Music Preview: Coachella Fest 2016

Get Ready For Coachella!
A Music Preview by Alec Henderson

It’s March, which means it’s appropriate to start preparing yourself for the upcoming Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It’s time to start thinking about your outfits for the three day event as well as your food and drink money, fest survival gear, and if you are staying on site, camping equipment. For music fans, it is also very important to brush up on the artists you plan to watch. Discovering new talent amongst “Coachella’s” extensive lineup can be a rewarding experience. In addition to enjoying live performances in one of the country’s most sought after venues, familiarizing yourself with the music prior to the event will allow you to immerse yourself in an ultimate experience that celebrates the senses. In anticipation of the event we’ve got a list of notable musical acts for you to consider that are sure to be festival standouts:

Anderson Paak

Rising star Anderson Paak made a ton of noise last year when featured on Dr.Dre’s “Compton” album. Paak finds his unique sound somewhere in-between his soulful 1950’s singing style and his ability to touch on modern hip hop. Paak, recently, signed to Aftermath Records and has released his debut album “Malibu” to critical acclaim. Paak’s “Malibu” album is a refreshing catalog of music that celebrates the sounds of yesterday but still feels current. Attending the Paak set is perfect for everyone who celebrates the liveliness of music through dance. Paak on stage moves with a constant groove of elegance that spreads like contagion to the rhythmic sounds of his soulful band. Coachella Fest is sure to bring out the best in the artist as he soaks up his moment under the sun.


Australian singer/songwriter Sia has been shaking up the charts with hits including “Chandelier” and “Alive”. Currently, fresh off the release of her latest album “This is Acting” (debuting at number 4 on the US Billboard 200), Sia is scheduled to play Coachella before eager fans ready to experience her breathtaking vocals, live. In addition to Sia’s powerful voice, her attention grabbing stage productions have, in past concerts, featured large props, contemporary dancers, and choirs. With this Fest’s reputation for engaging the senses with larger than life sights and sounds, it will be fun to see what surprises the, frequently, wigged wonder will whip up to further captivate the crowed. For those who do plan on watching Sia’s performance make sure to plan on getting to stage early as the artist’s wide appeal is sure to be one of the can’t miss programs.

Death Grips

Experimental, grimy, industrial, and hip hop are all genres associated with Death Grips, a progressive band comprised of a trio that have seen a great deal of praise for their diversity of sound. With each project, their releases infuse electronica, punk, and hip hop with a tendency to change beats and notes in ways that can oft be chaotic. Their sounds can be rather disorienting but when pieced together by frontman MC Ride, tell a story driven by emotion. His vocal variety jumps between rapping, aggressive screaming and whispering to act as a catalyst for the band to portray characters on stage that can insight spontaneous reactions. Music aficionados seeking to challenge their ear with loud heavy hitting sounds and lyrics can join Death Grips legion of fans to partake in an unapologetic mosh scene in an experience that just may be one of the most exciting and intriguing acts Coachella 2016 has to offer.


While BadBadNotGood may not, as yet, be a household name, this trio of jazz musicians have worked with some of hip hop’s most important artists including: Ghostface Killah, MF Doom, and Tyler, The Creator. Their musical roots stem from jazz, but the group has successfully reinterpreted modern hip hop songs rising to fame giving well crafted covers their own spin. Their brand comes across as new and forward-thinking by adapting recognized songs such as ,Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”, to recreate the tune within a jazz melody. BadBadNotGood performed as back up band for Frank Ocean’s 2012 Coachella appearance and this year, they take the spotlight to showcase an impressive repertoire infused with heart-pounding drums and rhythmic bass lines. Their expertise and instrumentation depth will be a breath of fresh air to be savored.


English rapper, Skepta has pushed American hip hop sound by incorporating “grime” to create his wildly popular “garage style” music. Grime derives its presence from hip hop and dancehall beats that feature heavy drums and bass with very clear and punctuating lyrics. Skepta’s influence on the American hip hop culture is significant, incorporating trendsetting UK fashion, a flair for rebellion, and wildly off the cart energy to elevate his pieces. Skepta’s genius has made him a sought after artist to work together with top music industry players such as Drake and Kanye West. The success of such collaborations could be a game changer that could shape the future of hip hop.

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