Playing Coachella at 2:30 p.m. on a Saturday is no easy task. Half the attendees aren't even there yet; the ones who are tend to be nursing hangovers from the night before, or conserving their energy for that evening's headliners, or both. It's also hot enough to cause flower crowns to spontaneously combust.
Despite all of this, inside the Sahara tent, it's going off. A gnarly bass drop gives way to a sinewy house beat and the sweat-stained crowd starts to move. Up on the huge stage at the front of the tent, dwarfed by giant video screens, Alison Wonderland raises one hand while her other adjusts the EQ. Knowing her, she's probably adding more bass.
Wonderland is appearing at her first Coachella — and making her U.S. live debut — to promote her first full-length album, Run, which just came out via Astralwerks on April 7. “I didn't think anyone was going to come to my show at Coachella,” she admits. Since recently relocating to Los Angeles from her native Australia, the young DJ/producer felt a bit like she was starting back at square one. But when she turned up, the tent was nearly at capacity. “It was the most welcome I'd felt in a really long time, because this is a new country for me.”
In Australia, Wonderland rose to prominence for her unique mix of house, trap and bass music, as well as her famous warehouse parties, to which she would personally invite all her fans via text. “A lot of what I do is quite DIY,” she says. Her latest move might go down as her most notorious: a series of album release parties for Run held in strip clubs.
In this exclusive L.A. Weekly video, Wonderland talks about playing her first Coachella, the inspiration behind Run, and how she got her start in music via an instrument not often association with EDM — the cello.