Year: 2011

Canadian musician Grimes performed at multiple venues in Austin with just her microphone and keyboard. Despite her simple set-up, Grimes' debut at SXSW was one of the festival's standout appearances that year. Her performances that week, along with a slew of interviews, was just what she needed to sign with 4AD Records and set the foundation for her next album, Visions.

"She took the stage alone, hovered over a keyboard, and layered rhythms, synthesizer melodies, and otherworldly vocals in increasingly complicated loops and ever more dynamic walls of sound, creating a mood that almost (but not quite) overcame the surroundings," said Jim DeRogatis of WBEZ in Chicago.

Once Visions was released, Grimes made her way back to Austin for SXSW to a much bigger buzz and audience. She signed with Jay Z's Roc Nation in late 2013 and is currently working on her next album. 

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