Wreckno Ready to Blossom into a Star [Interview]
Brandon Wisniski grew up an avid bass music fan from Northern Michigan, yet even through his abundant passion and excitement, it would have been hard for him to envision becoming the fabulous force that is Wreckno.
Growing up in a small town, Wisniski was one of the few openly queer people in his community. He was a major Lady Gaga fan—made evident by the poster hanging over his creative space during his Zoom interview with MP3 MAG—and at 14, his mother took him to his first Gaga concert.
She worried he’d be unhappy with the nosebleed seats, but Wisniski belted every lyric and hit every step of choreography all the same. From that moment on, he knew he wanted to be a performer.
“Well if she’s doing it,” Wreckno told MP3 MAG. “Then there’s no reason that I can’t in some way do what she is doing.”
Shortly after, he and his brother started working on music together in FL Studio, which gave him experience recording his voice and being creative with writing music. Then came his first big music festival at the age of 15, and to this day it has shaped his love for electronic music. At the time, it was the most future forward experience in his life other than seeing his idol Lady Gaga, but this was all just the beginning for the vision of the Wreckno project.
“Once I saw Gaga in the performance realm and then the craziness that is electronic music, I was like, ‘I wanna do both of those things.’”
With the launch of Wreckno, Wisniski quickly became known for his catchy pop and bass music mashups. It took a tremendous amount of hustle, as well as countless shows played for minimal pay, but he began to gain a level of notoriety that would bring him the most important opportunities of his career.
“I think that one of the things that people have been able to connect with this project has been related to the fact that I really love pop culture and music,” said Wreckno. “I was coming from a very sassy, queer point of view that I knew the girls and boys could get down with.”
After nearly a year of touring, hard work, and networking, Wreckno got the opportunity of a lifetime to meet one of his biggest inspirations, GRiZ. Having attended the CO-artist’s shows since he was 16, it was a surreal moment to chat with him, let alone collaborate.
For Wisniski, this first interaction with an idol of his really solidified what he was going for and helped people realize the Wreckno project is different from what they might have perceived early on. Before the pandemic shutdown, he was able to release his collab EP with Super Future, Hypernatural, and kick off the first few dates on his tour, including a slot on the lineup at Okeechobee Music Festival. His rise in popularity continued to grow, but truly transcended when he was asked to be the vocalist for GRIZ’S track, “Medusa.” Despite having one of his biggest performances to date—a pool party set slot at Deja Voom—cancelled, the track elevated him to even new heights.
“My silver lining for 2020 was that people wanted that gay pool party with me and Griz [at Deja Voom] so bad,” said Wreckno. “I think that Grant was like, “Hey, let’s make something cool because they couldn’t get that big gay party. Now it’s like “Medusa” is the gay pool party.“
Fast forward almost one full year since the release of the iconic track, and Wisniski continues to see the after effects in his personal career. What the young producer has come to appreciate the most—even over his continued success—is the ability to be a role model and inspire his fans.
Wisniski recalls queer icons, such as Mykki Blanco, Cakes Da Killa, and Brooke Candy, that he was able to look up to growing up. He was able to compare his relationship with these artists and how their music affected him when he was young to the inspiration and representation he is now offering to young fans today with his own music today.
“Gaga was the mainstream gay icon, but there was also all these amazing queer artists that have existed for so long,” Wreckno said. “As a 16-year-old, to be able to play any type of role in someone feeling more accepted is just exactly why I want to do what I do.”
Despite the notoriety brought by “Medusa,” Wreckno struggles with being viewed simply as a vocal artist rather than a producer. For many people in the bass music scene, there is an expectation that vocal artists will only come on stage for a few songs and expect the rest of the set to be heavy hitting. For Wreckno, this is of course not the case.
“I know for a fact it’s not hitting with some people, but I see the bigger picture and what I want as a performer,” he said. “I am now embodying what I saw for myself. It’s more so the struggle of just how they perceive me, but in the end I don’t really give a fuck.”
Wisniski’s success as a musician has helped him face adversity from people within his own friend groups who could not handle how open he was with his sexuality. Experiences such as these have helped to fuel the identity of the Wreckno project.
“I was expecting my queerness to be a part of the project, but it was all about getting my confidence with my voice,” said Wreckno. “I knew that using my voice was the only way I was going to be able to musically express my desire to have inclusion for queer people in electronic music.”
Today, Wreckno’s fan base continues to grow as his project message has evolved along with him. For Wisniski, this project has always been about queeer representation, but now, it’s so much larger than just that.
He has finally derived the attention and acclaim befitting of his lofty dreams, but now we have the pleasure of watching him blossom.
“Inclusive, open-minded, accepting energy in a scene that has not always had it, that’s the [energy] I hope the fanbase and community I’m trying to create with this project embody. I know I’m there and I know people see what I’m doing, but I still want to keep pushing.”