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Coachella 2024: 88rising to spotlight Japanese talent with Futures set featuring Yoasobi, Awich, Atarashii Gakko! and more

The label 88rising will return to Coachella over the next two Sundays with a new ‘Futures’ set that will shine a light on four Japanese artists – find out more in NME’s interview with 88rising co-founder and CEO Sean Miyashiro.

First announced April 8, the line-up for 88rising Futures includes viral sensations and NME Cover artists Yoasobi, rapper Awich, J-pop boyband Number_i, and the label’s own boundary-breaking group, Atarashii Gakko!. The set will also include appearances from Korean hip-hop legends Tiger JK and Yoonmirae, plus Chinese singer and dancer Xin Liu, 88rising’s newest signing.

The programming reflects Miyashiro’s observations of widespread growth and appreciation of Japanese artists in today’s music landscape, he told NME, and 88rising’s efforts to celebrate and spotlight Japanese music “on what is the world’s most influential, prestigious music festival stage”.

“There’s so much music coming out of Japan of all genres, and there’s so many people wanting to make music and be artists,” he said. “Yoasobi are one of the biggest artists in Japan right now, but their music is just one of a kind – same with Atarashii Gakko!. [But there’s also] great R&B, hip-hop, rock, city pop – it’s a really exciting time and I think it’s just the beginning. I’m glad we’re able to provide a glimpse and a snapshot of what’s happening there.”

Sean Miyashiro CREDIT: Nick Sutjongdro

Miyashiro affirmed that 88rising will be leaning into this potential global boom in Japanese music with investment and resources. “We’re going to be starting a very concentrated effort for Japanese music – that means staff, time and energy, resources, and really understanding and trying to develop [artists],” he explained. There are plans to create a label that “just services Japanese artists”, similar to Paradise Rising, the imprint launched in 2020 to promote music from the Philippines.

This year’s collaboration between 88rising and Coachella follows the label holding a takeover of the main stage in 2022. That performance took audiences on a journey across Asia, with appearances from Indonesian rappers Rich Brian and Warren Hue, J-pop legend Hikaru Utada, South Korean singer and rapper BIBI, Thai rapper MILLI, Indonesian singer-songwriter NIKI, and China’s Jackson Wang. On the first weekend, the set ended with K-pop star CL hosting a surprise reunion with her girl group 2NE1.

“It was a really big moment,” Miyashiro reflected. “I think it’s amazing we were able to pull off the original vision, which was to celebrate great artists from across Asia. It was the most-talked-about thing from the festival that year and I think that was awesome.”

The success of that takeover led to Coachella co-founder Paul Tollett opening the door to more collaboration between the festival and 88rising. “I’m super appreciative that Paul gives us the platform and believes in what we bring and celebrate to the festival,” Miyashiro said, noting the label is already thinking about plans for 2025. “I think we have brought great things [to Coachella already], but we’re going to start planning a lot earlier for next year and do something pretty crazy.”

Working with Coachella isn’t just a “huge blessing” for 88rising, he added, but for the musicians it works with. “When we even just first bring up the idea to some of these artists or their companies, there’s been multiple times that they cry, or they’re laughing and crying because it’s like a dream to them. There are a lot of great artists who are deserving of these amazing stages, but they might not have anybody vouching for them to the people who are creating these line-ups. When those moments happen, I try to take a beat and realise how important this is to them.”

88rising Futures
88rising Futures CREDIT: 88rising

“My heart is full of excitement and a sense of gratitude to be able to perform at 88rising Futures stage at Coachella,” Awich said in a press statement. “It’s a landmark moment for me to share my journey with everyone. And also very excited to be part of the vibrant tapestry of sounds that Asia has to offer to the world today. You can expect to see what’s really going on in the Japanese rap scene now. I’m bringing surprises so please be looking forward to it!”

Yoasobi added: “Since it’s our first live performance in America in about a year, we’ve been seeing incredible feedback across social media from people who have been waiting. We’re really looking forward to the excitement we’ll be able to create for everyone at the festival.”

88rising Futures will take place at Coachella‘s Mojave Stage at 5:20pm PST on Sunday April 14 and Sunday April 21. The performance will be broadcast live on the official festival livestream on Coachella’s YouTube channel.

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