The Festival Circuit Breeds Breakout Artists. Why Destroy Lonely is On the Top of My List


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The Festival Circuit Breeds Breakout Artists. Why our Pick for 2023 is Destroy Lonely

There’s a restless current pulsating through the sweat-drenched bodies and dirt-crusted boots on the festival circuit this year. It’s a current powered by a renegade sound, an energy that sways with the brash rhythm of anticipation. Our festival senses are tingling with the prospect of who might emerge as this year’s breakout star — and we’re placing our chips on a sonic gambler, a poet of paradox, a knight in crumpled Vlone armor: Destroy Lonely.

This electricity isn’t a mystery to the young bloods under 18, who’ve been swimming in the pool of Lonely’s woozy soundscapes long before us old timers got our feet wet. He’s been capturing them with this synth pop beats since his breakout hit in 2019, Bane.

Its time to Buckle up, festival comrades. As the haze of upcoming festival nights thickens, we expect to see Destroy Lonely take center stage, carving out a space amidst this years pantheon, breathing life into our music-soaked nights with his indomitable spirit. It’s a premonition, an instinct — and believe me when I say, we’re in for one hell of a ride.

Sprung from a legacy of music nobility, Destroy Lonely was delivered into the world as the progeny of Bobby Sandimanie Jr., better known as I-20, the celebrated rapper who dominated the music scene in the late ’80s and early ’90s. This familial connection proffered Lonely a front-row seat to the intricate mechanics of the music industry, his father’s voyage through the waves of stardom serving as an invaluable guide. However, the young artist was resolved to cast off the label of ‘another rapper’s kid.’ He was determined to etch his own mark on the musical landscape, not as I-20’s son, but as Destroy Lonely, a force to be reckoned with in his own right Nestled under the visionary umbrella of the music label Opium, helmed by none other than the hip-hop trailblazer Playboi Carti, Destroy Lonely found a home where his sonic exploration could roam freely. The label, renowned for its genre-defying and boundary-pushing ethos, proved to be an incubator for Lonely’s unique sound. A stellar constellation of talents, Opium houses artists like Ken Carson, a fellow label mate who mirrors the same audacious spirit that Lonely carries. These artists, bound by their artistic prowess, together weave a soundscape that harmonizes the echoes of punk and hip-hop, pop and rage rap, setting the stage for a new epoch in music. His sophomore album, “Forever Alone,” had us swaying to his unique blend of sharp lyrics and woozy soundscapes. But his forthcoming album, “If Looks Could Kill,” promises to shift our perception of Lonely as an artist, showcasing a deeper layer of his musical ethos.

“If Looks Could Kill” signals a transformation — not just in sound, but in the mindset of Destroy Lonely. He’s not a rapper, he’s an entrepreneur with a dream to inspire and amass wealth beyond imagination. Every track in the album seems to carry this ethos, playing like a score to a billion-dollar ambition.

While some may question the tonal shift, the reality is, Destroy Lonely is not here to cater to expectations. He’s charting his own path, and he’s not afraid to let us witness the journey. His ability to combine his playful trolling nature with earnest sincerity sets him apart in an industry often accused of taking itself too seriously.

Destroy Lonely’s coveted 2AM slot at Bonnaroo’s esteemed ‘This Tent’ stands as a living testament to the kinetic upward trajectory of his career. Gracing the same platform that previously hosted the magnificent talents like Marc Rebillet in 2022, STS9 in 2018, and Ghostland Observatory in 2008, indeed marks a significant accomplishment. Yet, there’s something about Lonely’s poised nonchalance and mesmerizing stage aura that confidently predicts the early morning throng to be more electrifying and wide-awake than ever.

But what’s the secret sauce behind Lonely’s rise? He’s far from just another musician seeking fame. He wants to leave a legacy. Like a graffiti artist spray-painting a mural across the cityscape of the music industry, Lonely aims to etch his name into the fabric of time. He’s not merely planning to join the pantheon of greats — he’s looking to redefine it.

Whether you’re tuning into his sound for the first time or have been riding the wave from the start, Destroy Lonely’s magnetic pull is undeniable. “If Looks Could Kill” is a brave foray into his psyche, a journey we should all be eager to embark upon.

Destroy Lonely has already shown us that he’s not one to be boxed into conventions – whether that’s breaking away from the shadow of his father’s fame or challenging genre norms in his music. With a catalogue that defies classification and a stage presence that leaves audiences both energized and introspective, this young rapper is clearly setting his own pace. His act at Bonnaroo’s ‘This Tent’ promises to be a seminal moment in the festival circuit for 2023, yet another stepping stone in his audacious journey towards building a legacy that echoes for generations. Don’t be surprised if, years from now, we look back at this performance as the moment Destroy Lonely cemented his place in the pantheon of music legends.

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