Selector Radio at SXSW, Texas

It’s back and we’re back at it! SXSW (South By Southwest) – the festival based in Texas, USA, that’s been running and growing since 1987 – will this year see another Selector Radio line-up of incredible and fast-rising UK talent: queer-led dance-pop outfit Porij; musician, producer and visual artist L E M F R E K; experimental duo O.; the innovative and experimental Ebi Soda; rapper and grime artist Chiedu Oraka, and singer songwriter Eleni Drake.

Selector Radio’s our weekly radio show, here at the British Council, that airs around the world and has done every week since 2001. This year, the show’s phenomenal host and one of the UK’s biggest music tastemakers, Sian Eleri, will be there at the The Velveeta Room in Texas on Friday 15 March 2024 to host the Selector event featuring the artists she’s supporting. Audio Always, who produce Selector shows each week, will be there too – recording and getting ready to share the gigs will anyone who wasn’t there in person, including the many millions of the show’s regular weekly listeners. Just head to and you can keep up with all highlights, available on YouTube and Mixcloud.

‘For years, I've lovingly admired acts and fellow radio presenters from afar who head to SXSW each year’ says Sian Eleri. ‘Now, it's such a dream to get to experience the festival up close and personal in all its glory with Selector and the British Council for 2024. I'll always rally behind events that put the world’s best future music talent in a room together, I can’t wait to get amongst it. On top of all that, I get to share the best of the best with Selector listeners across the globe!’

Our Director, Music, here at the British Council, Joel Mills says: ‘I’m thrilled that Selector will return to SXSW for a second year. With presenter Sian Eleri at the helm hosting a curated line up, Selector will showcase an enticing array of outstanding UK independent music talent … to show the vitality and diversity of UK music and take it out into the world.’

This SXSW 2024 showcase will be produced by our partners, British Underground, whose mission is to showcase outstanding UK music to international audiences. Their Director, Crispin Parry, says: ‘SXSW is a fantastic celebration of new music and it has been a vital fixture in the British Underground calendar for many years. If you are a music fan it nourishes, challenges and inspires you, and with that in mind we are delighted to be collaborating with Selector Radio, British Council and Audio Always to present an amazing line-up of UK talent at The Velveeta Room with new host Sian Eleri.’


Selector at SXSW 2024

Friday 15 March 2024, 20.00 (CT) – The Velveeta Room


Meet the Selector at SXSW 2024 artists


'An endearing blend of house, garage, new wave and lo-fi pop' – The Guardian

'Genre-splicing art-pop ready made for the dancefloor' – NME

'Impossible to genuinely pin down' – Clash

Porij have endured the sharp pains of self-discovery. Since the beginning, Porij have self-produced, self-mixed and entirely self-made their music and, even after having signed to [PIAS], their debut album Teething was still incubated in their bedrooms and later bassist James Middleton’s flat where they would sit together for hours giving colour, shape and texture to this new world. It was only then that they enlisted legendary producer David Wrench, famed for his work with era-defining artists including Frank Ocean, FKA Twigs and The XX. His mentorship allowed Teething to transform their music from a live-angled proposition to something folded in the arms of pop.

Vocalist and keyboardist Scout Moore (Eggy), bassist James Middleton, guitarist Jacob Maguire and drummer Nathan Carroll are armed with hard-won experience, strengthened bonds and a renewed sense of passion. Teething is both a coming-of-age story and a bottling of the particular magic that is unmistakably – and definitively – Porij.

Listen to ‘My Only Love’


Ebi Soda

Born from ten-hour jam sessions in peeling Brighton bedsits, the technical parameters of a bootstrap recording process and the osmotic, multi-genre influence of internet music archives, quintet Ebi Soda have been steady-cultivating a unique sound amidst the exploding UK jazz scene.

With a cynical, somewhat industrial approach to jazz which could only be informed by the greyness of the streets of Britain, Ebi Soda juxtapose the skies of their surroundings with an illustrious approach to crafting sound over their abrasive beats, conveying colour and dreariness simultaneously. As staunch anti-traditionalists, they thrive on this idea of contradiction, seeming more inspired by the atmosphere inside a rave than the sounds heard on jazz records. Their only debt to typical jazz being to attempt to innovate and experiment at every opportunity.

Listen to 'Something to Do in the Future'


Chiedu Oraka

'The Yorkshire rapper proves his rank amongst the echelons of the UK rap scene' – ABSO

A leading figure in the northern rap and grime scene, Chiedu Oraka, aka ‘The Black Yorkshireman’ defies genres with his blend of raw honesty and social poetry. Raised on North Hull Estate, Oraka’s lyrical abilities create an in-depth memoir of the Northern Black experience. A strong 2023 saw Oraka sign with Marshall’s live booking agency, perform at The Great Escape 2023, headline his first Leeds show and Humber Street Sesh and play his first UK headline tour in October 2023. Oraka entered 2024 armed with his lengthiest project to date, Misfit, a 12-track mixtape signed to EMI North via Launchpad that goes deeper on both fronts – the anthems and the message – than ever before. Single, ‘Rhythm of My Pain’ taken from Misfit has seen strong support from The Independent, Clash, Line of Best Fit to BBC Introducing, 6 Music and 1Xtra to name a few.

