If you had told me a year ago that in 2010 I would be invited to play at the SXSW Music Festival, I would have laughed and said, “Yeah right, in my dreams!” What a difference a tweet makes.

In March 2010, guitarist Ryan Miyashiro and I were on a plane headed for Austin, Texas for the multimedia confab. It wasn’t my first time playing on the mainland, but it was my first time playing in Austin, a musical hub where sounds from bands poured into the streets at every corner. Gone was the comfort of home, where I have been blessed with a community that has embraced my music, where Chinatown venues have fostered creativity as unique as their locations. But I welcomed the challenge. It was an opportunity to be heard live, beyond the ocean that surrounds my home. To represent Hawai‘i. To represent independent musicians. To connect with music enthusiasts.

Sabrina documents the rest of her journey at SXSW 2010 music festival in ISSUE III, launching July 12.