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Music

Lorde, James Bay and Alt-J announced in the international line-up for Indonesia’s We The Fest music festival

The three-day event in Jakarta will be Lorde’s first Southeast Asian gig and she’s performing as part of her Melodrama tour. British acts James Bay and Alt-J also play, joined by Odezsa, Honne, The Neighbourhood and Louis The Child

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 February, 2018, 3:33pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 February, 2018, 3:33pm

New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde is among the first wave of acts to be announced for this year’s We The Fest (WTF) music festival. The three-day event in Jakarta, Indonesia, in July will also see British acts James Bay and Alt-J perform alongside a host of international and local artists.

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It will be the multiple Grammy-winner’s first time in Southeast Asia since she began performing as Lorde in early 2013. Since then, she has only performed four times in the Asian region, with stop-offs in Japan and South Korea in 2014 and 2017. The 21-year-old’s WTF appearance will form part of her Melodrama tour, named after her album of the same name, which was released last year to critical acclaim and earned her a Grammy nomination for best album.

The singer, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, first burst onto the scene aged 16 with The Love Club EP, followed by her debut album Pure Heroine, which spawned smash-hit single Royals and earned her two Grammy awards. Four years later, she dropped her second record, led by the single Green Light and featuring a more dynamic sound than her previously stripped-back electronica. The only woman nominated in the album category this year, she lost out to Bruno Mars at last month’s Grammys ceremony, where she made headlines after sewing a passage bearing words from feminist artist Jenny Holzer on the back of her dress in response to the #MeToo movement.

English folk singer James Bay is best known for his platinum-selling 2014 single Hold Back The River, which featured on his Chaos and the Calm record. On February 8, he released the first single, Wild Love, from his forthcoming second album, which he says will involve a departure from his original sound – a transition at least partly influenced by Lorde.

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“Her lyrics are fantastic,” he says. “Her production is always interesting, because I don’t think she needs to do much. But if she does more, and pack the sound out, it’s really exciting still.”

Alt-J, who gained international acclaim after winning prestigious British music award, the Mercury Prize, in 2012 with their debut An Awesome Wave. They earned another nomination for their follow-up Relaxer last year, the same year they made their Indonesian debut at Bestival Bali in September.

Other announced acts for WTF 2018 include Seattle music duo Odezsa, soul group Honne, hip-hop/rock band The Neighbourhood and future bass pair Louis The Child. Home-grown Indonesian talent will also be represented by jazz band Maliq and D’Essentials, rock groups Mooner and Seringai and R&B singer Teza Sumendra.

Part of Southeast Asia’s growing roster of live music events, WTF, held since 2014, has grown year on year to add more artists and stages. Last year’s event, which was the first three-day incarnation of the event and took place for the first time at the Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran, north of the city, saw indie groups The Kooks, Phoenix and Kodaline perform on a bill that also featured pop star Charli XCX, rappers Big Sean and G-Eazy, and electronica DJ trio Cash Cash. More than 50,000 music lovers attended – including the Indonesian president Joko Widodo.

We The Fest 2018 will be held at the JIExpo in Jakarta from July 20 to 22. Three-day tickets start from HK$656 at wethefest.com.