One of the best things about Coachella is the new music discovery. Every year, fans go in anticipation of their favorite artists, but go home with a long list of new acts on their smartphones. 2017 is no different, and the VIBE staff is loving every moment of it.
Obviously artists like Sampha and Raury have been hot on our radars for sometime now, but artists like The Broods, Oh Wonder, Bonobos and more are fresh to our ears. Thanks to our good friends at Billboard, here are several recaps of artists that we have discovered while at Coachella 2017.
4:20 p.m. Eyes closed, Sampha emerged in a haze of stage fog combined with marijuana and cigarette smoke (appropriate given the time). “Plastic 100°C” and “Timmy’s Prayer,” off the British crooner’s impressive debut Process, kicked off the alt-R&B happy hour at the Mojave stage. Decked in a green bomber that read “Peacemaker,” Sampha chose an appropriate ‘fit as his 45-minute set became instant bonding grounds for afternoon Coachella-goers on Day 1 (one man seated on the ground sprayed water fans on sweating passersby while a woman complimented her neighbor’s outfit). By the third song, the jacket came off to reveal the introverted singer in a white tee and sometimes flexing his dance moves and entrancing sorcery on the piano. Sampha even treated the crowd with his steamy interlude on Drake’s More Life titled “4422.” — Adelle Platon
5:17 p.m. Who knew a flute could get people dancing? Bonobos created all sorts of vibes with several instruments (trombone, trumpets, keyboard) during their Coachella stage set, even getting people just walking by to bust a move. — Taylor Weatherby
5:27 p.m. “Don’t y’all understand I wanna bring what’s real?” Raury delivered equally chill and mellow vibes as Sampha — but with more body language and uplifting stage commentary. In his fringe-y white ensemble, the motivating singer/songwriter/musician offered the crowd an escape. “We don’t get to lose our minds that often,” he said before dropping a beat, prompting everyone to scream. He also debuted a new track titled “In The Night.” At the end of his set, he laid down on the stage, morphed into an impromptu life coach and said, “Sometimes I just wanna stay here on the ground, feeling sorry for myself but we can’t do that, Coachella.” He stood up. “We gotta stand up on our own two feet and face the world.” — Adelle Platon
5:57 p.m. “Shit, this is a big stage. My legs are so short, I don’t think you understand how long it takes to run from one end to the other,” Broods’ vocalist Georgia Natt told the crowd after starting off by commenting on how hot it was on the festival grounds. When it came to her performance, though, Natt’s vocals and energetic antics completely concealed that she may have been struggling with the stage size or the heat. After performing one of the group’s biggest songs, “Free,” a fan gushed, “She is a boss, she’s a f–king boss.” In fact, she’s such a boss, she inspired Scandal’s boss, actor Tony Goldwyn (President Fitzgerald Grant, a.k.a. Fitz) to check out her set from the V.I.P. section. — Taylor Weatherby
?6:06 p.m. Francis and the Lights’ Francis Farewell Starlite emerged onstage in a red jacket, dancing to the Throne version of Drake’s “Pop Style” to open the show and rapped along to Kanye West’s verse. Some stand outs from his set were “See Her Out” and “I Want You To Shake.” — Alexa Shouneiya
6:54 p.m. “We can’t believe we’re playing with the sunset. California is the best place on earth,” Oh Wonder’s Anthony West said as the daylight faded about 15 minutes into the British duo’s set. Amidst a set list featuring awe-inspiring renditions of “Drive” and “Body Gold,” West’s counterpart Josephine Vander Guchthis added, “This is our first time at Coachella and bloody hell does it exceed our expectations — there’s a lot more palm trees than I imagined!” — Taylor Weatherby