“idwda” sees southstate., the brainchaild of Sam Ma, join forces with Broadside’s Oliver Baxxter for a dexterous and hook-laden combination of pop, indie and emo.
Texas alternative pop act southstate is out to correct the misconception that the Southern states are without culture and diversity. Led by the multiracial, multicultural Sam Ma, southstate was initially conceived to make music for those who felt out of place and didn’t fit perfectly into any of the boxes they are supposed to occupy.
Musically, southstate takes a dexterous approach to its art; nods to bedroom pop acts the likes of blackbear and Jeremy Zucker; emo titans such as Fall Out Boy and Grayscale as well as Asian acts Keshi and Joji.
Having garnered support from regional touring, southstate has also picked up national tastemaker support, with Spotify’s The Scene and New Punk Tracks playlists, as well as Loudwire and Punknews showing early support.
New single “idwda” sees Ma partner with Broadside frontman Oliver Baxxter, to deliver another slice of emo glazed pop.
Keshi is my current spirit animal – he effortlessly blends R&B with that bedroom pop vibe, and he’s emo af. Also, he’s an AAPI artist SLAYING the game, so that’s inspirational.
Broadside – Coffee Talk
Broadside is one of the bands that got me through college with their down-to-earth lyrics and melody-oriented style. I remember hearing Coffee Shop for the first time and thinking, “Damn, I wanna make music like that.”
This year, I was able to get Ollie (Baxxter) on my track, which is huge to me that I get to work with one of my inspirations.
Issues – Mad at Myself
Issues is a band that does absolutely GROUNDBREAKING things with their sound. It feels like every record they’re pulling from a different bag of influences, and that’s something I try to emulate. Also, people always say I sing a bit like Tyler Carter (vocals), and his soulful vocals helped shape my singing style.
blackbear – Wanderlust
I got real heavy into blackbear in college – I adore his genre-bending style and the thick jazz chords on his tracks. He’s a phenomenal songwriter, and that has helped give me the drive to keep going, even without a band to write with me.
Ariana Grande – Test Drive
I love Ari G! Her vocal layering style was the vibe I tried to capture with the vocal layering and harmonies in Idwda. Also, with her no-apologies attitude and confidence, she’s a certified 10/10.