Ah, yes. It’s here. After months of waiting and intense lineup speculation, festival goers flock to Indio, California this weekend for Coachella’s hotly anticipated 18th installment.
While big name headliners Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga and Radiohead need no introduction, there are numerous acts in the smaller print who are worthy of significant recognition. Ones To Watch has curated a list of five artists to watch this weekend as you’re frolicking between the Outdoor stage and the DoLaB. Check them out below!
Twenty-year old Sam Gellaitry didn’t adhere to society’s expectations of a teenager when he dropped out of school at sixteen to pursue music full time, and he still isn’t sticking to the status quo today. The Scottish producer’s glitchy, electronic sounds push boundaries of genre on each of his Escapism EPs, all three of which reside on XL Recordings. The young visionary melts dancehall vocals with trap influences to spin a sound that’s uniquely his own. This isn’t Gellaitry’s first time playing Coachella; “DJSammyGee” played weekend two of the DoLab last year, advancing to Friday’s main lineup this year.
Grace Mitchell brings major Fiona Apple-meets-BANKS vibes to the Coachella Valley this year. The Portland native, now based in L.A., is a multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter whose cover of Hall N’ Oats’ “Maneater” broke her onto the scene when it was placed in The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. In 2015, The young star made waves with her Raceday EP, produced by Mark Foster (of Foster The People) and Rich Costey (Muse, Flying Lotus, Of Monsters And Men). Since the EP’s success, Mitchell has been featured on the Phantogram track “Something To Talk About” and has released a handful of her own singles, including the brand new hit “NOW.” She’s set to grace the Coachella stages on Sunday’s lineup this year.
For London-born duo HONNE, romance and sultry electronica go hand in hand. James Hatcher (production) and Andrew Clutterbuck (vocals/production) have enjoyed the spotlight since their debut single “Warm On A Cold Night” drew listeners in with its silky R&B sound. Just last week, “Caroline” rapper Aminé hopped on a rap rendition of “Warm On A Cold Night,” showing its prominence even two years later. The title of the single became the name of HONNE’s debut LP, where the ninth track of which garnered a high profile fan in Milla Jovovich. The first track, “Someone That Loves You,” featuring Izzy Bizu became HONNE’s breakout hit, and it’s amassed over 23 million Spotify streams to date. HONNE is set to play Coachella on Sunday’s lineup.
Self described as “country-soul,” Whitney lands at Coachella after an explosive 2016 with performances at Governors Ball, Bonnaroo and Pitchfork Music Festival. The group is a motley crew of seven musicians, spearheaded by Max Kakacek (guitar) and Julien Erlich (vocals/drums, formerly of Unknown Mortal Orchestra). After revamping their sound (the duo was previously known as Smith Westerners), they called on Malcolm Brown, Tracy Chouteau, Charles Glanders, Josiah Marshall and Will Miller to complete the Whitney moniker. Their debut album Light Upon The Lake attracted none other than Sir Elton John, who interviewed Julien last year. Sunday’s Coachella lineup shapes up to be a big day for up and coming talent, as Whitney will also be playing the festival on its final day.
Miami-area rapper Denzel Curry has been prepping his whole life for the success he now enjoys, which includes a spot on the 2016 XXL Freshman List among Lil Uzi Vert, Anderson .Paak, 21 Savage and more. Starting his rap career at age 16, Curry began writing the songs that would later end up on his debut Nostalgic 64 LP in high school. The release featured the likes of underground favorites Lil Ugly Mane and Odd Future’s Mike G, leading to a double-EP titled Zel/Planet Shrooms. Fast forward to 2016 and Curry fans watch as his hard work pays off; his sophomore LP features Rick Ross and Joey Bada$$. Curry is featured on Friday’s lineup at Coachella this weekend.