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‘Idris Elba Performing at Coachella?’ The Story Behind His DJing Career

After years of blockbuster movie roles, Idris Elba has solidified himself as a Hollywood mainstay, but it looks like his music career isn’t far behind.

It was announced Wednesday that the “Luther” and “Wire” star will be making his Coachella debut on April 13 and 20, in the company of artists like Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande, Tame Impala, Solange and Billie Eilish. And although some fans were surprised by the announcement, Elba’s Coachella appearance is just one of many in the British actor’s long musical career.

After entering the music industry at the age of 14, Elba has worked as a DJ and producer, performing at a number of prominent music festivals around the world including  Essence Fest in New Orleans, the Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall and the Glastonbury festival in southwest England. Additionally, he was on hand to perform a set at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding reception in May and launched his own record label 7Wallace Music in July.

“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’s work with other artists is equally as diverse, including collaborations with Fatboy Slim on “Uptown Funk” and a remix of Skepta’s “Shutdown.” The British DJ also worked alongside Pete Tong to create an “All Gone Pete Tong” edit of his single “Spectacle.”

In 2010 Elba released his EP titled “High Class Problems Vol. 1,” which garnered a Billboard Music Awards nomination before appearing on the Loose Tapestries’s second album in 2015 and opening for the Germany leg of Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour in the same year.

Elba will also be taking his DJing skills to to Netflix as part of a new comedy series titled “Turn Up Charlie.” After co-creating the series with Gary Reich, Elba is set to star as the show’s titular character DJ Charlie who gets his final chance at success after becoming a “manny” for his famous best friend’s, problem-prone daughter (Frankie Harvey). Also joining the show is Angela Griffin, Guz Khan, Jocelyn Jee Esein, Jade Anouka, Cameron King and Dustin Demri-Burns.

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