North Texas Daily

SXSW 2022: Q&A: Tribe Mafia takes the stage for 3 Austin shows

SXSW 2022: Q&A: Tribe Mafia takes the stage for 3 Austin shows

SXSW 2022: Q&A: Tribe Mafia takes the stage for 3 Austin shows
March 19
14:54 2022

AUSTIN, Texas — A pair of young men crossed paths on their neighborhood’s basketball court in 2011. At the time, they had dreams of becoming musicians, which came to life when they started their music group a few years later: Tribe Mafia.

Shortly after they met they discovered their shared interests in music and inspirational messages, which led them to join forces.

“One day, I just asked him on Facebook, ‘Will you support me if I do music?’” Tribe Mafia musician Carlos “Dashawn Daniels” Moore said. “He was like, ‘I’m trying to do music too.’ […] I was like, ‘Let’s make something happen then.’”

Now, fast forward to 2022, the pair can be found in Downtown Austin for SXSW. But, the team was not always just the two — it started as a group of nine guys and narrowed over the years.

The duo is made up of northern Austin residents Chinasa Broxton, who attended UNT for part of his undergraduate career, and Moore. 

After gaining traction as a group of two, they started performing around Austin, eventually getting invited to tour in South America by Akon after they were noticed from viral YouTube single “Like Cola.”

“That was mainly like our starting point of us going crazy with the music and finally getting paid for it,” Broxton said.

As the pair is in Austin for their three SXSW performances, they sat down with the North Texas Daily to share about their journey as musicians, on and off the stage.

Where’d you get the name from?

CB: He’s Native American. I’m Nigerian. Tribe means “family,” and also our Native American and Nigerian roots, background. Mafia means like “business,” so family and business. […] We wanted a hard name that was strong, but still family-oriented. 

Who inspires your music?

CM: Too many artists from different genres and different timelines. You go from old Michael Jackson to the newest ones today. […] It’s just like whoever inspires us now. […] Country is the only [style] we haven’t done. 

CB: We touch on everything we can get our hands on. Because we travel a lot of places, we’re like, “Oh, this sounds nice. Let’s try it.” Then we do it. […] We don’t like being in a box. We like creating as much as we want to.

How would you describe your music?

CB: It’s a big ole pot, right? That’s Austin for you. Our sound, everything, it could be pop. It could be hip hop. It could be rap. R&B, anything.

What are each of your roles?

CB: We’re all DIY — do it yourself — so we wear many hats. I’m my manager. He’s his manager. [Zulia Barrios] is our manager.

CM: And we put it together, like as a team.

CB: […] We have to do everything until we’re signed. We’re still unsigned. We’ve had many offers, but we always say, “Nah, we’re staying independent,” because we have to know everything before we can just sign.

CM: Especially with networking. We all network in different ways. He’ll be inside, I’ll be outside — you know what I mean?

What brings you to SXSW?

CM: We’ve always been to SXSW since we were in eighth grade. 

CB: But now, we’re official artists, so we’re actually here to represent the city. I’m excited about that. That’s what’s bringing us this year.

What’s next for you?

CB: Next, we’re planning on doing a show with FC Austin. That’s the big soccer stadium over here, so we’re planning on that. We also just released our NPR video with Tiny Desk. It’s on YouTube. […] We got an album we’re going to be dropping. It’s all dance, all reggae. Latin.

The Tribe Mafia members can be found at their last showcase of SXSW tonight at 10:30 p.m. Their performance is at Firehouse Lounge, located at 605 Brazos St. in Austin. 

Featured Image: Tribe Mafia poses on the SXSW red carpet on March 17, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

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Maria Lawson

Maria Lawson

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