Lollapalooza kicked off on Thursday as hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend on Grant Park for the four-day music festival.
Although the festival features a long list of mainstream names, it also includes the next generation of Lollapalooza headliners.
Some of the emerging artists have been making music for a few years, but others are festival newbies.
Take Joey Valence and Brae, two hip-hop leaders from State College, Pennsylvania.
“I’ve never even been to a music festival. We have these wristbands today, the fact that we’re doing this today is crazy,” Brae said. “It’s surreal. We are grateful, blessed and excited to play tomorrow.
The duo say it was the influences of their fathers that inspired their commitment to creating a new hip hop hype, which they describe as coming from the sounds of the 80s, 90s and now.
“My father is Filipino. He grew up in New York and was an old school beat boy, turning heads on the subway in a Puma tracksuit,” Brae said.
Joey Valence has a similar history of fatherly influences.
“He was very into rap, jazz, funk and R&B. That’s all I grew up with, stuff like that…” Valencia 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 the performance, like New York’s ROSIE, whose single “Never the 1” took off on TikTok, sparking her music career.
“After going viral on TikTok, it’s something really different to be able to perform live and in Chicago as well,” ROSIE said.
While it might seem like they’ve hit it big being featured at this year’s music festival, Joey Valence and Brae say it’s just the beginning.
“Lollapalooza is the biggest thing we’ve done so far in our career. It’s exciting,” Brae said.
His musical partner accepts.
“It’s exciting, we never thought we’d be here a year and a half ago making music in an apartment,” Valencia said.
Lollapalooza continues in Grant Park until this Sunday.
Follow Angel Idowu on Twitter: @angelidowu3
Angel Idowu is the JCS fund of the artistic correspondent of the DuPage Foundation.