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Jai Paul to make long-awaited live debut at Coachella 2023

The enigmatic Londoner will finally take the stage in April

By Joe Goggins

Jai Paul on the cover of Leak 04-13 (Bait Ones)
The mysterious producer will finally play in front of fans. (Photo: XL Recordings)

Jai Paul will make his first ever live appearances at this year’s Coachella.

After years in the shadows, the enigmatic producer’s name is on the poster for this year’s dual festivals in Indio, California, marking the next development in what has been one of the 21st century’s most beguiling careers to date.

The London-based electronic musician earned a cult following in 2010 when he dropped his debut demo ‘BSTSU’, but has continually frustrated fans in the years since with radio silence, particularly after the illegal leaking in 2013 of an album of further demos. At the time, XL Recordings confirmed that  the songs had been made available via a fan Bandcamp account, and both he label and artist urged fans not to pay for them.

Since, Paul had become a reclusive figure, although he had formed the Paul Institute in 2017 with his brother, A.K. Paul, and produced and released tracks from such artists as Fabiana Palladino, Ruthven, Hira and Reinen.

Then, in 2019, Paul resurfaced in his own right on Twitter, saying: I’ve been working on some music and a website recently so I’d like to share that with you. Have a look on desktop if u can, I think it works a bit better on there. I hope u like it, cheers, Jai.” The songs, ‘Do You Love Her Now’ and ‘Her’, were followed by an official release for the leaked album under the name Leak 04-13 (Bait Ones).

In 2021, he marked the ten-year anniversary of ‘BTSTU’ by posting on Twitter and Instagram, linking fans to a recreation of his old Myspace page, which came with such easter egg content as links to negative reviews of the single from such sites as The Singles Jukebox and The Quietus, as well as an eclectic list of his influences, which included J Dilla, D’Angelo, Charanjit Singh, Whitney Houston, The Prodigy and Pete Rock & CL Smooth.

Now, all eyes will be on Paul as he makes his live bow at Coachella on Sunday, April 16, before returning on April 23. He plays the same day as fellow enigma Frank Ocean headlines; Bad Bunny and BLACKPINK top the bill on the Friday and Saturday, respectively.