As this year’s ACL festival gears up, a slew of musicians will flock to Austin ready to give festival-goers an unforgettable show. This year’s festival features a huge lineup of diverse performers from across the country. While festival-goers may be familiar with famous musicians of color such as SZA, Lil Nas X and Jazmine Sullivan, the Daily Texan has compiled a list of other BIPOC artists for attendees to check out in preparation for the ACL.
On the heels of his recent Tiny Desk gig with NPR, Omar Apollo will head to Zilker Park, honoring audiences with his romantic and passionate voice. Apollo’s velvety R&B melodies will instantly mesmerize any new listeners to the brilliant Mexican-American singer-songwriter. As demonstrated in “Evergreen (You Didn’t Deserve Me At All)”, Apollo fosters a beautiful discography full of raw, striking, and powerful songs about queer love and his own life experiences. The singer also favors a catalog of Spanish songs and genres, including corridos – a Mexican songwriting style that emphasizes storytelling through ballads – such as “Dos Uno Nueve (219).” With intricate riffs and silky falsetto, Apollo’s vocals offer nothing less than a mesmerizing and must-have act at ACL.
British poet and singer-songwriter Arlo Parks’ celestial voice, almost reminiscent of Solange, eloquently bridges indie pop, R&B, folk and jazz genres in her critically acclaimed discography. Her soft, delicate voice touches all listeners deeply as she sings about mental health, healing, addiction, grief, sexuality and more. As a bisexual black woman, she became the voice for so many seeking familiarity and representation in her raw and vulnerable music, even while being judge “the voice of Generation Z”, which quickly caught on and made waves in R&B circles. For those looking for a smooth concert experience featuring beautifully delicate vocals and relatable lyrics, Arlo Parks will not disappoint.
For festival-goers looking for their dose of funk at ACL, Cory Henry will be a must. Songs like “Switch” and “The Fool” feature the rhythmic drum lines, ’70s-inspired baselines, dynamic organ melodies, and throaty, soulful vocals that culminate in Henry’s signature sound. Henry brings old-school funk and blues genres to the catalog of great musicians in this year’s lineup, while discussing themes such as the Black Lives Matter movement, anti-war, love, grief and its own experiences as a black man. With gospel, jazz and funk influences at the heart of his music, the singer-songwriter, pianist, organist and producer guarantees to give crowds an electric performance.
Attendees looking for an all-around performance with absolutely stunning vocals and a unique and thrilling production can turn to the French-Korean indie pop artist’s spill tab. The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist never fails to deliver ethereal vocals and breathy, layered harmonies with occasional choruses inspired by rock or alternative music. In his latest single “Splinter,” the spill tab perfectly demonstrates this duality of delicate, soothing verses with bold alt-rock choruses. The indie-pop singer masterfully constructs her songs with intentional vocal and production choices, as seen in “Velcro.” While constantly breaking down vocals and building lush choruses, the spill tab creates a cinematic musical experience that festival-goers won’t want to miss at ACL.