Coachella 2015: Lights Addresses The Male Dominated Lineup

Our fave Canadian songstress Lights is prepping her setlist and preparing to take her crown as Queen of Coachella. Sadly she is one of only a few women featured in the 2015 lineup, which is still dominated by male performers. We can’t wait for our pop bae to light up the stage and lead by example, inspiring other girls and women looking to break into the music industry. Read more in our interview with Lights as she talks more about women in music, celebrating confidence and ditching technology to truly enjoy the Coachella experience.

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Let’s talk about your set at Coachella – what’s the key to commanding the stage and taking over as queen?

I think the most important part about putting together a setlist for a festival, something this important and this big, is the right songs. The setlist is the most important part; picking the songs you want people to hear the first time.

Most of these people have maybe never seen us before. That’s their first introduction of you so it’s like okay: there’s three albums worth of stuff you want to show them. It’s kind of fun to narrow that down to a 45 minute set of just sweetness. I’ve been mulling over that because if you play the songs in the right order, in the right way then it’s a magical journey.

Out of that setlist, is there a song in there that is your favorite? A song that really makes you feel alive onstage.

There’s a few, especially on this new record Little Machines. I think I found myself more comfortable in my own skin than ever and that sort of comes through the music. When I play the music I feel that way on stage.

This very womanly presence I have on stage – there’s this song called “Muscle Memory”, it’s kind of a sexy song that has this thick bass and pulsing beat and you just kind of stand there and sing. It just kind of elevates without having to try very hard. It’s just the epitome of feeling wonderful on stage.

Are you pro or anti-flower crown? Any trends you plan on following or setting at Coachella this year?

It’s kind of funny… I have never been offered more free clothes than the weeks leading up to Coachella. I always end up wearing the same things: black pants and a black shirt.

Maybe I’ll branch out a bit and wear a black necklace too. It’s just an opportunity to be your own fashion. I think it’s more a thing where show-goers want to put on their festival clothes and go be part of a festival but when it comes to a performance, you can’t change your style. You just have to be you. That’s what people are coming to see.

When you’re not playing you’re awesome set – where can we find you? Lounging by a VIP pool somewhere, catching some shows…?

There’s definitely a few shows I want to catch but it’s also a time that’s very busy during press…and I’ll be eating food. I want to see Drake for sure, I do a cover of his. He’s amazing. There’s a band I’ve been listening to called The War On Drugs that I want to see. FKA Twigs is a badass and I’ll be watching her as well.

 

Speaking of FKA Twigs, I think it’s really interesting how few women performers are headlining or even in the festival lineup at all. 

Did you see that article where they took all the male acts off the poster?

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Yeah…it really puts everything in perspective doesn’t it? What women are you supporting/excited to see perform?

FKA Twigs for sure, Florence and the Machine…there’s actually some really great female acts. I know who most of them are and I think it’s because I’ve been listening to most of the stuff on my iPod which is female-fronted at this point. I think it’s because I suddenly, more-so than ever, have this affinity with hearing a woman on record than a man because I’m a woman and I connect to it.

I’m aware of most of these women and very few of the men. It’s a thing – there are more men than women in the music industry but that’s not how it’s going to be always. I see it changing with more and more woman infiltrating the music industry whether it’s being in a band or being behind the scenes…it’s a gap that’s closing. It makes me happy.

College-age girls, teenage girls are being inspired by other women in the industry to get into it themselves. Do what you want and don’t let anything hold you back. Regardless of the ratio of men to women, there is something you love here so just do it. People need to be reminded that they can.

100% agree with you and I think it’s amazing to have these powerful women in music leading by example. Amen. Now I think we should start to close out our interview with another very important question: what’s your stance on the festival selfie-stick ban?

Really? That’s hilarious. I have never touched a selfie stick in my life and whenever anyone uses it it looks really awkward…let me tell you it’s not worth it. People who come to my shows, every show nowadays, and they bring their cameras and it kind of comes to the point where there are so many cameras in the crowd that people forget to enjoy the show.

They’re watching the entire thing through their phone and when you’re filming you can’t jump around and get excited. My advice is leave your camera. If want to go to Coachella go for the experience. Go get some music and don’t bring your camera. You’ll remember it in your head like our parents did when they went to festivals when they were kids. Let yourself get lost.

After your time in Indio – what’s next?!

We have a few shows in between and then we go right into tour supporting One Republic in Canada. Then lots more interesting festivals in the summer and we’ll be announcing a lot more tour stuff soon.


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