People all over the world were tuning in to the live broadcasted of Coachella’s first weekend from Friday to Saturday (or Saturday to this morning Jakarta time) from Indio, CA — but Indonesians took special pride in seeing our own music exports – NIKI, Rich Brian, and Warren Hue – representing the country at what is arguably the world’s most famous music festival.
NIKI had her solo stage debut on Friday while Rich Brian’s performance was included as part of Saturday’s lineup as part of their label 88rising’s special stage, Head in The Clouds Forever. Meanwhile, their labelmate Joji, the former internet personality-turned R&B and trip-hop Japanese singer, was one of the festival’s headliners.
There were a couple of instances in which the Indonesian artists proudly repped their country, such as when Brian featured Jakarta’s iconic Monumen Nasional (Monas) as the backdrop of his solo stage.
“If you guys don’t know, my name is Rich Brian and I come from Jakarta, Indonesia. And if you guys know me, welcome to the show,” Brian said during the intermission, which was met by loud applause and shouts from the audience.
NIKI notably performed Sempurna (Perfect), a hit single by Indonesian band Andra & The Backbone, released in 2007, as her second song on for her 88rising performance.
NIKI on the main stage #Coachella #HITCForever sings the iconic Indonesian song, “Sempurna – Andra & The Backbone”— Head in The Clouds Jakarta (@HITCJKT) April 17, 2022
ANOTHER HISTORY JUST MADE, THE FIRST INDONESIAN SONG EVER PERFORMED AT COACHELLA!!
“This song is for my family and my country,” NIKI said at the beginning.
In an interview shown on the Coachella live stream, NIKI was asked how she felt about being one of the first Indonesians to perform at the festival along with Rich Brian.
“I’m so grateful. I feel super blessed, and just like, fortunate, that I’m in this position,” NIKI told the presenter.
TV news anchor Najwa Shihab followed the artists backstage as part of the exclusive coverage for her show, Mata Najwa. She also shared a couple of photos with Brian before his performance on the 88rising stage and a video of her embracing NIKI after she performed Sempurna.
88rising’s Heads in The Clouds Forever stage also featured young Indonesian rapper Warren Hue, who opened the show; as well as leading Asian artists such as Korean singer-songwriter Bibi, Japanese singer Hikaru Utada, Hong Kong rapper-singer and member of Kpop boyband Got7 Jackson Wang, Thai rapper Milli, and singer-rapper CL, the former leader of Kpop juggernaut 2NE1, — the latter of which made headlines for bringing up members of her former group for a surprise performance of their hit, I Am The Best.
NIKI and Rich Brian were initially confirmed to perform at Coachella in 2020, but the festival suffered delays and cancellations the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the two of them have become the first Indonesian solo artists to perform at the festival, it was the frontman of Australian band Temper Trap, Indonesian-born Dougy Mandagi, who is technically the first Indonesian to grace the festival back in 2010.
Empire Polo Grounds will host Coachella second weekend this coming Friday-Sunday, during which Rich Brian and NIKI are slated to perform once again.