Presented by Penny Loafer PR

Chief Cleopatra

Mar 14, 2023

10:00pm – 10:40pm CT


We all start out one thing. For Jalesa Jessie, known to Austinites these days as Chief Cleopatra, she began as a Corsicana kid dabbling in piano, marching in her school’s drum line, listening to a lot of rock bands. Things happen, grab your attention, alter your perceptions.

Growing up in a small Texas town, Chief Cleopatra never quite fit the mold.

It is this outsider status that has carried her all the way to the precipice of something big, with the March 2022 release of her second EP Luna, via Park The Van Records.
Cleo is currently unsigned.

Garnering praise and prompting comparisons to Santigold. Chief Cleopatra was an official showcasing artist at SXSW in 2020, ‘21 and ‘22, was nominated by the Austin Music Awards for “Best New Artist” in 2021, and was Austin’s KUTX’s Artist of the Month in February 2022. She was accepted into the Recording Academy in 2022 and was previously in consideration for The 65th Annual Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Song for Social Change.

Cleo has opened for The Wailers, Girl Talk, Bas, The Bright Light Social Hour, Jackie Venson, Seratones and Lukas Nelson.

Her debut full-length album is slated for release in 2023.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

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Austin, TX