She’s been a star in the francophone pop world for years, but Angeli is finally making her way to the US side, headlining shows at Coachella this weekend.
She’s no stranger to big crowds, but playing the desert event that traditionally kicks off the Summer Tour is next level for the 27-year-old Belgian, who has been teamed with Dua Lipa and previously broken records by Stromae. “I’m overwhelmed,” she told AFP before the show on Friday night, smiling as she sipped her tea, a floral bandana tied casually over her flowing blonde hair.
“But I’m also very excited and I was a little emotional this morning,” she said in English. “When I woke up, I felt fine, is this really happening?”
Born to a singer and actress, Angela van Laeken began performing in the cafés of Brussels, after learning the piano at an early age and undergoing jazz training at Jazz Studio Antwerp.
She started gaining attention on the internet prior to the release of her single “Forget Everything”.
Angeli was then lauded for 2019’s “Balance ton quoi”, a reference to the French “Balance ton porc” #MeToo movement.
She said the message of feminism remains more important than ever in a society that often marginalizes women in favor of men, including in the music industry.
She said “I think the whole of society isn’t equal yet – so of course music isn’t equal”.
– fluent language –
With her rising star, Angeli says she’s finally starting to feel comfortable: “I don’t feel like I don’t fit in.”
She wore natural makeup and a simple embellished mini dress with pink Crocs in the hours leading up to her appointment — only her silver nails at the nightclub teased the upcoming show.
Dressed in a shimmering silver bikini top and matching skirt, she leaped into an energetic set of her signature electro-pop while tightly choreographed dancers set the beat.
She was welcomed by legions of rock fans, many of whom encountered her work for the first time.
For Angèle, that’s the best thing about playing abroad: “It’s actually less stressful than it is in France” where people know who I am, and I can have something to prove to them.
And she continued, “But when I come here, I feel more free… to be who I am now. Singing like I want to sing, just playing, and not thinking about what they think, or I will get cyberbullied.” »
“People want to see me just because it’s the first time.”
She even added a little French instruction to her Coachella show, with the words written on a projection behind her while she performed.
Angeli says music is how she learned English in the first place, but she feels most comfortable writing in her native French — for now.
She said, “Obviously, I love singing in English but when it comes to writing it’s quite different.” I feel like I’ve found my way to express myself in my language, and I really feel connected to my songs when they’re in French. »
“But I like to mix languages,” Angeli said — a fitting sentiment for a multilingual pop star in an increasingly globalized pop scene, whose Coachella bill is among the festival’s most international yet.
“People really listen to French and French songs!”