Catalan’s Bad Gyal Brings A Unique Groove To The Main At SXSW THOUGHTS+PHOTOS: BAD GYAL @ THE MAIN | SXSW 3/13/18
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 Bad Gyal: There was something about Bad Gyal’s story that intrigued me. Here’s 20 year old from Spain who makes some pretty banging dancehall/reggaeton infused music. Even though I don’t speak Catalan or Spanish, I found myself shaking my groove thing at my desk while listening to her track “Jacaranda”. Sometimes, the groove is enough to get me to check something out, and I was definitely grooving to Bad Gyal’s music.
What I Though Of Bad Gyal’s Performance: When I arrived at The Main to check Bad Gyal out, the room was pretty damn packed. In fact, the first 3 rows of attendees were press. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one who got the memo on this artist.
If you were packed up front with the press, you lost a lot of the vibe that Bad Gyal’s music imparts on the crowd. As it happened, I was actually a little further back, standing on top of a cement pylon, so I was elevated a bit. As I looked behind me, I could see fans dancing and shaking their bon-bons to the music. Truth be told, if I wasn’t working the show, I probably would have been back there dancing with them as well.
Bad Gyal exudes a calm cool on stage. Even when she danced, she moved her body with a kind of nonchalant confidence that matched the steady rhythms of her groove-centric music. It was calculated movements that synched to the mood and tempo of the instrumentals that boomed through the speakers. Every hard hitting downbeat was accompanied with equally forceful hip bump, and that choreography was particularly fun to watch. She even had a little fun with the press as she definitely played to the cameras with both coy and seductive gestures.
All in all, I thought the performance was a pretty good representation of her and her music. If anything, it was a good sampling for those who were unfamiliar with Bad Gyal’s music. As someone who has listened to her music before, my only criticism would be that I kind of wish her backing vocal tracks weren’t so overpowering. It was hard for me to tell when it was her live voice or her backing track singing, and as someone who really lives-off of the realness of a “live performance”.
— Derrick K. Lee (@methodman13) April 2, 2018