‘This Is the Most Special Thing That’s Ever Happened to Me’: Watch an Exclusive Mini-Doc in Queer Producer Wreckno’s Homecoming Show at Electric Forest
In June of 2012, a wide-eyed Brandon Wisniski stepped out of his older brother’s car and into their future.
“I didn’t have a tent, I didn’t really have a plan,” Wisniski says. “I was just like, ‘We are going to Electric Forest,’ and it was the best experience I ever had in my life at that point.”
This past June, on the 10-year anniversary of that fateful leap, the producer-rapper-DJ now known to fans around the world as Wreckno returned to Electric Forest — but this time, their older brother didn’t turn around and go home after dropping them off at the edge of the campgrounds.
Instead, the younger Wisniski pulled their brother and mom with them on stage to perform a full-on live show with vocals, choreography and backup dancers, completing a full-circle moment now memorialized in the six-and-a-half minute documentary Homecoming Queen: An Electric Forest Success Story, shared for the first time below.
“Getting to really show who I am as a performer on stage,” Wisniski says, “then playing a song with my mom and my brother, and we all got to hug onstage? That’s probably the most pure thing that’s ever happened in my life.”
We caught up with Wisniski — who identifies with any and all gender pronouns — during a rare moment in their Detroit home. Just a three hour drive from their hometown in rural Manistee, MI (population: 6,200), Wisniski is also light-years away from the small town scene of their youth. (Electric Forest takes place an hour south of Manistee, in the similarly tiny/rural Rothbury, MI.)
“Growing up queer in a small town, I had a lot of love around me, but there’s certain things that you do that kind of waters yourself down so you can survive a little bit easier,” Wisniski says in the doc. “But I am very thankful as well, that I went through some of the things that I went through, because it makes me that much more fierce on stage and it makes me very proud to do things that I’m able to do now as a very out and loud queer person.”
As witnessed in the doc, Wreckno’s new live show takes as much inspiration from Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj as their collaborator GRiZ. (Wreckno collaborated with the fellow Michigander on the 2020 queer anthem “Medusa” and appeared onstage during GRiZ’s headlining set at Electric Forest this year.)
While Wreckno has only had the chance to perform the show four times — at Detroit Pride, Electric Forest, GRiZmas in July and Lollapalooza — those landmark events have forever changed the artist’s outlook.
“I feel bad, because every time I’m on stage now, I don’t have my crew,” Wisniski says. “Now I know the scope of the show I can give, and it feels like I’m reverting a little bit. I know all the choreography, but it doesn’t have the same impact when I’m TikTok dancing alone [in the DJ booth].” (Wreckno is currently on a North American club tour, and will do their next live performance at Red Rocks on Oct. 27, as part of Rezz’s Rezz Rocks IV.)
While this is all marking aa new chapter for Wreckno, it’s the end of a long first chapter for the boy that was. Homecoming Queen opens with a shot of baby Wisniski staring into the camera. We hear his mother on the other side of the lens, encouraging him to sing.
“When I first started teaching myself how to dance, I would watch ‘Bad Romance’ over and over until I knew all the steps — and she would have to deal with it,” Wisniski laughs. “She remembered me as a 16-year old coming back from [Electric Forest] with scrambled brain cells, like, ‘Hey!’ She had seen me do this for like 10 years … She knew I could do all this stuff. She knows who I want to be a performer, but [the Electric Forest show] was her first time really seeing it.”
On stage and on the mic, Wreckno’s persona has erupted into a spicy and powerful sexual being, as evidenced by the June single “Delusional,” on which Wreckno raps, “I got way too much drip to be stuck in a cubicle / And yo man can’t decide, am I sexy or beautiful?”
“A couple of years ago, I was just trying to convince myself of a lot of it,” the artist says, “and now I’m kind of like, ‘Oh no, I’m aware that we are awesome and kids wanna hear this.’ So I think that has changed, where like, I really believe some of the s–t I’m saying.”
That confidence is contagious, too. Walking through the Forest after their performance, Wreckno fans new and old approached the performer to thank them for their set. It was one, the fans said, that genuinely helped young queer kids, weirdos and dreamers of all genders, sexual orientations and personal backgrounds see themselves and their own strength put on a pedestal for all to appreciate.
“You talk about it from the time you’re booked, your dream festival… but the whole time, you don’t really know exactly how it’s going to go,” Wisniski says. “You never know who this will touch in the future.
The 16-year-old version of Wisniski would almost certainly agree.