REC returns to SXSW at Amplify House

In 2019, we closed the doors of Amplify House, our annual celebration of all things Philly at SXSW in Austin, TX, unknowing that we wouldn’t return for what would be two long years. The Amplify House brings together the city’s doers, makers and creators for some of the dopest programming and nightlife. The 2-day house is the passion project of Amplify Philly, lovechild of Witty Gritty and REC, born out of a need for more Philly representation at the arts conference. For any artist at any level, being booked for SXSW is no small feat. Thousands of creators in music, film, tech and education come to Austin in mid-March to see and connect with the best budding talent. Previous Amplify House performers include Lil Dicky, Low Cut Connie, Pnb Rock and more.

For 5 years, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to select which artists hit the Amplify Stage and this year undoubtedly topped them all. We selected six REC Members as official SXSW artists for Amplify House: Regothereshego, Andrea Vallé, NxG, Christian Crosby, Val Fleury and Joshua Lang — in support of our headliners DJ Jazzy Jeff & Armani White. Across both nights, we watched incredible performances and DJ sets that packed out the house and bought the magic of Philly to Austin nightlife.

“I'm excited to see people who have no idea who I am see me perform music. You know what I mean? Like, everything I've done so far has been my hometown. But now I'm in a completely different and new environment. Nobody knows who I am at all,” says Christian Crosby, opener of the Amplify Stage. If you’re a Sixers fan, you know him as the in-arena host and hype man for the franchise since 2008. But now, he’s breaking out into a lane of his own as a music artist. Four years ago, Armani White opened the Amplify Stage. Now, the Def Jam recording artist has secured the headliner spot so for Christian, the possibilities are endless. Just as if he was in Wells Fargo though, he took total control of the stage and any thoughts about him being a newer artist were completely out the door.

On the opposite end though, is Philadelphia-bred rapper and performer NxG. Known and loved for his high energy performances, this was his second time taking a stage at SXSW. NxG has been making noise in Philly, collaborating with native producer collective Working on Dying. “We’ve definitely come a long way. Even just being here now performing at REC’s SXSW show. Going from stealing studio time from them to them literally flying me across the country,” said NxG, reflecting on his journey to becoming an official SXSW artist. Unlike NxG, Regothereshego is a first-timer. She has been dominating stages across Philly and New York City for a while, but SXSW opened her up to a completely different audience. “This is my first SXSW period. It's funny because I made this bougie vow last year. I was like, ‘I'm never going to go to any music festival from now on unless I have an Artist or VIP wristband,’ I stuck with that, and now this is my first SXSW festival and I'm an official artist,” Rego boasts in her studded cowboy hat and matching boots. A fitting look for a performance in Austin, but make no mistake — her Philly energy captivated the entire audience, reminding us all of why she is here and where she’s going.

Another shining star to hit the Amplify Stage was singer-songwriter Andrea Vallé. Featured in Fader, i-D, Paper & more, Andrea’s intoxicating love ballads and vulnerable stage presence was the perfect balance to an otherwise highly energetic show. Her presence was calm, cool and it was clear she has done this before. She serenaded the audience and they thanked her by passionately singing along and handing her shots from the bar.

The performances were truly the pinnacle of Amplify House but the hidden gems of it all were the DJs who took the stage for two unforgettable nights. One of which was Joshua Lang — music curator and multidisciplinary artist who has created an entire wave of his own with his life-style brand and label: BWC. He has shared stages with acts like Sango, Soulection’s Joe Kay and now the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff. “I’m the only one doing what I’m doing in my family, you know? They look at me and they’re so proud and it’s dope to make them proud. Like everything I was thinking about 4 years ago is literally happening right now. It’s crazy,” says Lang. Joining the Amplify Philly House Party line up was Val Fleury — the Liberian-born DJ and creative connoisseur that sits at the intersection of house and techno. Val is not new to festivals, having spun at some of the largest like Coachella and Roots Picnic. Her sound is unique and her performance power can move any audience. “I would love to encourage people to dive further into the history of electronic music as a whole, really giving space and credit and validation, not just for the legacy, but for the present and future of what black and brown and queer people have contributed to this whole culture,” says Val, speaking on the impact she hopes to have left on SXSW.

In a year filled with uncertainty and change, the Amplify House was the much-needed dose of Philly culture and creativity we all needed. The 2-day event brought together artists and performers from across the city, showcasing the best of what Philly has to offer and we were thrilled to bring our members for the ride. From first-timers like Rego to seasoned performers like NxG, the stage was filled with incredible talent that captivated the audience and reminded us all of the power of live music. We can’t wait to return next year and continue championing the dopest artists in our community.

To learn more about Amplify Philly, visit

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