News / Main / Oversea Event

SXSW Meets K-Pop: The Fan Experience

By Nikole Smith | March 21, 2016 10:00 PM EDT


Every year during spring break, Austin, Texas, hosts one of the biggest live music and film festivals in the world; South by Southwest. Stylized as SXSW, this festival lasts for a little over a week with four parts including Education, Interactive, Film, and Music. Music is the largest and most festive of the four as it draws in the largest audiences. Fans and artists flock from all over the globe to see their favorite musicians, filmmakers, and give jaw dropping performances; Korean musicians are no exception.

As an avid follower of South Korean music, I knew I would not be missing one of SXSW’s biggest nights; K-Pop Night Out. Throughout the previous years, K-Pop Night Out has welcomed Epik High, Crayon Pop, f(x), Jay Park and many more. This year, K-Pop Night Out hosted DEAN, Mamamoo, Zion.T and more.

The news doesn’t even begin to cover the amount of passion and finesse the artists and fans had within the Belmont venue where the night was held. Here is a summation of K-Pop Night Out through a fan’s eyes.

Bye Bye Badman (@bandbyebyebadman)

This indie band stole the hearts of the audience with their upbeat sound and smooth vocals. It was hard not to find yourself swooning for the stylish female bassist or the enthusiastic keyboardist. You would think this band would have been more nervous considering they were the first to perform; however, if they were, it sure didn’t seem like it!

A photo posted by 정니콜 Nikole (@razzynikki) on Mar 16, 2016 at 6:03pm PDT

Love x Stereo (@lovexstereo)

This electro rock band captured the audience with their catchy electronic beats and heartfelt lyrics. With their lovely and addicting aesthetics, fans will surely come back for more.


This lone DJ and producer took the stage and showcased some hardcore EDM of her own. Haihm turned the venue into a nightclub complete with fist-pumping and strobe lights galore.

Victim Mentality

Returning for their second year in a row, Victim Mentality has seen quite the increase in their SXSW fan base, myself included. Victim Mentality has a hard rock sound and strangely addicting screamo vocals that possibly carried to the venue’s across town. For the bits of the audience that weren’t into their music style, Victim Mentality surely made up for it with their quirky personality and dominating stage presence.

MAMAMOO (@mamamoo_official)

Personally, Mamamoo is by far one of my favorite girl groups out right now. Their stunning vocals can grab the attention of just about anyone. Mamamoo came out and rocked the stage as if they had been performing in America for years. These four ladies were absolute naturals during their set and even engaged quite a bit with the audience.

@mamamoo_official is my liiiiiiife~ #Flawless #Queens #FearsomeFoursome #Hwasa #Moonbyul #Wheein #Solar A video posted by 정니콜 Nikole (@razzynikki) on Mar 17, 2016 at 10:26am PDT

DΞΔN  (@deantrbl)

Possibly the future of Korean R&B, Dean owned the stage with his velvety smooth vocals. But Dean proved he could get the crowd hype as well during his performance of “I’m Not Sorry” which had the whole venue jumping and screaming. If that wasn’t enough, Dean even performed one of his yet to be released tracks “Bonnie and Clyde”.

@deantrbl got me feelin' some type of way #SXSW #Austin #Dean #ijustwannaputmyhandsonyou A video posted by 정니콜 Nikole (@razzynikki) on Mar 17, 2016 at 2:14am PDT

Zion.T (@ziont)

Definitely one of the most anticipated performances of the night by myself and others was South Korean R&B icon, Zion.T. Performing alongside the live band, The Session, Zion.T once again displayed his flawless vocal ability which brought some to tears. Similar to Mamamoo, Zion.T has his own unique way of interacting with the audience through his body language.

Just @ziont slaying my soul.... #ziont #sxsw #kpopnightout #austin #skinnyred # A video posted by 정니콜 Nikole (@razzynikki) on Mar 17, 2016 at 1:44am PDT

Another major part of Korea’s influence on SXSW were the powerful hip-hop acts. During Asian Hip-Hop Night, various rappers hailing from multiple countries took the stage to display their fierce skills. Among them were some of Korea’s famed underground rappers Deepflow, Nucksal, and Don Mills representing Vismajor. Each had their own solo stage before coming together in an epic collaboration.

A video posted by 정니콜 Nikole (@razzynikki) on Mar 18, 2016 at 2:08am PDT

A video posted by 정니콜 Nikole (@razzynikki) on Mar 18, 2016 at 2:01am PDT

A video posted by 정니콜 Nikole (@razzynikki) on Mar 18, 2016 at 2:12am PDT

When it comes to Korean rappers, one can surely not forget viral artist, Keith Ape, who performed at the Monster Outbreak House on the last Friday of SXSW. Keith Ape proved just how many fans both Korean and American he has garnered with the release of “It G Ma”. Even those who didn’t know a word of Korean found themselves going along with every word of all his songs. The show easily became the liveliest show of the entire night.

A video posted by 정니콜 Nikole (@razzynikki) on Mar 19, 2016 at 12:30am PDT

A video posted by 정니콜 Nikole (@razzynikki) on Mar 19, 2016 at 12:34am PDT

This is just an overview of my experiences seeing such amazing Korean artists in my hometown for the SXSW festival. If you have yet to attend, I highly recommend attending whether it is to see Korean artists or not.

Disclaimer: This article expresses the views of the writer, Nikole Smith, and is not the representative opinion of KpopStarz.

Tagged :  South by Southwest, sxsw, zion.t, Love x Stereo, Haihm, BYE BYE BADMAN, Victim Mentality, MAMAMOO, dean, The Session


K-POP 08.14.19 | 11:59AM EDT

Fans Worry About IU's Health Condition After Seeing Photos On Instagram

Recently, the songstress uploaded a picture of her standing next to a tarp of herself, which is beside a food truck that was sent to her filming set. Uaena, IU's official fan club name, remarked that her collarbone is somewhat more pronounced than before and her face looked smaller. Also, in the latest photo of her together with Sulli that the latter uploaded through her official Instagram account, the fans noticed that she looked much skinnier than usual and so they expressed their concern over her condition.

08.14.19 | 10:47AM EDT

X1, ‘Produce X 101’ Project Group, Hits Billboard’s Social 50 and Emerging Artist Charts

Even before their official debut arrives, 11-member K-pop group X1 is already making ripples in the scene! According to Billboard’s weekly charts dated August 13, the project boy band -- with members coming from the Mnet survival show-cum-talent search Produce X 101 -- has taken the No. 6 spot on the music magazine’s Social 50 chart.

See Now: BTS: 41 Fun Facts You Must Know About The Most Successful Kpop Boy Band (Bangtan Sonyeondan)

Real Time Analytics