Contributing roles in videos produced for NPR Music
South X Lullaby: Lucius
At 10:00 p.m. on a wooden bridge over Waller Creek in Austin, Texas, two shocks of orange hair lit up the night. The musicians in Lucius gathered to perform our first South X Lullaby. Clad in matching blue onesies and jackets, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig sang "Dusty Trails," the closing song off their brand new record Good Grief, backed by Dan Molad, Andrew Burri and Peter Lalish. -Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey/NPR
At 1:00 a.m. on the final night of SXSW 2016, 17-year-old Declan McKenna was about to perform for one last time in Austin. Only hours later, the plane that would carry him on his first trip to New York City was schedule to take off. It's been a whirlwind year for Declan, one that began with a song he uploaded to his Bandcamp and Soundcloud page. Shortly after, he won the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition and was quickly signed to Columbia Records, one of dozens of labels with interest in his talents.
So as SXSW drew to an end, we met him at Waller Creek, tucked just diagonal to one of the many clubs that hosted the over 2,000 acts that played the festival this year. The NPR Music crew waited as a police helicopter flew overhead and then Declan began to sing his South X Lullaby, a quieter version of "Brazil," the very song that won the Glastonbury contest, and one of many tunes we'll be hearing from this talented artist in the coming years. -Bob Boilen/NPR
In the 1970s and '80s, Timmy Thomas was the heart and soul of Miami's rhythm and blues wing. Not only was he a musical cornerstone of the local TK Records (KC & the Sunshine Band, George McRae) and a songwriter/producer for singers like Betty Wright and Gwen McRae; he was also a hit-maker, most importantly with the iconic 1973 soul No. 1, "Why Can't We Live Together," a song written at the height of the Vietnam War protests that today's music fans might identify as the "Hotline Bling" music. - Piotr Orlov/NPR
Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals live at the NPR Music SXSW showcase at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas.
Audio: Timothy Powell/Metro Mobile, Josh Rogosin Cameras: Nickolai Hammar, Katie Hayes Luke, Cameron Robert, A.J. Wilhelm, Lizzie Chen Director: Mito Habe-Evans Post-Production Editor: Cameron Robert Thumbnail photo: Adam Kissick for NPR
South X Lullaby: A-WA
We first fell in love with A-WA in a badass video for their party song "Habib Galbi," complete with tasseled snapbacks on track-suited dancers. But at midnight during the SXSW music festival, the Israeli sister trio sang us a quiet lullaby in All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen's hotel room. Accompanied by an electric guitarist and seated on the side of the bed, "Ya Shaifin Al Malih" is a Yemeni folk song about a love that hurts. The sisters, who pull from their Yemeni Jewish roots, told us that it wasn't originally written as a ballad, but after explaining its meaning, how could it not be? "There's an enjoyable love and there's a love that gives you heartache," they said. "There's a strong love that no doctor can cure." You can hear that heartache in the gorgeous and haunting three-part harmony that ties a yearning soul in knots, as they sing (translated from Yemeni Arabic), "Have you seen my love / Tell him that he's my heart and my soul / Because I've been looking for him day and night." -- Lars Gotrich
Audio: Josh Rogosin Cameras: Mito Habe-Evans, Nickolai Hammar, Cameron Robert Editor: Cameron Robert
Charles Bradley: SXSW 2016 | NPR MUSIC FRONT ROW
Charles Bradley took the stage at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas, Wednesday night, clad in an amazing, rhinestone-bedecked jacket that made his cuffs and collar sparkle like diamonds. Not for nothing is he known as "the screaming eagle of soul." --Stephen Thompson