Rachel Sermanni discusses the 'excitement' of SXSW

Singing her praises: Rachel Sermanni's positivity shines at SXSW
Singing her praises: Rachel Sermanni's positivity shines at SXSW

With no album to promote, no single to push, and a positive look at life, it makes perfect sense to come and play at South by Southwest music. At least it does for Rachel Sermanni.

Sermanni is no stranger to a conference-style dies of showcases and smaller gigs, having played Celtic Connections, but Austin in March is different. “Connections is more spread out, over eighteen days. It feels like an intensive month of music albeit a much more laid back one. Here at SXSW it feels like every bar you pass has someone  playing. It's intense.”

And does that change how Sermanni feels when stepping out on stage? “There is a sense of pressure, wanting each gig to be perfect, but that's the same every time I play. No-one has really heard of me here, but the whole event is exciting, with lovely people and new audiences,” she smiles. “After all, this is where everyone comes from all over the world to play.”

Sermanni has a good attendance at her official showcase - every artist gets at least one of these, and then hustles up other gigs around town to fill up their schedule. “They were really attentive, I think they liked it. As long as I can get the crowd onto the same wavelength as me, I'm happy and can enjoy it.”

For all the talk of business at SXSW, Sermanni is a breath of fresh air, with a laid-back attitude. “I play music” is about as specific about her job as she can be. Having started doing gigs during school, and then moving around the country, is the career progression of many artists, but the 20 year old continues to push herself forward.

Sermanni is clearly at the start of a long musical journey. With a few weeks off after SXSW before starting on a Scottish tour and heading into the studio to record her first album, she knows what she wants out of America. “This is to get things started, to starting building up a buzz both here and back home in Scotland. I want more people to listen to me, no matter where they are.

She sums it up perfectly, “If you put yourself out there and stay positive, good things will come your way.”

Or in the case of Sermanni, they will continue to come her way.

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