Latin music was one of the main events at this year’s Coachella music festival. With Bad Bunny leading the way, the biggest Latin acts and rising stars made up a significant part of this year’s line-up. Women also ruled the stages with Becky G, Kali Uchis, and Conexión Divina putting on exciting performances. Here are a few of our favorite Latin music moments at Coachella.
Bad Bunny Makes History
This year, Bad Bunny became the first Latin artist to headline Coachella. The Puerto Rican superstar performed hits from throughout his career. Jowell y Randy and Ñengo Flow joined him for YHLQMDLG smash “Safaera.” From his top-selling album Un Verano Sin Ti, he sang “Titi Me Preguntó” and “Me Porto Bonito,” which had Post Malone dancing along. Boricua legend and “Feliz Navidad” singer José Feliciano joined him during weekend two. Bad Bunny also honored Latin music’s past with a video montage that saluted salsa icons, including Ismael Rivera, Celia Cruz and La Lupe. In another video montage, he highlighted reggaeton music’s Afro-Latino pioneers, including Tego Calderón and Don Omar. To show that he’s not bound to one genre, Bad Bunny invited norteño band Grupo Frontera to the stage to perform their cumbia collaboration “Un x100to” together for the first time.
Becky G Proudly Represents Her Mexican-American Identity
Becky G dedicated her Coachella performance to the “200 percenters.” What the Mexican-American singer means by that phrase is people who identify as 100 percent American and 100 percent Latino. In her case, she proudly represented her bicultural roots by performing her breakthrough hit “Shower” with her Spanish-language smashes “Mayores” and “Mamiii.” Dominican superstar Natti Natasha joined her for their girl-power anthem “Sin Pijama.” Now that Becky G is working on her regional Mexican album, she invited acts in the genre, Peso Pluma, Fuerza Regida, and Marca MP to sing with her. Becky G also paid tribute to a woman who paved the way for Latinas, Selena Quintanilla, with a medley of her timeless songs, including “Como La Flor.”
Conexión Divina and DannyLux Serenade Coachella with Sierreño
Speaking of regional Mexican music, emerging genre sierreño made a splash at Coachella. Two rising Mexican-American acts in sierreño made their debuts at the music festival, Conexión Divina and DannyLux. DannyLux, who is a native of Coachella Valley, had a full-circle moment performing his songs like the Eslabon Armado collaboration “Jugaste y Sufri” and “El Hombre Perfecto.” Conexión Divina has made strides forward for women and the LGBTQ+ community in sierreño. Liz Trujillo and Ashlee Valenzuela are openly queer members of the trio, which also includes Sandra Calixto. They performed music from their debut album Tres Mundos, including their hits “Odio” and “Se Rumora.” Like Becky G, Conexión Divina also paid tribute to Selena Quintanilla with a new version of “Como La Flor.”
Kali Uchis Brought Latin Soul With Omar Apollo
Before becoming a Latin superstar, Kali Uchis spent years performing in various music festivals like Tropicalia with her bestie Omar Apollo. Last year, Apollo was one of the Latin acts on the Coachella line-up and this year it was Uchis’s turn to grace the mainstage. The Colombian-American singer performed her soulful hits in English and Spanish, including “Telepatía” and “Dead to Me.” She also paid tribute to El General by singing his classic “No Me Trates de Engañar,” and performed the dreamy “I Wish You Roses” and “Moonlight” from her latest album Red Moon in Venus. Tyler the Creator joined her for their song “After the Storm,” and Apollo appeared to sing “Worth the Wait.” Seeing Uchis and Apollo together, who are both openly queer, was another win for LGBTQ+ representation.
BRATTY, Tokischa, Rauw Alejandro, and More Highlights
Mexican singer BRATTY was another highlight on the Coachella line-up this year, and was the only Mexican-born artist to perform. She represented Latin alternative music, performing her surf rock bops like “Radio” and “Fin Del Mundo.” Though she wasn’t on the lineup, Tokischa made appearances at both weekends. Coi Leray invited the rising Dominican star to the stage to perform the “Players” remix. During weekend two, she was a surprise guest during Spanish pop star Rosalía’s set. They joined forces to perform their femme-positive, dembow banger “Linda.” Rosalía’s fiancé Rauw Alejandro was another surprise guest. The power couple performed the reggaeton romp “Vampiros” from their joint RR EP.
Lucas Villa is a freelance music contributor for LATINA. His work is also featured in Rolling Stone, Billboard, Teen Vogue, MTV News, and W Magazine.