Hozier, Brittany Howard & Father John Misty: The Billboard Cover Shoot
Talk to artists, managers, promoters,...
Talk to artists, managers, promoters, booking agents and label executives, and you'll hear the same thing: There simply isn't anything like the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. At the heart of the experience? Rising stars like Billboard's cover acts, Hozier, Father John Misty and Alabama Shakes: undeniable talents who are still building a fan base on the way, perhaps, to headlining the festival in years to come. Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, who are playing Coachella for the first time this year, says, "I love the idea that maybe someone is walking by and their ears perk up and they check us out, and we make some new fans."
This time last year, Hozier was wonde...
This time last year, Hozier was wondering if the bats in that attic would be the only witnesses to his emotional outpourings. "I'd made a conscious decision to write music for a much smaller audience. I did not think it would resonate with mainstream culture." Now he's one of the most hotly anticipated acts at Coachella, an event he has never been to, and one he calls "one of the big mother" festivals.
Just four years ago, Brittany Howard,...
Just four years ago, Brittany Howard, the 26-year-old singer and guitar ace for the soul-rock crew Alabama Shakes -- who will play Coachella for the first time this year -- was working 12-hour days at the Athens, Ala., post office, dreaming of a career in music. "I was like, 'Please, God, let me quit my job,' " she says with a cheery dose of Southern drawl. "'I'll do whatever it takes to never work again.'"
Talking to Josh Tillman, who will per...
Talking to Josh Tillman, who will perform as the subversive folk singer Father John Misty at this year's Coachella, is not like talking to other people. "The function of art is very different from the function of some kind of Hegelian prescription for decent civilian living," he begins, winding himself up for what becomes a series of pretty riveting rants.
"The [Coachella] lineup always introd...
"The [Coachella] lineup always introduces the best of the year for the rest of the year... I've gone over 10 times, and every year, I bring home a favorite new band to add to my playlist," Katy Perry tells Billboard.
"These shows have been great," Father...
"These shows have been great," Father John Misty says of his tour, which began in Europe this winter and will take him through the United States this spring, including his spotlight show at Coachella. "People are responding to me as they would a pervert on the bus."
At Coachella, expect many tunes from ...
At Coachella, expect many tunes from the Shakes' second LP, Sound & Color (out April 21). The disc finds the act's Southern rock sound spiked with added compositional complexity, which came in part from Howard's love of instrumental music by soul-jazz composer David Axelrod and soundtrack king Ennio Morricone. "But it's not too far out," says Howard. "We could have gotten a full orchestra. But that's not what we're about. We're about keeping it simple, keeping it classy, and keeping it tasty."
"My first experience with large-scale...
"My first experience with large-scale festivals was spooky, because it's not entirely your audience," says Hozier, who has never even attended Coachella before. The event "is going to be a challenge, a place to really go for it."