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Wreckno Discusses ‘Stomper,’ The Current LGBTQI+ Rhetoric, Inclusivity In Dance Music And More

Hailing from a small town in Michigan is Wreckno. The rapper, producer and deejay—legally known as Brandon Wisniski—is taking the bass music scene by storm. In 2020, the queer artist charted No. 1 in TikTok’s Pride category, followed by Donna Summer and Madonna. They also have music featured in Fortnite and NBC Peacock’s “Queer As Folk,” and they have garnered support from some of dance music’s top names and imprints, such as Deadbeats and artists within the label’s community: Rezz, A Hundred Drums, GRiZ, NotLö , LEVEL UP and more. In addition to his music, Wisniski is creating a safe space for people within the LGBTQI+ community by being unapologetically himself. However, he notes it’s difficult in challenging times for the community.

With the current LGBTQI+ rhetoric, Wisniski believes it’s a “terrifying” time for trans and gender-non-conforming people as well as drag queens, especially Black folks who identify within these communities because they’re already a marginalized group. These threats are on top of the existing issues that they face daily.

“We’re in a new generation where so many of us are living our lives proudly and authentically and to be taking steps that are like hundreds of years back is very sad as an out and proud person,” Wisniski said. “I really do believe we’ll push through it because that’s what the LGBTQ+ community has always done—rise above.”

The producer is known not only for their work to champion the LGBTQI+ community but also for their distinct style within bass music. Today, March 31, they showcase the sound they are known for on “Stomper.”

The song features wonky bass, rap, bubbly beats, swiveling synths and more. The record, created in collaboration with EAZYBAKED, began when EAZYBAKED reached Wisniski during quarantine. Wisniski has been a fan of EAZYBAKED since his days as a young raver.

During the pandemic, Wisniski wrote a song and sent it to one of their friends, who defined the song as a “slapper.” The Michigan-bred producer took this term one step forward by calling him a “stomper,” which he came up with as he thought of songs that made him want to stomp around on the dancefloor, meaning he is vibing with the music.

Among their efforts to advocate for the LGBTQI+ community is their 2021 EP, PANSY, which explored the concept of reclaiming and finding power in hate speech once used against him. The rapper says there was a discussion within their group of friends about the line between hate speech and reclaiming it to make it your own and take back power.

Wisniski says he was called effective at the age of three, and he spent his life unpacking that moment as a gay person. PANSY is the first EP where his vocals are the focal point and he wants to use the voice he has been given to reclaim the hate speech he has faced throughout his life.

“There’s something about reclaiming your power and choosing to love and champion the things that make you you, [despite what] other people have put against you,” the queer artist says. “It’s something that’s really deeply ingrained in me. I remember really wanting to make that the focal point where it was like, ‘You’re going to say whatever you’re going to say about me. You’re going to call me names or slurs at some point, and I’m so proud to be that.’ I think that’s where the stance was coming from being like, ‘Oh, I mean that’s a problem for you? That’s who I am.’”

The music industry as a whole, they say, is becoming more inclusive as there are headlining acts such as Sam Smith, Troy Sivan and Kim Petris. Within dance music, they believe the scene is seeing more diversity with non-binary acts such as Moore Kismet and themselves, as well as lesbian performers like Rezz and CloZee.

The track that put Wisniski on the map is “Medusa,” created with GRiZ, and he says the track “changed [his] life.” He later produced another song with GRiZ dubbed “EZ,” which is his favorite song he has made to date. The vocally-drive single, he says, was his departure from electronic dance music and his entry into becoming a rapper, performer and entertainer.

“When I hear that song and when I perform it, it’s the epitome of everything that I want to step into,” they say. “I love the EDM scene, but I’m a performer and entertainer first and foremost.”

“The Fantasy” is the most meaningful EP for Wisniski as three of the songs were created in the studio with his mother and brother. He adds that he learned how to create music with the two, and the EP represents him going back to his roots with the ones he loves. He notes, “you can’t top that.”

The rapper’s entry into dance music began with Skrillex’s “With You, Friends (Long Drive),” adding that he heard it his sophomore year in high school and it still brings tears to his eyes. If he hadn’t gotten into dance music, Wisniski says he would have become a veterinarian, noting that he is a high school dropout so that dream may not have panned out for him. He added that he dropped out of high school because he had a difficult time with academia, and he wanted to start working since he came from a low-income family located “in the middle of nowhere” in northern Michigan.

“I knew I wasn’t going to have the resources to go to college or go to the art school college that I wanted because I wasn’t good at school,” the deejay says. “In my head, [I] was like, ‘Drop out and go get experience somewhere else,’ and I did. Eventually, I started performing as a hula hooper and eventually it led to deejaying, producing and writing songs. It worked out, thankfully.”

At a younger age, though, Wisniski became addicted to methamphetamines as his dream of making music and becoming a performer wasn’t working.

“I went to a really dark place and drugs were obviously an escape, and thankfully I had a great family and great friends who stood by my side,” they said. “I moved into my grandma’s [house] when I was 23, got clean and moved forward from there. [I] eventually started getting bookings and haven’t looked back since 2019.”

As for the advice he would give his younger self: “Worry about making music with people who don’t question you. Don’t waste your energy trying to get in rooms just because they seem like the right rooms to be in. I think that would’ve saved me a lot of trouble, and a lot of the best music I’ve made has been effortless.”