MTV Shines Spotlight on Up and Coming Artists at SXSW

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By Elijah Watson, The Daily Texan.

When it comes to pleasing music fans throughout the world, SXSW has become notorious for its six-day music festival, featuring an array of iconic groups and up-and-coming bands. Contributing to the SXSW festivities was the 8th Annual mtvU Woodie Awards, featuring live performances from Santigold, Mac Miller, Steve Aoki and others.

Austin's hot weather didn't stop attendees from enjoying an eclectic roster of artists, free BBQ and beer. Early on during the day rapper A$AP Rocky energized fans with his upbeat performance. Opening with "Pretty Flacko," the self-proclaimed "Pretty Mothafucka" jumped wildly to an explosion of gunshots and booming bass. Fellow rapper and collaborator Schoolboy Q made a guest appearance during A$AP Rocky's set. The two performed Schoolboy Q's "Hands on the Wheel," and the crowd went crazy. Always a showman, A$AP Rocky jumped into the audience, his gold grill shining in the sunlight as he smiled and high-fived fans.

Hipster hip-hop duo Chiddy Bang brought the good vibes of spring time with their sing-along songs. Performing new tracks off of their latest release, Breakfast, Chiddy Bang had the crowd on a euphoric high. "I'm super chill / I think it's just the pot in me," said vocalist Chidera Anamege. Anamege could have fooled us; his youthful vigor during the crowd-favorite "Opposite of Adults," had everybody (including middle-aged attendees who probably mispronounced Chiddy Bang's name more than once) having a great time.

As the skies began to darken performances from Walk the Moon, Santigold, Mac Miller and Steve Aoki kept fans upbeat until the very end. Jersey Shore superstar Pauly D acted as the host for the evening performances, riling up the crowd with his trademark fist-pumps. Steve Aoki's set was spectacular; hype man Lil' Jon and Anamege made guest appearances during the performance, with fans shaking their bodies to the bass-soaked sounds of Aoki's music.

Backstage, artists were having their own party; dubstep prince Skrillex surprised friends Porter Robinson and Zedd as he came through unexpectedly. "Porter and I were just in a room jamming, and after that I just tagged along with him," said Skrillex. Fellow DJ Flux Pavilion also made an appearance, joking with his contemporaries about making a supergroup. "Sonny would have to be the singer," said Flux Pavilion. "Porter would be the pretty boy guitarist, and I would be the behind-the-scenes manager."

The Woodie Awards were also a big night for artists Machine Gun Kelly, Mac Miller and Best Coast, who all went away with an award. Machine Gun Kelly, who received The Breaking Woodie award, was proud of his accomplishment. "Dreams do come true," said MGK. "MGK is a very on the edge type of artist, and people either love me or hate me. So it was definitely surprising."

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