- Idris Elba is playing at Coachella.
- The news came as a shock to many who were surprised to see the actor’s name on the set list.
- Elba has actually been moonlighting as a DJ since his teens and is passionate about music.
- He has collaborated with artists including Fatboy Slim and Skepta in the past.
The Coachella lineup has been announced, and there are plenty of surprises.
Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande headline this year’s festival but Kanye West was nowhere to be seen despite rumours that he would headline after doing so for the first time in 2011.
Perhaps the most surprising name in the line-up, though, was also one of its most famous: Idris Elba.
Elba – who is known for his roles in “The Wire,” “Luther,” and the “Thor” films – also moonlights as a DJ and even has his own cocktail bar in London where he spins the decks.
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) July 25, 2018
People’s current “Sexiest Man Alive” performs under the name DJ Big Driis and has been involved in music since he was a teen.
“Actors doing music is corny, I know that’s what people think and I accept that,” he told The Voice in 2009. “But music has always been a way for me to express myself. Honestly, I hate pushing my music. I’m passionate about what I do, so to hear someone saying they hate it would be a bit like having someone say your child is ugly!”
Elba has collaborated with artists including Fatboy Slim and Skepta, but apparently has remained under the radar for many music fans.
“Why tf is Idris Elba on the setlist at Coachella lmfao,” one person tweeted.
“WAIT THE IDRIS ELBA THING ISN’T A JOKE AND HE IS ACTUALLY A DJ!?!?!?!?!?!!” wrote another.
WAIT THE IDRIS ELBA THING ISN'T A JOKE AND HE IS ACTUALLY A DJ!?!?!?!?!?!!
— Film Crit Hulk (@FilmCritHULK) January 3, 2019
“What will he perform…a short play???” added someone else.
What will he perform…a short play???
— MAYOR.D (@MhayorD) January 3, 2019
Music fans weren’t the only ones surprised by the announcement – Elba’s 17-year-old daughter Isan Elba, who is 2019’s Golden Globes Ambassador, told E! News that her father hadn’t even told her that he was playing the festival.
“I was literally looking at the lineup […] I saw Virgil Abloh – love him – and then, right under that, I saw Idris Elba.
“He didn’t tell me!” she said, adding: “We’re in the same house and you can’t even tell me? Why would you do that?”
Not everyone was surprised though: “I guess all of the people freaking out about Idris Elba Being on the Coachella list don’t follow him on social media…where ALL HE TWEETS ABOUT IS BEING A DJ,” wrote Gizmodo Entertainment Reporter Germain Lussier.
I guess all of the people freaking out about Idris Elba Being on the Coachella list don’t follow him on social media…where ALL HE TWEETS ABOUT IS BEING A DJ.
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) January 3, 2019
True enough, his Twitter account could be mistaken for that of any full-time DJ – he barely references his acting at all.
For any fans hoping to get a glimpse of what to expect from Elba’s Coachella set, you can find his Spotify page here:
He’s also appearing in a new Netflix comedy entitled “Turn Up Charlie,” where he will play a struggling DJ and eternal bachelor, according to Variety. The series debuts March 15.