Latinos Showed Their Power On The Stages Of Coachella 2019
Latin music is dominating the game, and after sleeping on Spanish-language artists for far too long, Coachella finally took notice. The massive mixed-genre music festival at the Indio, Calif. Desert kicked off over the weekend, and Latinx artists came through, sparked up stages and made history.
On Friday, the hitmakers behind one of 2018’s biggest jams, “Taki Taki,” surprised fans during DJ Snake’s evening performance. After Cardi B’s very pregnant show last year, she hit the stage again, this time accompanied by Puerto Rican-Dominican reggaetonero Ozuna and Selena Gomez, who re-entered the spotlight after about a year away for her first-ever Coachella performance.
That same day, Los Tucanes de Tijuana made history as the first norteño group to ever play at Coachella, which happens to also be one of the first cities the band played at in the US. Performing their fan favorite “La Chona,” the group, and its hundreds of fans, brought a piece of Mexico to one of the whitest festivals in the nation. But they weren’t the only Latinx or Spanish-speaking acts to take up space on Day No. 1. Earlier Friday, the Chilean queen of neoperreo Tomasa del Real, the Nuyorican-fronted band Hurray for the Riff Raff, Grammy Award-winning Chilean singer-songwriter Mon Laferte and Spain’s biggest solo act of the moment Rosalía all graced stages to perform their global hits.
Day No. 2 was also historic for Latinx artists. On Saturday evening, J Balvin became the first reggaeton artist to play the main stage at Coachella. The international hitmaker, who joined Beyoncé at Coachella last year for her performance of “Mi Gente,” played some of his biggest songs, including his latest “Con Altura,” bringing Spanish singer Rosalía out on stage for the show. Acknowledging the historic moment of his performance, the Colombian singer paid tribute to the Puerto Rican originators of the reggaeton genre, playing a medley of mid-00s hits like N.O.R.E. and Nina Sky’s “Oye Mi Canto,” Wisin y Yandel’s “Rakata” and Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina.” That day, rock band the Red Pears, Chilean electropop star Javiera Mena and Puerto Rican-Cuban soul singer Sabrina Claudio also had first-time performances.
On Sunday, Bad Bunny blessed thousands of Coachella attendees, many donning rabbit ear headbands, when he took the stage. The Puerto Rican star of Latin trap performed bangers from his surprise debut album X100PRE as well as hits like “Te Bote,” “I Like It” and “Sensualidad,” bringing out J Balvin for the latter two. Waving a Puerto Rican flag across the stage, fans held their own banderas in the sky, presenting one of the proudest Latinx shows in Coachella history. Earlier in the day, Coachella-based cumbia rap group Ocho Ojos, Oxnard native disco crooner Cola Boyy, Afro-Puerto Rican rapper Rico Nasty and New Jersey dominicana 070 shake also gave fiery performances.
That same day, Cardi made another surprise appearance, this time at #REVOLVEFestival, one of the music event’s hottest parties, where she performed alongside her husband Offset. Their PDA-filled show is evidence that the two artists are in a better place since reconciling following their brief split in December.
With legendary acts like Los Tucanes de Tijuana, to current urbano megastars like Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin, to rising artists like Javiera Mena and Rico Nasty, Coachella 2019 finally showed the diverse talent and power of Latin America and Latinx America to its massive audience.
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