For those of us that have never been to SXSW (or even ATX) can you tell us a bit about the festival so we can get the lay of the land?
Imagine tens of thousand of techies, filmmakers, musicians and everything in-between all swarming a couple blocks of Austin at the same time- scrambling to find free food, merch and events. There are literally hundreds of official and unofficial events, ranging from panels to film screenings to art galleries to live music performances with up-and-coming and already established artists. Everyone is promoting themselves and their niche while consuming the work of others, all with a drink in hand.
The busy streets of downtown Austin all benched off for the crowds of SXSW
What was your favorite show or event at SXSW? Or, maybe the best part was just getting to let loose?
I think my favorite part of SXSW is discovering new art. Every year I've attended SX (this is year 3) I've found my new favorite bands and musicians. It never ceases to amaze me just how much talent there is in the world, and you get to catch a huge chunk of it over the course of SX.
SXSW 2017 Jazmyn Griffin POV from Nikita Clothing on Vimeo.
Obviously there is SXSW, but then there’s also ACL, Levitation, Sound on Sound, etc… It seems like Austin has become an American epicenter for this sort of thing. What do you think it is about Austin in particular that draws so many music festivals and fans?
Something about Austin spawns creativity. The city is typically welcoming of creative talent, especially for those just starting out. We have so many amazing bands, PR firms, booking companies and more. People move from other places around Texas and the country to come to Austin to work in music, so it makes sense that it's a great place to showcase the talent from other places, too. Also the weather is great....
As an avid music listener and student of journalism and communications, it seems only natural that you would start a music publication (http://www.viewsfromthepit.net/). How did this come about? Did you start it with friends? And, what do you hope to achieve with it?
We used to work primarily with university affiliated music organizations, and got a great start there. The co-founders and I are all leaders by nature, so of course we'd love to be head of our own, independent, publication too! We're all double majoring in journalism and one other communication major, so we have a background in music writing, video and photography. Ultimately, we want to expose our audience to up-and-coming talent that we personally love. It also doubles as an on-going portfolio of work for us and our staff members, which is invaluable in communications fields. We want to celebrate the art we love and have others see the world through our lens, that's our motto :)
Jazmyn takes a rare break between all the amazing chaos that was SXSW
What type of music excites you most and what got you into that style?
I love psych music, mostly psych rock. My music progression is a long story but I went from being super into post-hardcore and pop punk to indie pop then ultimately landed in the niche of psych rock. It's most of what I play on my radio show so I'm constantly finding new psych artists to go on my playlists, which makes me listen to even more of it. I love how it's chill and exciting at the same time, like meditating while also grooving out.
Are there any local ATX bands that we should be on the look out for?
Don't get me started. I love Austin bands. I'd say the best way to find out what to look out for in Austin is to check out my playlists on KVRX, or even look at local lineups on Facebook. Honestly, most of them are extremely good.
Sooooo, now that SXSW is over, what is next for you & VFTP?
I'm going to sleep forever.
But seriously, I'm going to go on a self-care binge and do crazy amounts of clean eating and exercise to cleanse my system of the past two weeks. Then, I'm going to look for an internship to get credit for for over the summer and continue to plan for graduation. At Views, we'll be working on booking more shows and events in Austin and working on some band and artist documentaries. Of course, I'll constantly have my eye out for the freshest talent.
Do you have any travel plans for this summer? If not, where would your dream destination be? What would you bring (essentials)?
I want to visit a few places I'm considering moving after graduation (L.A., NY, Detroit, Chicago, Boston, Philly, etc.) but I need to plan that out much more thoroughly in the coming months. My dream destination would probably be (back to) Rio de Janeiro. I studied abroad there and found immense amounts of peace and clarity among the chaos of the city. I'd bring my journal so I could reflect on my personal growth. So cliché, I know.
Scouting the sights and the scenes of SXSW
If the world was taken over by zombies, and you could put only one record in a time capsule for the next civilization to enjoy…what would it be?
I think about things like this all the time, wow.
It'd change with my mood and music faves of the moment, I'd say. Currently, I'd pick Hi+Lo by The Lemon Twigs. If I had to choose a song to play during the zombie apocalypse though, it'd be Sodus by Cemeteries because it sounds very final, like a conclusion of sorts is happening and you're coming to terms with it. It's beautiful.
If you haven't already, head to our IG @nikitaclothing to check out Jazmyn's posted coverage from her time at this year's SXSW event and be sure to hit her and her project with a brand new follow - @smoothjaz__ @vwsfrmthpt!