London artist Zan Avenue has spent most of his time at South by Southwest handing out demo tapes in the streets of Austin. Hoping it winds up in the right set of hands.
"There are artists everywhere around us. Everywhere you look, everywhere you breathe, everywhere you eat, there are artists everywhere. You can connect with them," Avenue said.
Artists like Avenue have traveled from across the United States and the world just to be a part of South by Southwest.
"This is like one of the biggest events in America period. So if you're not out here, you're missing out," Avenue said.
Recording artist Blazo has been to SXSW three times, twice as a performer. He said festivals such as South provide an invaluable platform for aspiring musicians.
"It's really big because it's just people from all over so you can give one person a CD and they may take it back to wherever they are from and it just spreads," Blazo said.
Artists spend thousands of dollars just to handout CD's and flyers in an effort to get their name, brand, and music recognized.
"(We've spent) about $4,000 to come over here and do this," Avenue said.
Ervin Mitchell traveled from Memphis to be in the mix of SXSW.
"I've spent all of the money." Mitchell said, "I've spent all of the money that I didn't necessarily have to spend but it's worth it in the long run because I believe in the trajectory of my career."
Mitchell said social media has been a great tool to reach new fans but trips to events like SXSW are a must if artists that want to make it to the next level.
"Social media is great, you can reach areas of the world that you never could before but you still have to get out here and have an actual presence. You have to be to touch people, you have to meet people, you have to be in the world," Mitchell said.
Artists have risked everything in the hopes of finding the one person that can help launch their career.
"If you're branding yourself right, of course they are going to listen to your stuff. Everything from just the way your posters look, the CD's that you're presenting to people. Nobody wants to see their CD's on the floor but the person that can really promote you, he is out here, he's out here somewhere," Avenue said.
If you would like to learn more on the artists we interviewed:
Zan Avenue - Twitter: @BmdFamily
Blazo - Twitter: @Iamblazo_NLA1
Ervin Mitchell - Instagram: Ervnimitchell
Ervin Mitchell - Twitter: @Realervmitchell