SXSW Music Interview: Pink Sweat$

How a color inspires R&B artist David Bowden’s work

SXSW Music Interview: Pink Sweat$

"As a new artist in this climate of music, there are a lot things you're competing with," says Pink Sweat$ by phone from Los Angeles. "But one thing you can't deny is a good voice."

Everything about the project – neon colors, posh videos, fashion swag – screams hip R&B for the SoundCloud era.

Warm vocals by the Philly native born David Bowden sit front and center on November's debut EP Volume 1. Everything about the project – neon colors, posh videos, fashion swag – screams hip R&B for the SoundCloud era. Well, save for the minimalist backing tracks, which are oft stripped down to a single acoustic guitar. It's all as cozy and inviting as....

"I was living in New York and just wearing pink sweats all the time in the studio, bumming it," he chuckles about the moniker. "I wasn't around one day and someone who didn't know my name was like, 'Yo, where's pink sweats?'"

The fashion choice makes sense for a cat born on Valentine's Day.

"I feel like I give off the energy I want to receive," offers the singer. "I give off a lot of love. It's not about wearing pink, it's about being pink. The world is so dark sometimes; just imagine if people were a little bit kinder to each other, how much further along we would be."

Despite a growing buzz, this is still all very new to Sweat$, who transitioned from songwriter to solo artist less than a year ago. Coming into SXSW, he's performed live exactly twice, but that feeling of stepping onstage for the first time remains something he could get used to.

"It was bliss, man. It was beautiful."

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Faster Than Sound: What Sparked Joy at SXSW Music
Faster Than Sound: What Sparked Joy at SXSW Music
Marie Kondo-ing my Festival experience, with scooters and shooters in the giveaway pile

Rachel Rascoe, March 22, 2019

SXSW Music Review: From the Hills With Love
SXSW Music Review: From the Hills With Love
Israel Nash’s answer to Luck Reunion and Revival Experience

Doug Freeman, March 18, 2019

More by Thomas Fawcett
SXSW Music Keynote: Beastie Boys
SXSW Music Keynote: Beastie Boys
Ad-Rock and Mike D remain funny to us, too

March 16, 2019

SXSW Music Review: Kokoko!/Bixiga 70/Jojo Abot
SXSW Music Review: Kokoko!/Bixiga 70/Jojo Abot
Afro tsunami lays waste to Sixth Street world music hub

March 15, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

SXSW Music 2019, Pink Sweat$

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle