SXSW was interesting this year. McDonalds made its first appearance, YouTube Music was there, Samsung was back selling TV’s after its music service Milk failed to catch on last year, Fader Fort had a surprise performance by Miley Cyrus, Marlboro was on hand trying to make cigarettes cool, and all sorts of fun corporation culture vulture shit was going on. I say that with no hate, just the facts.
Don’t get me wrong though, through the endless array of brand-approved bands there was a sliver of humanity shining through and her name was SOAK. The 18-year-old from Ireland came on stage with just a guitar, closed eyes and some of the purest music I’ve heard in a long time. She captured an energy that was the exact opposite of almost everything going on in Austin. Opening her set with ‘B a noBody,’ an entire room full of drunk partiers became silent and overwhelmed with the angelic sound of her voice and the raw exposed emotions coming from this teenager…
The teenage heart is an unguarded dart
We’re trying hard to make something of what we are
We’ll never amount to anything
Come on, come on Come on, come on Be just like me
Come on, come on B a noBody”
This song is an expression of the pressures our society puts on us being busy bee’s, doing a bunch of useless work just to be able to buy shit that will probably do nothing to further our cause. This song is about an adolescent exploring the difference between: being, rather than: becoming. It’s no revolutionary concept, but sometimes music is all about timing and that’s a powerful message right now…
In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell
We are everything we want to become but marketing is getting better and better at telling us what else we need to get there. I love this beautiful rebellion against the concept, I love the humanity penetrating and overwhelming the branding. Nothing is as powerful as our creativity and expression and that’s something we should all find comforting in these rapidly changing times. SOAK was a beautiful reminder that your benevolence is always greater than brands. Enjoy.