Bonnaroo Artist | Yaeji
Bonnaroo History | Newbie
Stage & Time | Saturday | This Tent | 5:00-6:00pm
As we’ve been doing for the past several years now, we’re making it our mission to help you get acquainted with many of our favorites acts from Bonnaroo‘s 2021 lineup. However, to say that this year’s Bonnaroo is a bit of an unconventional one would be an understatement. Postponed from 2020, moved later into the summer, and with a lineup, schedule, and enhanced Covid-19 precautions all only announced and finalized mere weeks from the fest’s Sept. 2-5 weekend, we’re starting our preview coverage later than usual now that we have the full rundown, and will only be highlighting a handful of artists we want to make sure are on your radar this year, reflecting the full gamut of the festival’s days and stages, and even some performers from the plaza lineup. Additionally, look out for our full list-style lineup guides for each day of the fest, with many other artist recommendations, to help you navigate Bonnaroo’s stacked and sprawling 20th-anniversary slate.
Tickets for 2021 sold out in record time, but if you already have yours, or you manage to snag some from a reputable 3rd party, we hope you’ll do everything you can this year to keep yourself and your fellow Bonnaroo attendees safe throughout the fest, and to behave as cautiously as possible after to limit your risk of exposure to others. We’re thrilled to have music back, but, as the Delta variant fuels a rise in Covid cases, if we want it to stay back and stay safe, we all need to take care of one another. That said, we’re hoping this year’s Bonnaroo marks another important milestone on the road to normalcy, and some welcome solace for those in attendance. To help you get ready, read on for our Bonnaroo Artist Spotlight.
If you’ve scrolled through our Bonnaroo coverage looking for electronic artists and DJs, you’ve probably noticed it’s a bit of a blind spot for us. It’s not for lack of trying- we just don’t really have anyone plugged into the EDM beat right now, so you won’t see much from The Other or Where in the Woods on these profiles and lists. We like to at least bring you a few electronic-leaning recommendations regardless (if, like us, you’re less dialed into that scene, you might find our picks a good crossover gateway), and one such standout on the bill this year is Yaeji. Hailing from Brooklyn, Yaeji is a Korean-American producer, singer, and DJ, whose ethereal, bilingual vocal stylings and unique flavor of house music, infusing an affinity for pop and hip hop, has helped her drum up a lot of high-profile buzz in recent years. Born in Queens, New York, Yaeji’s family moved briefly to Atlanta before emigrating to Seoul while she was in grade school, forging her identity as something of an outcast and fusing her sensibilities between two cultures in a way that would later define her art. Returning to the states to attend Carnegie Mellon, Yaeji became immersed in the club and nightlife scene and Pittsburgh, and began DJing and making music of her own, something she continued to pursue more seriously upon a return to her native New York. 2017’s Yaeji and EP2 EPs helped swiftly draw attention for her genre and culture-bending self-forged style, landing Yaeji international press and spots at major fests like Coachella, and something of a legendary reputation for her immersive live performances. With last year’s What We Drew mixtape, Yaeji’s production became even more refined and her vocals more confident and prominent, alternating between hushed and personal pop tunes and dance-primed bangers. As an Asian-American woman breaking out in a music space that could certainly use a lot more representation, Yaeji seems both keenly aware of her platform, and comfortable in just being herself, allowing her multiculturalism to both inform and become a tool of her refreshingly original musical approach. While she’d be right at home on The Other, Bonnaroo seems dialed into her crossover appeal, and has slotted Yaeji for a prime Saturday tent set!
WATCH | “What We Drew”
LISTEN | “Raingurl”