It’s the time of year when festivalgoers have passed the white-knuckle phase of purchasing a wristband for the annual California desert phenomenon known as Coachella, which takes place over two consecutive weekends on April 13–15 and April 20–22. Now it’s time to explore the extensive and talented lineup.
The fest’s organizers at Goldenvoice have a reputation for keeping things fresh — see the Tupac Shakur hologram on stage with Snoop Dogg in 2012. Indeed, while it was originally billed as an indie rock festival, this year’s Music and Arts Festival will go without a single rock headliner for the first time. In addition to the prime-time performers, Eminem, Beyoncé and the Weeknd, the two music-packed weekends include a diverse range of sounds and cultures — think Brazilian psychedelic pop or Colombian Cumbia — featuring a plethora of Latin artistas.
Here’s a roundup of who should be on your radar ahorita:
The psychedelic pop band’s sound combo of Brazilian Portuguese paired with long, wide and warping vowels suits the liquid feeling of psych-rock. The group formed while members were still attending high school in Goiânia, Brazil.
Buscabulla (Puerto Rico)
Buscabulla (Spanish slang for “troublemaker”) is the music project of Puerto Rican textile designer and Brooklyn resident Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo Del Valle. Rolling Stone describes their vibrations as, “the score to a Puerto Rican retelling of Boogie Nights.” The duo recently founded the Puerto Rico Independent Musicians and Artists (PRIMA) along with singer-songwriter Ani Cordero — who partnered up with nonprofit organization Pregones to provide financial relief to Boricua musicians and artists by issuing $500 emergency micro-grants to those affected after Hurricane Maria.
Cardi B (Dominican-American)
Belcalis Almanzar, more commonly known as Cardi B, has been hitting the ground running since “Bodak Yellow” swept the nation in 2017. The Dominican-American rapper and singer makes her highly anticipated debut at the festival.
Omar Banos, the self-produced Chicano teenager from South L.A., known as Cuco, began playing music at the tender age of 8. The singer credits his eclectic sound to the Latinos of Hawthorne, California: “It was very diverse so seeing all these cultures and listening to all these different types of music that existed amongst all of us, the different time periods, and the different influences — it all just kind of came together into what my sound is.”
Los Angeles native Deorro is the Mexican-American DJ and producer that will be turning up the desert heat. His recent remixes imbibe some Latin flavors including Spanish lyrics and a Merengue-inspired breakdown.
Helado Negro (Ecuadorian-American)
Robert Lange, known as Helado Negro, is the son of Ecuadorian immigrants and grew up in southern Florida during the 1980s. His most notable track, “Young, Latin and Proud,” serves as a reinforcing generational anthem.
The notorious French-Cuban hermanas first caught our attention in Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade in 2016 — but that was only the beginning. Gemelas Lisa-Kaindé Díaz and Naomi Díaz of Ibeyi, will be performing their mesmerizing blend of hip-hop, Afro-Cuban instrumentals, and traditional Yoruba sounds under the desert sky.
Kali Uchis (Colombian-American)
Colombian-American artista Karly-Marina Loaiza, better known as Kali Uchis, is more than a triple threat. The creative 24-year-old pop singer, songwriter and producer not only designs her own artwork but also co-directs her music videos. In a recent interview with Fader, Kali is described as, “not just rebellious — she’s empowered.”
Los Ángeles Azules (Mexican)
Los Ángeles Azules captured our cumbia corazones since the initial formation of the band in the 1980s and has since then expanded with hermanos Lupe, Cristina, Alfredo, Elías, Pepe, and Jorge. Although the band is considered to be pioneers of the cumbia sonidera genre in Mexico, the group has recently released a special-edition album titled Cómo Te Voy a Olvidar featuring duets with Kinky, Carla Morrison, Lila Downs, Vicentico, Ximena Sariñana and Los Amigos Invisibles.
Miguel (Afro Mexican-American)
Los Angeles native singer, songwriter, and producer Miguel Pimentel was raised around musica y familia. He recently visited his father’s homeland of Michoacán, Mexico, to film Viceland’s Earthworks series. During his introduction he says, “Most people think of me as solely a black artist, but there’s a reason why my name is Miguel.” His hypnotizing harmony and soulful lyrics will surely have you swaying and singing along.
Princess Nokia (Afro-Puerto Rican-American)
Destiny Nicole Frasqueri embraces her stage name origin of Princess Nokia after the brand of inexpensive mobiles she was eligible for as a low-income earner. The American rapper of Afro-Puerto Rican descent identifies as “a bruja, a tomboy, a classic New York Boricua shorty, a feminist, a queer woman who isn’t burdened but empowered by her complexity.” Her performances consist of jumping up and down and calling all the women to the front of the stage and celebrating empowerment.
Señor Kino (Mexican)
Señor Kino members Karl Neudert, Ramsés Calderón, Sofia León, Carolina Enriquez, and Erubiel Cuen will be jamming in the desert straight from Hermosillo, México. The band’s surf punk sounds will have you miraging your location of being in the desert to near la playa.