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The Austin 100: Nailah Blackman

Nailah Blackman.
IDouglas
/
Courtesy of the artist

Hometown:San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago

Genre:Soca

Why We're Excited:Nailah Blackman's grandfather, the late Lord Shorty, invented the style of music known as soca as a means of reinvigorating calypso music; her mother, Abbi Blackman, is a hit-making calypso star in her own right. The younger Blackman has enjoyed her own string of Afropop-inflected reggae hits, but don't be surprised if "O'Lawd Oye" crosses all the way over into mainstream omnipresence: It is, straight up, one of the most cathartically joyful songs you'll hear this year.

SXSW Schedule:

  • March 17: 800 Congress (800 Congress Ave.)
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    Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)