Coachella is finally back! Here’s a list of all the Asian artists performing at one of the world’s biggest music festivals.
After two years of cancellations and delays because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is set to return this month. The festival will take place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, for two weekends: April 15-17 and April 22-24.
At least 10 Asian artists are expected to perform at the first Coachella since 2019. Here’s the full list:
Brooklyn-based singer Arooj Aftab will be the first Pakistani artist to perform at Coachella, after recently becoming the first Pakistani to win a Grammy for Best Global Music Performance at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. Inspired by the musicality of Rumi and Abida Parveen, her music style combines Sufi-mystical poetry with independent rock. Aftab also won the News and Documentary Emmy in 2018.
Beatrice Laus, known by her stage name Beabadoobee, is a 21-year-old Filipino British singer-songwriter. Born in the Philippines and raised in London, she built a Gen Z fan base through her bedroom pop songs and DIY aesthetic after her first single “Coffee” was released in 2017. In 2019, Beabadoobee was nominated for the BRITs Rising Star and BBC Sound of 2020 awards. At the 2020 NME Awards, she was presented with the Radar Award.
Conan Gray, a Japanese American singer-songwriter and social media personality, first rose to fame for his YouTube vlogs and covers before signing a record deal with Republic Records and releasing his critically acclaimed EP “Sunset Season” in 2018. His debut studio album “Kid Krow,” which was released in March 2020, reached No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, No. 1 on the Billboard Pop Album chart and No. 2 on the Billboard Top Album sales chart, making it the biggest pop debut of 2020. His platinum breakout hits “Maniac” and “Heather” also charted globally.
South Korean alternative hip-hop trio Epik High will be performing at Coachella for the second time. The internationally acclaimed group from Seoul is composed of Tablo, Mithra Jin and DJ Tukutz. They made history by becoming the first Korean act to be invited to Coachella in 2016. Epik High was under YG Entertainment from 2012-2018 before signing with William Morris Endeavor in 2019.
Idris Vicuña, better known as Eyedress, is a Filipino singer-songwriter, rapper and record producer. He was the former lead guitarist for the Manila-based indie pop band “Bee Eyes.” He worked on solo projects during his downtime before eventually becoming “Eyedress.” His first solo record “Hearing Colors” and his debut EP “Supernatural” were released in 2013. He then released a full-length album, “Shapeshifter,” two years later. In 2017, he signed with UK label Lex Records before releasing his third full-length record, “Manila Ice,” and in 2020 he released his album “Let’s Skip to the Wedding.”
The experimental pop band Japanese Breakfast is headed by Korean American indie singer, guitarist, director and author Michelle Zauner. The band first released their debut studio album, “Psychopomp,” in 2016, followed by “Soft Sounds from Another Planet” in 2017. In April 2021, Zauner’s memoir “Crying in H Mart” debuted at No. 2 on The New York Times nonfiction bestseller list. In June of the same year, her band released their critically acclaimed album “Jubilee.” Japanese Breakfast was nominated for two awards at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards this year, including Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album for the album “Jubilee.”
George Miller, also known as Joji, is a Japanese Australian singer-songwriter, producer and former internet personality. Miller was popularly known for his TVFilthyFrank channel, in which he produced comedy hip-hop music under his “Pink Guy” alias. He created the “Do the Harlem Shake (Original)” video, which led to the viral dance craze of 2013. The comedian retired from his YouTube channel in 2017 to focus on his music, which has been described as a mix of R&B, lo-fi and trip hop. Joji became the first Asian artist to earn the top spot on Billboard’s top R&B and hip-hop chart.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
Kiriko Takemura, known professionally as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, is a Japanese singer who started her career as a model for the Aomoji Kei magazines. She became one of the most popular fashion models of the Harajuku fashion culture and has been referred to as the “Harajuku Pop Princess.” Kyary is well known for her iconic 2011 single “Pon Pon Pon.” She also released her debut mini album “Moshi Moshi Harajuku” in 2011, which was produced by musician Yasutaka Nakata of the electronic music duo Capsule.
Nicole Zefanya, also known as Niki, is an Indonesian singer, songwriter and record producer who began as an internet R&B princess while in high school. The R&B and indie folk artist will make her Coachella debut on April 15 and April 22. She is currently signed with record label 88rising. Niki will be the first Indonesian artist to perform at Coachella, alongside rapper Rich Brian of the same record label.
The South Korean-born and Germany-based DJ and record producer Peggy Gou will be back for her second performance at Coachella. She became internationally renowned for her energetic DJ sets and specializes in deep house, electronic and dance genres. She has released a total of seven EPs and launched her own record label “Gudu Records” in 2019.
Raveena Aurora is a New York-based Indian American singer and songwriter. The R&B singer has released viral hits, including “Temptation,” “Sweet Time” and “I Won’t Mind.” Raveena grew up in a traditional Sikh household and graduated from New York University Tisch School of the Arts. She gained more popularity through her YouTube channel, independently debuting her EP “Shanti” in 2017. Her first album “Lucid” was then released in 2019 and distributed through Empire Distribution.
Brian Imanuel Soewarno, known by his stage name Rich Brian, is a Chinese Indonesian rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer. Rich Brian recently contributed several songs to the original soundtrack for Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” His four-song EP, titled “Brightside,” was released on Jan. 20.
Rina Sawayama is a London-based Japanese British singer-songwriter, model and actress. She released her first EP in 2017 and gained more recognition with her 2020 critically acclaimed debut studio album “Sawayama,” which includes singles like “STFU!”, “XS,” “Comme des Garçons (Like the Boys)” and “Bad Friend.” Her music deals with personal issues of identity and blends pop with R&B, nu-metal, club beats and early-2000s teen pop. The artist was awarded the Breakthrough Award by the Attitude Awards in 2020.
Sohmi is a Korean American DJ, producer and vocalist who started off with a self-uploaded mix on SoundCloud in 2018. Her music is known for her minimal house and techno blend with R&B and pop-inspired vocals. Sohmi has gained attention for her songs “Nothing Else Matters” and “Astralwerks,” along with her collaborations “Somebody Like You” with Lubelski and RYBO and “Sunday Sunset” with Josh Butler.
The Hu, a Mongolian heavy metal and folk rock band, is known for their blend of traditional Mongolian instrumentation, including the Morin Khuur (horsehead fiddle), Tovshuur (Mongolian guitar), Tumur Khuur (jaw harp) and throat singing, with contemporary sounds. Their band name translates to the root word for “human being” in Mongolian. The band has also written and recorded music for EA Games’ “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.”
Jennifer Lee, known professionally as Tokimonsta, is a Los Angeles DJ and record producer of Korean descent. In 2010, she was rated the Hottest Los Angeles DJ by LA Weekly, and she became the first woman to sign onto Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label. Tokimonsta also became the first woman and Asian American to receive a Grammy nomination for Best Electronic/Dance Album.