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What do Cinderella, rock band Kiss and harnesses all have in common? They inspired Rico Nasty's first weekend performance at Coachella.
In front of hundreds of onlookers at the Mojave Stage, Nasty put on a performance that's hard to categorize. Any Nasty performance is like that, but Coachella was a special time for the 21-year-old rapper from Prince George's County, Maryland.
"She knows [performing] is something she does every day on tour. But, for it to be Coachella and a festival so big of a caliber, she was low-key nervous. But, she overcame it," Rico Nasty's makeup artist, Scott Obsourne Jr., said.
In this Coachella edition of "Tour Tales," the team behind Rico Nasty’s performance discuss how they kept her fierce look intact in the Coachella desert heat, her switching it up for the second weekend and more.
As the bass from the Kenny Beats-produced "Trust Issues" song began rattling the outdoor tent and moving the chests of those in attendance, Nasty sauntered across the stage -- bathed in applause -- in a custom multi-colored dress she helped design with designer Matthew Reissman. Her swaying around while rapping "outfit sick, I should be walking with a tissue" had the abstractly dressed crowd ready to form a catwalk to show off their own looks. Then, in typical Nasty fashion, what we all thought was her grand fashion statement was simply the outer shell of a wilder side.
Nasty emerged from her Cinderella dress cocoon in an outfit that was a little more than underwear, strapped with bright red harnesses and made by custom fashion designer Creepy Yeha, as she transitioned into crowd favorite "Bitch, I'm Nasty" from her 2018 project, Nasty. Rico's physicality and high-energy movements during her performances "definitely play a big role in what we choose for her,” her stylist, 26-year-old Haylee Ahumada, explained. So, while fans saw a unique fit to add to their vision boards, Nasty's look only reaffirmed that she would made sure the performance was the best it could be.
"The harness look was dope because it stands out and it's tight to her body, so nothing is moving around too much where it's restricting her from performing. So, that was perfect for this performance this time around. We definitely wanted to get something that's cool. She was basically in underwear. It was perfect for [the Coachella heat]," Ahumada said.
Nasty's visual aesthetic is paramount to the appeal of her shows. Her expressive face that can go from a pit bull intensity to an anime-esque wide smile and eyes in the matter of half a bar is accentuated by her dazzling makeup. For Coachella, Obsourne Jr. covered Nasty's face in Fenty Beauty, Huda Beauty, and Urban Decay to help her achieve her gothic aesthetic, but also had some inspiration from a legendary '80s rock band. "If you see, she has different types of black under eyeliner. That was a representation of the Kiss rock band that I put a modern twist on, and created some different elements and effects to spice it up," Osbourne Jr. said.
He continued: "So, I prepped her skin using a thickening moisturizer and an oil-based control lotion, something that’s going to prevent sweat. Throughout her performances, I’ll usually come onstage, I'll blot her face and I’ll layer a little bit more makeup on top just to even it out. So, when she’s sweating, it’s not coming off and it's just turning into a dewy skin.”
Osbourne Jr.'s job was not done once the makeup was applied. Though fans were not able to see Doja Cat join Nasty for a performance of their song "Tia Tamera," Nasty's mascot was able to come in and fill her spot.
"I was always the mascot," Osbourne Jr. explained. "I was the mascot for Rolling Loud L.A. It was very good. The videos went viral. Everyone loved it. So, we decided to mix it into the Coachella set. It was lit. I always love it because it's me being her onstage. Just dancing and having fun."
The real stars of any Nasty performance are the audience members. The energy, choreography, and intensity of her show were mimicked by those watching at Coachella, especially one young woman on top of some supportive shoulders. “When I see people do that, I’m thinking what they might do next. I’ve seen that turn into all kinds of stuff, so you never know," DJ Miles, the rapper's official DJ, said.
If you got a chance to see Nasty's first weekend performance at Coachella, erase most of it from your mind because her second weekend show promises to be different. Half the clothing pieces she got from Creepy Yeha were used for the first weekend, with the other half being used for weekend two. Nasty and her team are going to keep the momentum going.
"A few more accessories, definitely, for the next performance. I missed out on maybe a few things [for the first weekend]. But, we're not going to miss the mark with the next one," Ahumada explained. "The first performance was more of a dark look and the next one will be more of a bright look."
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