Relive Coachella Part 1 With Tierra Whack, Clairo, & More
Milk fam Julian Dakdouk traveled to Coachella this past weekend to kick off festival season on the west coast. Check out his recap below, and an interview journal featuring some of the many musical acts who took the stage in the slideshow above.
With weekend one of my fourth Coachella now complete, and a couple of days to recover, I’m back with a recap of all the festivities that transpired in Coachella Valley.
To kick off the weekend, I had the chance to visit the Coachella festival grounds the evening before the official opening of this year’s Music and Arts Festival.
Californian software company HP decided to link up with Australian alternative-dance group RÜFÜS DU SOL for the world premiere of “Underwater,” directed by James Frost. The screening was followed by a panel discussion with the band on how technology is transforming and humanizing music.
HP mentioned in the presentation, “We believe music festivals are the perfect platform to celebrate the intersection of technology, creativity, and music. And in a world of increasingly powerful technology, HP continues to transform experiences that bring out the humanity in us all, and the opportunity to join forces with RÜFÜS DU SOL makes this creative collaboration all the more special.”
The following morning I had the chance to visit the Zenyara Estate in Coachella Valley where Adidas united the best in sports and culture with Adidas Sport Club, a modern day revival of Adi Dassler’s original Sport Hotel. Reviving the original Sport Hotel that brand founder Dassler debuted in the 1960s, this latest iteration elevates his original vision of bringing the best names in sports and culture under one roof.
Adidas Originals gathered athletes and talent alike to a BBQ & Basketball kick-off party hosted by Eddie Huang and Von Miller. Celebs attendees included Nick “Swaggy P” Young, A$AP Ferg, Candace Parker, Trae Young, and Liz Cambage. The event closed out with a surprise set by none other than Pusha-T.
After that I was on route to Coachella to embark on day one of the festival, where I had a chance to sit down and meet some of my favorite artists in music–SG Lewis, Fisher, DVSN, Anna Lunoe, 88 Glam & HS82, to name a few. With every interview, each artist hand wrote their answers in a journal; check out them all in the slideshow above.
After that, it was time to enjoy some live performances.
One of the notable sets I was able to catch on day one was Rosalia, a Spanish singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Known for her modern interpretations of flamenco music, Rosalía crossed language boundaries after receiving praise from international influencers and after several collaborations with artists such as J Balvin, Pharrell, and James Blake. Her background in dance blended with her unique vocals allow for one of the most entertaining sets of Coachella.
After her set I had a chance to hear Khruangbin, an American musical trio from Houston, Texas—known for blending global music influences, classic soul, duband, and psychedelia. Their music is mostly instrumental and yet has the ability to be genre-bending which draws in an eclectic crowd, perfect for those attending Coachella.
Friday night closed for me at the legendary poly-sexual dance party, A Framework Present: Rhonda INTL Queen of the Desert—inviting techno icon Nina Kravitz + DJ and renowned fashion designer Virgil Abloh to the stage. The event brought out the masses as the diverse crowd all began to takeover the HITS Desert Horse Park. I have to admit, I have never really been into techno music, but both DJs incorporated different genres within their sets, serving up something that everyone could appreciate.
The following morning began back at the press media tent for day two, where I had the luxury of meeting some more amazing musicians – such as Agoria, Turnover, Gryffin, Wallows, and the Soulection crew (Joe Kay & Andre Power). Getting to interact and spend time with each artist was an incredible takeaway from this past weekend because hearing these amazing one-off stories really does remind oneself to stay on your respective grind.
Saturday’s lineup consisted of some major acts including Smino—the 27-year-old American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer from St. Louis, Missouri. Smino initially gained local recognition in 2012 where he released a mixtape called Smeezy Dot Com, and a collaboration mixtape with Bari called Retail. His set could’ve easily been one of my favorites as his vocal cadence and delivery are unlike any artist in his genre. If you are attending weekend two, I would highly recommend checking him out.
Following Smino on the Gobi Stage was Maggie Rogers—an American musician, singer-songwriter, and producer from Easton, Maryland. She rose to fame after her song “Alaska” was played to Pharrell during a master class at NYU back in 2016. I loved her energy and you could feel from the get-go how excited she was to be on that stage.
To close out Saturday, I had a chance to listen to one of my all-time favorite artists growing up: none other than Kid Cudi. Without a doubt my favorite set of weekend one, as he had a perfect balance of new and old going through his entire musical catalogue, which dates back to my early high school days. He was also able to bring out late time friend and producer, King Chip—notable for his collaborations with Cudi on the majority of his discography.
Day three started with some more interviews—including Parcels, Easy Life, Clairo, Dermot Kennedy & Jauz.
My favorite part of meeting with such an eclectic variety of artists was seeing how their answers differed from one another. The majority of the artists I met with said this was their first time attending Coachella.
The final day of weekend one brought some more must watch sets including Blood Orange, H.E.R. & YG.
YG paid homage to the late Nipsey Hussle throughout his entire performance. Being an LA native myself, YG’s approach to his set truly hit home and was well received by the thousands in attendance. For those of you who represent the West Coast and stand proud to be a LA native, you will truly feel a part of his show. Regardless of what genre you listen to and/or what you may have experienced in your life, YG has an amazing ability to make you appreciate his music. He paints an amazing picture of his life and the trials and tribulations he has faced, and for that I admire him.
All in all, Coachella really provides an amazing balance between artists that are up next and individuals who are already established artists. With that balance, it’s hard to watch any set and not enjoy it. As someone who appreciates every musical genre, this weekend was truly a blessing to be a part of and I am extremely grateful to be able to share it with you all.
If you have the chance to go to weekend two—you will not be disappointed.
Images courtesy of Julian Dakdouk & Justin Brooks; collage graphics by Gabriella Plotkin
Stay tuned to Milk for more festival coverage.