As Lollapalooza Kicks Off, New Generation of Musicians Hopes to Make a Splash

Lollapalooza kicked off Thursday as hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend upon Grant Park for the four-day music festival.

While the festival features a long list of mainstream names, it also includes the next generation of Lollapalooza headliner hopefuls.

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Some of the up-and-coming artists have been making music for a few years, but others are festival newbies.

Take Joey Valence and Brae, two hip-hop heads from State College, Pennsylvania.

“I’ve never even been to a music festival. We got these wristbands today, the fact that we’re doing this today is crazy,” Brae said. “It’s surreal. We’re thankful and blessed and excited to perform tomorrow.”

The duo says it is both of their fathers’ influences that inspired their commitment to create a new hype of hip hop, which they describe as coming from the sounds of the ‘80s, ‘90s and now.

“My dad is Filipino. He grew up in New York City, and was an old school beat boy, doing head spins in the subway with a Puma tracksuit,” Brae said.

Joey Valence has a similar story of fatherly influences.

“He was very into rap, jazz, funk and R&B. It’s all I grew up with, stuff like that …” Valence said. “For us, it’s like our childhood and what we grew up with. So it’s fun to bring it back to make it something that’s ours”

Other new artists share similar sentiments about performing, like ROSIE from New York, whose single “Never the 1” took off on TikTok, sparking her music career.

“After going viral on TikTok, it’s something really different about being able to perform live and in Chicago at that,” ROSIE said.

While it might seem like they’ve hit it big being featured in this year’s music festival, Joey Valence and Brae say it’s just the beginning.

“Lollapalooza is the biggest thing we’ve done thus far in our career. It’s exciting,” Brae said.

His music partner agrees.

“It’s exciting, we would’ve never expected to be here a year and a half ago making music in an apartment,” Valence said.

Lollapalooza continues in Grant Park through this Sunday.

Follow Angel Idowu on Twitter: @angelidowu3

Angel Idowu is the JCS Fund of the DuPage Foundation Arts Correspondent.

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