Sudan Archives Moves to Her Own Rhythm and She Takes the Crowd Along for the Journey THOUGHTS+PHOTOS: SUDAN ARCHIVES @ THE MOHAWK | SXSW 3/12/18
AUSTIN, TX- For most of our SXSW artist coverage, we’ll keep it relatively short and sweet. We have over 80 artists to cover, so cut us some slack! 😉 We’ll basically be formatting each post into two parts: (1) Why our contributor wanted to see this act and (2) what our contributor thought of the performance. Easy peasy. If you want to learn more about the act, make sure you click through to their social media links to get in the know. You won’t be disappointed!
Why I Wanted To See Sudan Archives: Coming into “South-by” there was a ton of artists which I haven’t listened to, but I saw their names everywhere leading up to the festival; Sudan Archives was one such artist. She had a bunch of showcases lined up and I got a tip that she had a really unique sound and performance that was worth checking out. Spoiler: I’m thankful for that suggestion.
What I Thought Of Sudan Archives’ Performance: The room at Mohawk Indoors was packed to the brim and even spilling out into the bar area in anticipation for Sudan Archives. When she came out barefoot on stage for soundcheck in a tight purple glittery dress, the audience was already clapping and hooting for her to begin the show.
Aside from her popping appearance, the absence of any band members or vocalists on stage also grabbed my attention. All she had on stage was a small (and I do mean small, see the photos below) bass guitar, a violin, and a small sound-board. Sudan Archives worked the entire show solo, interchanging between the instruments and a microphone.
The music of Sudan Archives and her performance is kind of difficult to accurately describe because of the varying influences and sounds. She would lay down a heavy bass-line from the soundboard and then waltz along the stage to pick up the mini guitar to add and loop in some chords. It’s probably best classified as neo-soul with a touch of classical. She was able to adeptly and quite interestingly mix African beats and a violin that she played with the same passion and fire you see lead guitarists play at rock concerts.
My favorite tidbit from the show was the connection with the audience that Sudan Archives established. Throughout the set she would hone in on a member of the audience and make deep eye contact while singing and smiling at them. At one point she slipped into the crowd and serenaded a lucky fan.
Sudan Archives put on one of the standout acts that I got to experience at SXSW. In fact, I got to see her perform again at the Convention Center Radio Stage a few days later (photos from both performances are included below). She’s a unique talent and performer who’s definitely worth checking out if she’s ever in your neck of the woods.