Wreckno Brings Big Gay Soirée to Denver for Pride Month | Westword

Wreckno Brings Big Gay Soirée to Denver for Pride Month

“It’s only been two years since I started expressing my gender identity to the realest extent," the producer shares.
Brandon Wisniski, who is better known as gender fluid artist Wreckno, is a party girl.
Brandon Wisniski, who is better known as gender fluid artist Wreckno, is a party girl. Courtesy Wink Photography
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If music doesn’t work out, Brandon Wisniski has a backup plan.

“I’m a big wrestling fan,” says the gender-fluid artist known as Wreckno while sitting in front of a wall of wrestler action figures.

WWE Hall of Famer Lita, who formed the punk band the Luchagors after her retirement in 2006, is still, by far, Wisniski's favorite. “Lita was why I wanted to either be a wrestler or a musician," adds Wreckno (they/he/she). "I loved her growing up."

Wisniski rapped some wrestling friends into the ring during a FIGHT.TV match last September, but the artist hasn’t thought about making their own debut yet, even though there’s a wrestling school not far from where they live in Detroit.

“I’ve considered going to it, but the reality is that I already perform so much, and if I got injured doing something, I would be really mad,” Wisniski says. “I have friends who wrestle. There are a bunch of gay wrestlers now because the world is just better and more progressive. But, hey, if David Arquette can do it, I think anybody can.”

But it’s safe to say that Wisniski doesn’t have to worry about jumping into the ring anytime soon. The EDM producer is on the come-up and recently released the single “Party Girl,” the title track from an upcoming EP. While Wreckno has teamed up with dozens of artists since 2019 and independently dropped The Fantasy in 2022, Party Girl is a more proper showcase of Wisniski's work.

“The EP has been like a culmination of five to six years. I’ve been collaborating with a lot of electronic artists and finding my voice when it comes to writing and lyrics and getting better at production,” they explain. “It feels like a debut, a little bit. I have music that’s out, but this feels like the most polished, proper version of Wreckno that’s ever been put out there as a solo release. I just wanted to come in and make loud, brash, queer music, whether it be deemed poppy, electronic, rap. There’s a mix of a lot of it. There’s a lot of different vibes going on.”
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Wreckno is prepping for their Big Gay Soirée in Denver this month.
Courtesy Wink Photography

To celebrate the upcoming label debut — and Pride Month — Wreckno is hosting the first-ever Big Gay Soirée at Tracks on Thursday, June 20, as part of the legendary local nightclub's Fifty Years of Denver Pride celebration. DJs Kaleena Zanders, So Sus and Ava Sparks are also on the bill, while renowned drag queens Aja and LaLa Ri of RuPaul's Drag Race will also perform.

The idea of mixing full-blown professional drag with EDM sets has been in the works for a few years at this point. The inaugural Wreckno’s Big Gay Soirée was supposed to be held last year, but Wisniski caught COVID and had to cancel.

“There are a lot of queer artists in electronic music, but there wasn’t that side of queer that we felt was represented. We never really saw drag at festivals — like, full-on drag,” Wisniski explains. “We were like: If we’re going to do a curated event, how would this look like for us, and what would we think is the coolest thing ever in this scene?

“That’s always been the goal: How can we throw the coolest, gayest, electronic, weird, niche-y party with high-tier drag and performers? This is the biggest version of it,” Wisniski continues.

Less than a week out, the artist is filled with “jittery excitement,” especially as the Wreckno team turns its attention to the finer details of the event.

“Honestly, it’s a little nerve-racking,” Wisniski admits. “It’s one of those things that I know will fully come together the day we’re all there. It’s like playtime. You just get to make it awesome. It’s this big extravaganza. All we can do is show up with a good attitude.”

As Wisniski reflects on their gender-identity journey and growing up in “nowhere northern Michigan,” they recall how EDM wasn’t always queer-friendly.

“When I first got into electronic music, I was looking for versions of myself that I could identify with on stage, but in 2012 I wasn’t seeing any of that on stage,” Wisniski explains. “Electronic music at that time was bro-step; it was bro EDM. Me showing up in tights, I got weird looks. I got weird vibes. I assimilated as a person and flushed all of my gender fluidity out of my system, because it was going to be harder to exist.”

When Wisniski began performing, the makeup and skirts weren’t part of the on-stage wardrobe, but a couple of years ago, they decided to fully embrace and unleash themself with Wreckno.

“It’s only been two years since I started expressing my gender identity to the realest extent. Three years ago, I was still rapping on stage, the same things I’m rapping now, super-gay stuff, but I was in a flannel and shorts. It didn’t have the same feel because it wasn’t actually myself,” Wisniski explains.

“All of it has been such a journey internally. The more that I’ve been like ‘This is who I am. This is who I’m going to be on stage because it is myself’ — as they say in wrestler, your gimmick is you turned up to eleven," they conclude. "That is who I am on stage.”

Wreckno’s Big Gay Soirée, 8 p.m. Thursday, June 20, Tracks, 3500 Walnut Street. Tickets are $35.
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