Since its conception in 2015, record label and media company 88rising has been on a thrilling upwards trajectory, getting bigger and bigger with each project. Last year saw the company, which counts acts like NIKI, Joji, Seori, Warren Hue and Rich Brian among its artists, produce the soundtrack for Marvel’s Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings and, over the weekend (April 16), it made its mark at one of the US’ biggest festivals.
Both weekends of Coachella 2022 will feature a main stage takeover from the 88 crew, featuring performances from NIKI, Warren Hue, Rich Brian, Jackson Wang, CL, BIBI, MILLI, Hikaru Utada and more. For Brian, who has been signed to the label since 2016, watching it grow to this point has been “so insane”.
“I feel like we’re just so blessed with this opportunity,” he tells NME ahead of the first weekend’s event and his own solo set at the festival. “Things just seem to keep happening – we keep just doing so many big things. I’m always just surprised with what kind of projects we end up taking on. This has been the biggest thing so far and just really, really inspiring.”
To mark the occasion, Warren and Brian have joined up with rising Korean artist BIBI on a new track called ‘Froyo’. “We’ve been working on this Coachella performance for a long time,” Brian explains of how the song came about. “‘Froyo’ is going to be part of [making it] more than just a performance – we want to make it like an era. So I think ‘Froyo’ is one of those things to mark this point in time by making something more permanent in the world.”
The track moves through different phases, opening with rippling notes and BIBI singing over drawn-out synths, before shifting to an a cappella rap from Brian that morphs into a deep beat-driven section that Warren hops on. “I’m excited to see how people react to it because I feel like nowadays people are afraid to experiment with switches and stuff like that,” Brian says of the new song. “It’s cool, I’m excited to perform it live.”
Warren also worked on the new song ’T’ with the boundary-breaking Japanese-American pop star Hikaru Utada. “It was very amazing,” he says of working with the iconic artist. “My mum’s a huge fan of Utada, like a crazy fan. So it’s a cool thing, being able to have a song with them. It’s a brilliant song and honestly, we both did our thing. She’s amazing, honestly, really good voice.”
The new songs form part of a new compilation, ‘Head In The Clouds Forever’, which also features a new song by BIBI called ‘Best Lover’. The release is available to stream here now.
Watch our full video interview with Warren Hue and Rich Brian at Coachella 2022 for more on Warren’s upcoming debut album ‘Boy Of The Year’, Brian’s latest EP ‘Brightside’, and more.