North Texas Daily

SXSW 2023: Tribe Mafia returns for second SXSW run

SXSW 2023: Tribe Mafia returns for second SXSW run

SXSW 2023: Tribe Mafia returns for second SXSW run
March 23
16:00 2023

AUSTIN, Texas — With encouragement from on-stage performers, the crowd at Sheraton BackYARD gets to their feet to dance along with Austin-based hip-hop duo Tribe Mafia. 

Tribe Mafia performs at Sheraton BackYARD on March 15, 2023. Maria Crane

Members Chinasa Broxton, who attended the university for part of his undergraduate career, and Austin native Carlos Dashawn Daniels Moore performed a 15-minute set during their second consecutive year at South by Southwest.

Broxton and Moore first met on a basketball court in 2011. While getting to know each other, they soon discovered their shared interests in music. Throughout high school, the duo would make music with pens and pencils and freestyle with other students. 

“For us just being like inseparable, we just know what we want to do,” Broxton said. “And we know that we love making music, [there] wouldn’t be anything else that we want to do.” 

As their interests grew, the pair would also perform at pep rallies, talent shows and school theatre events. 

“I was always trying to be in front of the light in any way,” Broxton said.

People crowd around the Sheraton BackYARD on March 15, 2023 to listen to Tribe Mafia. Rose Wright

Tribe Mafia was originally formed as a band of 10 members. Over the years, it turned into just Broxton and Moore. While the group is now a fifth of its original size, Moore said the quality and the sound have stayed the same. 

As a duo, Broxton and Moore learned how to further hone their sound by teaching themselves how to mix and match their own music. Broxton said they now make their music work how they want it to, without having someone else do it wrong. With their own setup, the pair can now create whatever they want. 

“We just like to make sure that we can do you know, whatever that we put our minds to,” Broxton said. “We want to just do it and do it good.”

Beyond their sound, Broxton said Tribe Mafia has been able to expand in performance aspects as well for SXSW. At last year’s festival, they were accompanied by a full five-piece band. This year, they not only had a five-piece band, but also a DJ. 

Both Broxton and Moore said that with such performance advantages, they have better learned how to “feel the vibe of the crowd” and “interact with the people.” 

Tribe Mafia considers their sound to be beyond a set genre by creating music that doesn’t confine them to a box. With tracks that range from R&B to rock and lofi to indie, the duo pull from a wide range of musical inspirations. 

Tribe Mafia performs at Sheraton BackYARD on March 15, 2023. Rose Wright

Some of their most personal inspirations come from their culture. Broxton, who is Nigerian and Cuban, is a big fan of the group’s dancehall and reggaeton tracks. Moore, who is Native American and Black, has implemented other production aspects across numerous songs sourced from his own cultural background.

“Most of time you just hear different types of aspects of different sounds in a track, especially with our voices or just certain instruments in there,” Moore said. “You‘re like, ‘Okay, yeah, yeah, they take from this.’”

Outside of Austin venues, the duo has also landed various tours overseas, in areas like Brazil and Hawaii. Broxton said getting to experience different cultures and foreign areas has helped expose them to newer, broader audiences. 

“When you’re not in your own hometown, you have a lot of people that are more receptive to the art,” Broxton said. 

Aside from performance opportunities, the group’s varied sound has also allowed them to create several tracks for multiple television and film productions. Recent songs include “Reach for the Stars” for the CW series “All American” and “Supposed to Do” for CBS’ series “Bob Hearts Abishola.”  

Broxton and Moore are currently working on music for three feature films, “My Partner” directed by Kel’li Grace, “Kendrick,” directed by Marvin T. Finch, and John Michael Nolan’s “Heartbreak Falls.” 

Broxton and Moore resonate with the idea of “supporting your goals to support your vision,” as they both have regular day jobs to support their dreams. The Tribe Mafia pair believe not getting discouraged by the little things and celebrating their successes is what has helped them continue their musical passions over the years. 

“Believe in yourself so much that somebody else will [when] they see the work ethic,” Moore said.

Featured Image Tribe Mafia members Chinasa Broxton and Carlos Moore pose at the Austin Convention Center on March 14, 2023. Maria Crane

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Maria Crane

Maria Crane

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