Arré Checklist: The Indian Artists Coachella Needs


Arré Checklist: The Indian Artists Coachella Needs

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza

Coachella is one of the biggest music festivals in the world, and Beyoncé is, well, Beyoncé. It seems like a jodi made in heaven – and yet this is the first time she’s performed there. As usual, Queen B casually made history by being the first black woman to headline the show. Surely it’s only a matter of time before a desi act makes it to the awe-inspiring stage in the Colorado Desert.

But who will it be? We present our greatest cultural icons as nominees for Coachella 2019.

Dandiya’s Child

No matter how big a diva you are, Beyoncé is a tough act to follow – unless you’re the Queen of Dandiya, Falguni Pathak. Even the Beyhive won’t be able to compete with the entire state of Gujarat, where everyone is legally required to do garba to the sweet sounds of “Meri Chunar Udd Udd Jaye”. Despite her decidedly Gen-X age, Falguni’s got what it takes to be a Coachella hipster act. Her edgy androgynous style and her commitment to authentic Gujarati traditions make her the ultimate #wokebae. Now all she needs is an esoteric concept album called Chhaas.

Yo Yo Yoncé

You catch more Beys with Honey, and the Punjabi rapper we cautiously embrace as our own is ready to reach out and grab her “Brown Rang”. His catalogue of songs about women’s body parts did not improve with Choot Vol. 1, but Honey Singh is primed for a comeback, and ever since “Bol Na Aunty Au Kya”, good ol’ Yo Yo really doesn’t seem like such a sleaze after all. A quick re-branding could turn him into the feminist rapper we need to headline Coachella after a Beyoncé show. Time to dust off the mic and give Drake a call, Honey. And if all else fails, there’s always “Char Botal Vodka”.

If anyone is going to be the first Indian to crack Coachella, chances are, it’ll be Priyanka Chopra.


If anyone is going to be the first Indian to crack Coachella, chances are, it’ll be Priyanka Chopra. Her discography might be limited to two singles, but “In My City” did go triple platinum, and we have only ourselves to blame. Piggy Chops is far from the best Indian singer out there, just like she wasn’t the most accomplished Bollywood thespian, or even the most famous Miss India. How does she do it then?

Either way, she’s a strong contender for the Coachella flower crown. If Piggy doesn’t have the chops to headline solo, we suggest another collaboration with Señor Pitbull. With her Exotic good looks and his soothing Spanish growls, we’re in for a “Despacito”-level hit in 2019.

Bey Mata Di, Let’s Rock

We now turn to the most celebrated Bollywood playback singer of the early 2010s: Himeshbai himself. No one else can match the nostalgia value of a Destiny’s Child reunion than the man whose music reminds us of club nights gone by, pounding shots as “Jhalak Dikhlaja” blared in the background, or idyllic sangeet rehearsals to “Tera Suroor”. With his daring techno beats and a vocal tone that lends itself to T. Pain-style autotune, Himesh Reshammiya is all of our coolest uncle. After Beyoncé left everyone #shook, Coachella needs to come back with a shakalaka boom boom. Jai Mata di, let’s rock!