This interview is taken from DIY’s Passport to SXSW. Check out the full thing right here.
Breaking through with debut EP ‘Teenage Witch’ back in September, 19-year-old Suzi Wu is one of the newest UK acts heading to Austin for SXSW this year, and luckily for us, she’ll be playing our stage. Ahead of her trip, we caught up with Suzi to find out exactly what she’s expecting from her first visit to Texas, and what’s on her to-do list when she gets there.
Hello there! What have you been up to recently?
All sorts of things. Hanging with my family and friends before I leave for the States and working on my live set with my mate Otto.
What are you expecting from SXSW?
A pretty big life experience. I love city-based festivals and I’m already prepared for all the acts I want to see if I have the time. I keep being told I’ll love it so that’s a good sign.
What are you looking forward to most about heading to Austin?
It has the largest urban bat colony in the world. I’m also an urban bat so we’ll have lots in common.
How important do you think it is for UK acts to be able to go over to the States for festivals like SXSW?
The Prime Minister’s always going on about the ‘special relationship’ between UK and US. Which is of course a load of crap. Our relationship isn’t about soldiers and presidential visits. It’s stuff like South By that brings us together to share in music and film and remind us we’re all human. So in these dark days I’d say it’s more important than ever for us British people to get over there and let ourselves be heard for who we really are. Instead of being judged on Boris Johnson. Our Foreign Secretary. A truly scary thought.
Will you be trying to squeeze in any tourist activities while you’re out there?
I want to eat ribs and Tex-mex.
Which other UK artists will you be trying to catch in between your sets?
SASSY 009 are my go to for a UK act.
You’ve also recently been announced as part of Keychange - a new programme by the PRS Foundation to help encourage equality in festivals across the world. How did you get involved in that and what’s it been like to be a part of so far?
I applied to be involved because I haven’t worked with a lot of women yet and there’s loads of stuff I want to ask them. I could tell you it’s important to me because of equality and the initiative to get all festival lineups to be half-and-half, but the main thing that’s important to me as a young woman is feeling part of a sisterhood and having women to lift me up and support me. Sometimes it’s draining constantly being the only woman in the room. So there’s a lot to discuss.
Suzi Wu plays the DIY showcase at Seven Grand on Wednesday 14th March, Empire Control Room on Thursday 15th March and the British Music Embassy on Saturday 17th March.
She is performing at SXSW with support from PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund.