SXSW: Oscar Key Sung is the Australian Drake you didn’t know you needed

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Oscar Key Sung #SXSW

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I find for an almost guaranteed good time at SXSW Music, it’s hard to go wrong with the Australians. Any act that’s come from the other side of the globe just to play a few unpaid gigs is probably going to be at least worth your attention for half an hour. Take Melbourne-based producer and singer Oscar Key Sung, a performer worth keeping an eye on this week at SXSW Music — and well beyond.

Live, Key Sung’s abilities as a producer, singer and dancer are apparent. Outside at the Swan Dive Tuesday night, his knees hypnotically swung back and forth with inhuman elasticity and speed as he slid between tables of electronic gear. 

He moves like a modern-day MC Hammer, sings like James Blake, and produces smooth and glitchy beats like Jai Paul. It comes together in a form of alien R&B that feels both sensitive and suave: Oscar Key Sung could very well be the Australian Drake you didn’t even know you were looking for. (Seeing Key Sung in motion, he may be just one silly dancing GIF meme away from Drake-like internet image stardom.)

Key Sung’s slower songs bring to mind slightly down-tempo dance beats of Burial or SOHN, his soft, echo-laden vocals recall How To Dress Well, and more lively, trance-like tracks like “All I Could Do” could make him a new favorite for fans of Jack Garratt.

Oscar Key Sung plays again tonight at 10 p.m. at CU29 and Friday at 3:15 p.m. at the Aussie BBQ at Brush Square Park.

Oscar Key Sung. Niche/Contributed

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