Last Thursday Philly’s rising singer/songwriter Pink Sweat$ put out Volume 2 of his EP that continues with vocally strong, stripped-down cuts that are dripping with feels. Preceding the release of the second dose of his EP he came down to SXSW for his first time to perform somewhere around seven shows.
While perusing the alarming amount of artists performing at the 2019 festival (over 1,000 artists on the official Apple Music playlist,) this dude immediately stood out to me. I was fortunate to catch his first set with a lone guitarist as his accompaniment at the Lustre Pearl presented by Twitter near the top of Rainey street on my second night in town.
As I strolled into the Lustre Pearl’s backyard the vibe was a bit of AstroTurf mixed with ping-pong tables and a white swing where a guy was taking photos for people. As you meandered to the back there was a booth near the stage providing complimentary drinks. I moved to the front as it came close to Pink Sweat$’ performance.
I glance back and guy literally saunters up out of the woodwork right next to me before taking the stage. This was the first time I found that SXSW is a place you can catch a few words with some serious up-and-comers if you speak-up quickly. Pink Sweat$ was very friendly and approachable and immediately agreed to an interview after his performance, even taking a small rip off my oil pen.
Pink Sweat$ then took the stage and did his first set of SXSW with only some reverb on his vocals and a smooth guitarist backing him up. Though the beginning of his online catalog as a formal artist only extends back to last year, he already had people singing along to more than one song. He mostly played through his Volume 1 EP with a nod to some off of Volume 2, and finishing off with his hit single, “Honesty.” As the crowd sang and swayed in the low blue light to his sensual cut “Would You” it brought back to my mind the power a stripped-down set can have. The vibe was borderline campfire-like and captivating.
Pink Sweat$ Performing At #Twitterhouse
After his set he casually took back to the crowd after a brief moment backstage to shake hands, take pictures with fans, and lend me a few words. The recently 27-year-old songwriter from Philadelphia said how much he was enjoying himself, only having been to Dallas once prior to visit his godmother.
He then gave quick affirmation to the release of Volume 2 sometime shortly following the festival. Having only really made the leap into showbiz as an artist within the last couple years, he said “SXSW is such a dope platform that you can reach so many people at in a week. I’ve not done a lot of shows so this is the perfect time to come and connect.”
Pink Sweat$ has roots that run deep in the Philly scene (with friends like Tierra Whack who he’s also produced for) and beyond for his abilities as a producer and songwriter. He made comments on how his true passions were in songwriting, and that he didn’t really seek the limelight of being an artist. But when he found out he had a rare disease known as Achalasia, he said “I just started realizing I wasn’t using all my gifts.” This made him want to grind ten times harder on his craft, and put out formal music, to obvious success. He then told me that he felt like he didn’t know it, but “the universe knew that I would be here, and I was ready.”
Pink Sweat$ First SXSW Performance
When asking about the progression of his releases in the coming year he told me there is a debut album in the works. I asked him if it was going to keep the same simplistic instrumentation as Volume 1 and most of Volume 2 seems to be. As he spoke of the debut full-length he said “it will feature a lot of real instruments, and a fuller sound.” He made remarks on there being a healthy addition of percussion in particular to the overall sound of the album. Concluding our conversation he gave a strong head nod to the debut album coming out later this year (much to my own excitement.)
What Pinks Sweat$ has already brought further into light with the release of Volume 2 is his ability to keep a smooth vocal narrative over a variety of eclectic yet minimalistic sounds. The first song “I Know” features a twangy guitar that slides into more of a classic blues feel despite his ability to keep a pop/R&B sensibility in the vocals and overall feel of the song. The guy has the potential to bring a lot of diversity to what people consider pop music to be from what he’s already put out.
I’m really anticipating his sound to grow in a way that will get him ample shine in the coming year. If he can write a hit like “Honesty” with just a guitar and a few vocal tracks imagine the heaters he could produce with a full band sound. I expect great things from Pink Sweat$.