Chiedu Oraka remains one of the scene’s most dynamic live performers, having supported UK artists such as Stormzy, Jaykae, Akala, Novelist, Mostack and Poundz, as well as US hip hop legend KRS One and continues to set the bar high for northern talent, confirming his position as a premiere UK lyrical artist.

Listen to ‘Rhythm of My Pain’

Please note, the video below contains language that some viewers may find offensive.



‘The music alone will see 2023 morph into the year of O’ – Loud & Quiet

‘Though played on acoustic instruments, O.’s music has the heft of the most potent club records. Watch them fly’ – DJ

As the circular simplicity of their name suggests, O. are a true self-contained unit. They formed in London during lockdown, when Joe and Tash – both veterans of a string of London ensembles – found themselves in a bubble together. When they started jamming, it was with no preconceptions: don’t overthink it, just play and see what happens. Before long, though, they were augmenting live instruments with effects – Joe routing his saxophone through a pedal board, Tash treating her drums with reverb and delay. As their sound grew and grew, it gradually became clear there wouldn’t be space for anyone else.

Listen to ‘Slice’



‘Taking his grime and rap bona fides and running with them, it’s a work that deserves wide recognition’ – Buzz

L E M F R E C K is a musician, producer and visual artist who excels in unique storytelling that echos the experiences of his community.

Described as a conjurer of melodies, a clandestine alchemist of beats, and an enigmatic weaver of narratives that reverberate with the souls of the collective.

Listen to 'After'


Eleni Drake

‘The British singer-songwriter has successfully captured the beachy, cosmic energy the record’s name seems to indicate’ – Consequence

‘A compulsive set of songs laced in spacey twang … there’s a touch of David Lynch about its zonk-blues melancholia’ – The Arts Desk

Hailing from West London, Eleni Drake is a singer, songwriter and producer whose songs are decorated with a wonderful mixture of indie rock, blues and jazz. Creating unique, vintage and gorgeous sounding ballads her brooding and moody songs are self-produced and a clear view into her heart.

Eleni's second album Surf The Sun was released 19 May 2023 on her own Vanilla Sky Recordings imprint digitally and on limited sun effect vinyl LP.

The record received media coverage and support from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit, CLASH Magazine, Consequence, The Independent, The Arts Desk, Noctis Mag, Ones To Watch, La Blogotheque, AlexRainBird, Vanyaland, DiscoNaivete, Somewhere Soul, Wonderland Magazine and Record Of The Day.

Listen to ‘Marina’


Selector at SXSW 2023

Some of the best emerging UK music talent performed at SXSW (South By Southwest festival) in Austin, Texas as Selector Radio presented a genre-defying night of music together with Selector's then host, Jamz Supernova.

Selector Radio's mission has been to bring the best new UK music for the world, every single week for over two decades. So we will bring you the live music from SXSW whether you're lucky enough to be in Texas will us in person or not. Featuring art-pop, alt R&B and more, the performances feature an eclectic mix from fast-rising artists including: avant garde art-pop artist Jessica Winter, electronica-jazz collective Ishmael Ensemble, jazz-punk collective Robocobra Quartet, alt-R&B singer-songwriter TYSON and British Latinx singer Desta French.

‘Such a joy and a privilege to not only go to SXSW for the first time but to be trusted to curate a stage!’ says Jamz. ‘I’m so proud of our eclectic line up, it really showcases how exciting our musical UK offering is!'


Thursday 16 March 2023

Seller’s Underground, 213 West 4th Street, Austin, TX 78701



Get involved

The live performances will take place Thursday 16 March 2023 at Seller’s Underground in Austin, USA. Global audiences will get a chance to experience the night by tuning in to Selector Radio for recordings from the live performances in the coming weeks. ‘Selector is about the independence and diversity of UK music and taking it out into the world’, says Joel Mills, Director Music here at the British Council. ‘Bringing all these bands together for one night for SXSW will produce a sensational evening of sound.’


Meet the artists

Above: Selector Radio is bringing five acts to SXSW in 2023. Clockwise from top left: Selector's host, Jamz Supernova; Ishmael Ensemble; TYSON; Robocobra Quartet; Desta French; Jessica Winter.



Jessica Winter is an artist who doesn't belong to one genre, scene or sound. She takes inspiration from everyday life experiences and sounds from the 80s, trap indie and pure pop.



Ishmael Ensemble’s music straddles the worlds of electronica and jazz, and comprises a shifting cast of collaborators helmed by producer and saxophonist Pete Cunningham. They rose to acclaim with debut album A State of Flow (2019) – named The Guardian’s Contemporary Album of the Month and MOJO's Jazz Album of the Month.



From Belfast, Robocobra Quartet combine jazz improvisation, the humour of stand-up and the intensity of punk. Experimentation is at the core of their sound and their live performances include on-the-spot improvisations.



TYSON has an effortlessly cool alt-R&B sound that has earned her Breakthrough Act of the Year 2022 at Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards. Her vocal stylings range from stylishly soulful to experimentally boundless. TYSON also founded her own record label, Ladies Music Pub.



Desta French is spearheading a new Latinx London sound. Her influences span from R&B, Salsa, Cumbia, Latin Jazz and Hip Hop - giving her an unmistakable sound.


Find out more