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The Layover: Three Singer's Journeys to SXSW and Beyond

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Austin is known for one thing, and that's being weird. The weirdness tends to magnify two weeks out of the year, and that is during South by Southwest. SXSW is a 2-week long conference and festival that celebrates the convergence of interactive, film, and music industries. There is no other event that brings tech-driven junkies and creatives together to create a one-of-a-kind experience. It truly is the premier destination for discovery.
SXSW has a way of allowing emerging artists to showcase their talent in a vibrant environment that they might not have the opportunity to otherwise. Did you know some of the biggest acts were discovered at SXSW, including rock and roll superstars The White Stripes? Before SXSW, the White Stripes had 3 albums behind them but were still rocking out in relative obscurity. It was at SXSW that the group performed an amazing set, which created a lot of buzz and allowed them to be picked up by a major label.
VESICA teamed up with a group of young women for their journey to SXSW and beyond. Get all the details on who they are and how these seasoned travelers prepare for their travels going back and forth to their hometowns, meeting with producers and performing at concerts all across the country. We were able to catch up with these three talented artists as they head to Austin to continue their music careers. Read the full interviews below.

NEILA

Tell us about yourself and your music career!
My name is Neilà! I was born and raised in Parkland Florida, (Broward County) which is located in South Florida about 40 minutes away from Miami Florida. My Mom is from Barbados and my Dad is from Jamaica. Fun fact is that Neilà is Alien spelled backwards, and that really influences everything I am visually as an artist. I consider myself an Alien. I discovered I was in love with music from a super super young age. I was about 4 maybe even 3 when my parents remember me singing and telling them I wanted to be a singer.
How much do you travel for your career as a singer?
I travel more through music then I have ever traveled before. Maybe 3 times a month I’m traveling for something music related, whether it’s for shows or important meetings. Music is going to take me around the world. 
Where do you travel for it?
The place I go most is LA, I currently live in ATL which is another big music capital and New York is a trip I make often as well.
The best place you've ever been (that music has brought you)?
The best place I’ve ever been that music has brought me so far is back home to Miami. It’s crazy to say, but performing my music at home is one of the most accomplishing feelings.
Favorite place you've ever traveled? Why?
Barbados, where my mom is from, is one of my favorite places in the world. 
What are the 5 must-have items packed in your bag for when you travel?
5 things that I absolutely have to have when I travel are, my phone charger, make up wipes for late nights, Glossier lip gloss, edge control gel to tame me baby hair and last but not least, double sided tape or pasties! I wear a lot of sheer clothing or deep V shirts so I cannot travel without tape and pasties!
Any travel tips and tricks? 
A travel tip I have for packing is make a list. Packing can become overwhelming, so making a list keeps you sane and insures you don’t forget anything you need! 
What do you do in-flight to occupy your time?
I usually take super earlier flights, so I tend to fall asleep! But when I am not sleepy, before I go on the plane I download a few episodes of a show from Netflix and watched those on the flight! Times usually just zooms bye. 
We hear you're performing at SXSW this year! What are you looking forward to most?
I am looking forward most to my show! I am an official artist of the festival for the second year in a row, and I can’t wait to kill on stage! There’s a badass female line up for the stage I am on, which is the icing on the cake.

CHELSEA

Tell us about yourself and your music career!
My name is Chelsea Stone. I’m an artist and honestly love to create in every sense of the word. I’m working on a 2019 project release. I’ve never been more excited about the music I’m creating. I can’t wait to share with the world.
How much do you travel for your career as a singer?
At the moment my travel for work is minimal unless I’m visiting my family in Florida or headed out to work in the west coast. Fortunately, my producer and recording studio are right where I reside. With us still being in the creating phase I’m pretty local...for now ;) 
Where do you travel for it?
When I am traveling for work I’m usually headed to the west coast. 
The best place you've ever been (that music has brought you)?
I’ll never forget my first LA experience. Growing up in the Midwest...I had this Idea of what Los Angeles would be like. Looking back, I know I’ll never forget that first trip and how big the city felt as a young girl chasing my dream of becoming a professional singer. 
Favorite place you've ever traveled to? Why?  
I’m not sure that I have a favorite just yet. I’ll get back to you in that. I’ve got quite the bucket list. ;)
What are the 5 must-have items you always have packed in your bag for when you travel?
Headphones (I’m always listening to music ESPECIALLY on travel days)
A snack! Gotta have a snack. Nothing like being hangry on the go. 
Reading material (whatever inspirational book I’m reading at the time lol) 
A hoodie (I’m ALWAYS cold on flights) 
My journal 
Any travel tips and tricks?
Lately I’ve been weighing my luggage before I get to the airport I seem to have a problem with overpacking...oops 
What do you do in-flight to occupy your time?
Listen to music, journal, read.

Vesica Smart Luggage

ILANA

Tell us about yourself and your music career!
I am a singer, songwriter, performer. I was born in Massachusetts and raised in Florida and I am currently living in LA. I grew up listening to R&B, Hip-Hop and Pop music which I think comes through in my own music. I got into musical theatre and dance early in life and later got my degree in music business from FAU and started my own entertainment company. I am currently releasing music independently. I love long walks on the beach and short lines at the buffet.  
How much do you travel for your career as a singer?
I get to travel pretty often for different music opportunities but also just for fun!
Where do you travel for it?
I go back and forth between Florida and LA a lot and I take a lot of road trips!  
The best place you’ve ever been (that music has brought you)?
LA is the best place I have ever been when it comes to being able to create as an artist but I got to record some music in Muscle Shoals, Alabama in the studio that Aretha Franklin Recorded in so that was pretty cool! 
Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to? Why?  
That is so tough! I love parts of everywhere I have been. I think Toledo, Spain sticks out to me because of how beautiful the landscape was. Breathtaking. 
What are the 5 must-have items you always have packed in your bag for when you travel?
Coconut oil, all of my underwear, laptop, phone charger, gold hoop earrings 
Any travel tips and tricks?
I hate having a lot of checked baggage so I ROLL all of my clothes and stuff my shoes to fit more into my checked bag 
What do you do in-flight to occupy your time?
Lately I have been bringing the Nintendo Switch on the plane and I play Super S

 Vesica Smart Luggage

 Make sure to check out these talented women as they grace the stage and hangout at SXSW and beyond!
Chelsea: @chelsea_stone
Ilana: @ilanaarmida

 

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