Coachella 2019: 10 Female Artists We Dig Right Now
by Natasha Samtani & Jenn Shelton
Sounds from all over the world will fill the Indio, CA air for the next two weekends at Coachella 2019. Whether you are prepping your last minute outfits before galavanting in the desert, or the FOMO is really setting in, we highly recommend you take a moment to check out some of the incredible female talent on this year's line-up. If festival attendance is not in your future, at least your Spotify queue will thank you.
1. 070 SHAKE
Repping North Bergen, New Jersey, an area code that accounts for half her pseudonym, the latter, her signature basketball move, 070 Shake has been hailed as the female The Weeknd, though she prefers to steer away from gender and sexuality labels. Not to mention, she’s making a name all on her own. At just 21-years-old the singer/songwriter/rapper, born Danielle Balbuena, lists feature credits like Pusha T, Kid Cudi, and Kayne West and more. When her manager YesJulz played some of Shake's music at a Yeezy fitting two years ago, her voice impressed hip-hop’s biggest names, leading her to sign with West’s GOOD Music label. This came just one year after she rapped for the first time, reciting the poems she had written to distract herself in class, to a quick YouTube search: “Drake-like beats”.
With melancholic dopeness and signature moody androgyny, her music explores self-esteem issues, coming of age, and sexuality, “transforming the hate” in these shared human experiences into something truly beautiful.
Check out her solo debut, a 6 track EP Glitter, with an upcoming debut album on the way!
With worldwide, and seemingly otherworldly influences, Blond:ish wants to move your soul to unfamiliar territory , through electronic transcendence via their clairvoyant house music. Originally a DJ duo, Vive-ann Bakos now drops Blond:ish ‘s beats as a solo act, carrying on the legacy attained with co-producer Anstascia D'Elene Corniere, who recently left the group to follow other pursuits (amicably and supportive of one another nonetheless!). Having played Burning Man, Flying Circus, Mysteryland and Ultra, and touting Ibiza and Mykonos residencies, Blond:ish will now take Coachella-goers on an explorative, sensory journey through the desert, jungle, space, and then some. What’s more, Blond:ish champions “sustainable raving” aka eliminating single-use plastic consumption in clubbing, through the Bye Bye Plastic initiative, inspired by their hugely successful beach clean-up in Ibiza, which brought together locals, activists, concertgoers and environmentalists alike to clean the beach post-show, and reduce nightlife’s carbon footprint.
3. Calypso Rose
At 78 years-old, this self-proclaimed “party animal” shows no signs of slowing down. Calypso Rose is a feminist pioneer and Caribbean cultural icon who boasts a colorful, empowering career spanning over four decades, with a diverse catalog of tunes taking on topics such as gender equality, domestic violence, and living in a male-dominated society. Rose’s stage name captures the music of her native Trinidad and Tobago Calypso music: folkloric carnival duple music from Antilles (think the catchy Caribbean hook in Lil Wayne’s 6 ft 7 foot. Yup, that’s a Calypso sample). Something even more BADASS - after becoming the first female to win her island’s “Calypso King" contest with her first recorded song "Cooperation" in the 1960’s, the competition was ultimately renamed in her honor with the gender-neutral title “Calypso Monarch.” Singing “No man alive or dead could take the crown off mi head,” in her signature sassy style, Calypso Rose IS your big 2019 #MOOD. We promise.
4. Emily King
New York native, singer/songwriter Emily King is bringing her dope, soulful R&B sounds to the Coachella stage this year. A Grammy nominee, with credits on Nas' 2004, album, she’s toured with John Legend, opened for Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, and Maroon 5. In 2012, The Songwriters Hall of Fame awarded her with the Holly Prize, a tribute to Buddy Holly’s legacy and recognizing his qualities music in her work: true, great and original. She’s just her released her third studio album, synthy and soulful Scenery, and now is winding her way across the country on a headline tour, next stop: Coachella Valley!
5. Hurray for Riff Raff
What do you get when you plant a politically-conscious, Bronx-raised, Puerto Rican, feisty female, singer/songwriter in New Orleans? You get Hurray for the Riff Raff, an Americana folk band founded in NOLA by frontwoman (the aforementioned) Alynda Segarra. Inspired by the street poetry and hip-hop she was raised on, and her proximity to the September11th attacks and Hurricane Katrina aftermath, Hurray for the Riff Raff is on a mission to bridge “the personal and the political” through the banjo, accordion, bongos, fiddle, and Segarra’s subtle yet expressive American-South inspires vocals. Most recently with their 2017 album “The Navigator,” which explored Segarra’s heritage as it intersects with current issues of immigration, income inequality, gender and sexual identity. Modern folk records to get you in tune with social issues and you know, get in a little trouble...
The hot buzzword that seems to define Jain and her body of work is “multicultural” - a description that is ultimately a product of her diverse upbringing, as she was born in France and raised between the UAE and the Congo. Having amassed a global audience, Jain’s music is an embodiment of her experiences and appreciation for the art and cultures that raised her. Upon first listen, you’ll feel the need to move and groove to her upbeat, experimental style that is very much exciting and alive. Of her music, Jain says, “I just wanna write about what I am living as a citizen..that’s all.” A performance definitely not to be missed, you can catch Jain both Saturdays of Coachella.
7. Let's Eat Grandma
We promise you there is no cannibalism here…Jenny Hollingworth & Rosa Walton aka Let’s Eat Grandma are quite frankly the coolest British teens ever. The childhood friends have been creating together for the past few years and have discovered a unique sound for themselves, utilizing new and inventive ways to create an audial experience that is enticing, catchy and clever. With sold out shows around the world, critical acclaim and star-studded production features, Let’s Eat Grandma is as incredible as it’s name is absurd. Catch them on the stage both Friday’s of Coachella. You won’t regret it.
8. Little Simz
According to Kendrick Lamar, Little Simz is “one of the illest right now”. He is so not wrong. Simbi Ajikawo, a.k.a Little Simz, is the ultimate independent woman, who turned rejection faced in the music industry into opportunity. Having started her own record label, releasing her own music and planning her own publicity, Little Simz has created a unique and inspiring space for herself. Not only has she proved her big league status by touring with the likes of the Gorillaz, Lauryn Hill and Anderson Paak, this 24 year old British rapper is on an epic rise. Her personal, introspective and determined outlook shines through her lyrics and her unapologetic demeanor have earned her much critical acclaim, especially as a live performer. A must see, she’ll be on stage both Saturdays.
9. Rico Nasty
She marches to the beat of her own drum and doesn’t care what you think. Rico Nasty writes and raps to break the rules. This 21-year-old Maryland native, is having an incredible year so far, as her colorful, in-your-face music and persona are being greeted with much enthusiasm from fans both new and old. With quirky song titles, her angsty, punky, fun tracks are cause for a good time and will make you feel like tearing down any and all confines and barriers that stand in your way. No time for haters or blockers in the desert. Catch Rico Nasty on the stage both Sundays of Coachella.
10. Soccer Mommy
No orange slices and Gatorades here. Sophie Allison a.k.a. Soccer Mommy is rebellious and clever in her unconventional indie-rock jams. She discovered her passion for her craft as a child, but kept her DIY musical endeavors to herself, uploading them to Bandcamp, Tumblr and Soundcloud just for fun. Now, amassing millions of streams on Spotify alone, Soccer Mommy is heating up and is one to seriously watch. Slow it down and vibe out with Sophie and her band both Sundays of the festival.