diverse producers. The Houston native is also one of the CEOs of No Sleep MG, a record label that specializes in music, marketing, and management. The multi-talented DJ has worked with artist from all over, including Young Jeezy, Slim Thug, Lil Keke and more.

Kristen Che’Rei

Photo Courtesy of Spotify: Kristen Che’Rei

Kristen Che’Rei is another talent hip-hop artist representing Houston this year. The self-titled Queen Heathen creates hip-hop/rap music that is empowering with a flow that makes you want to dance. The Queen is sure to bring a thrilling experience to SXSW.

Micah Edwards

Photo Courtesy of Facebook: Micah Edwards

Soul singer-songwriter Micah Edwards will be making an appearance at SXSW and is known for drawing musical inspiration from both retro soul & classic country. His debut album Jean Leon is beautiful album combining the vintage twang of country with the raw authenticity of neo-soul. According to his website, Edwards was able to create a unique fusion of retro and contemporary elements to defy what has been done before and craft a new genre: Texas soul.

Rizzoo Rizzoo

Photo courtesy of Spotify:Rizzoo Rizzoo

Rizzoo Rizzoo has dropped several records over his career. According to his bio, the houston native is also “one of the original members of TSF along with Sauce Walka, Sancho Saucy, and Sosamann, also Houston natives.” Rizzoo has worked with several other rappers include Lil Flip, Peso Peso, DJ XO and many more. The young artist is headstrong and focused on taking his career to the next level.


Photo courtesy of SunniTheRapper

SunniThaRapper is a Texas-raised rapper and former member of an-all female rap group known as BLUSH and T.O.D (Topic of Discussion). Sunni as recently made her debut as a solo artist. The female rapper mentions she has been heavily influenced by 2Pac, Lauryn Hill, and Nicki Minaj. According to her bio, the rapper’s music is very female centered and Sunni “hopes to inspire women to take control of their lives, achieve every goal they set for themselves, and look and feel beautiful while doing so.”

Thelonious Love

Photo courtesy of Facebook: Thelonious Love

Thelonious Love started his career as a spoken word poet, which quickly grew into songwriting. According to Love’s bio, his background in theater strongly influences his technique and stage presence, as well as influences his distinguished Hip-Hop sound. Love currently has two albums out, with a third album on the way. His lyrics are the bread and butter of his music – his website states “his fire-and-brimstone lyrical work is an open diary to themes of rebellion, spiritual rumination, effective activism, and dealing with the daily struggles of overcoming adversity.

  • Alina Velasquez

    I'm a Junior Graphic Design major at the University of Houston. I am also the Graphic Design Officer of BAMSA as well as a Photo Editor for Coog Radio. I enjoy art in all of its forms and love discovering new music. Photography and Design have been passions of mine for several years.

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