Kenny Beats’ Glastonbury 2023 set proved that he’s a supreme tastemaker
Kenneth Blume took to the stage to inspire upcoming producers and share moments of joy with his audience
Image: FilmMagic / Getty
Glastonbury’s Lonely Hearts Club went berzerk the moment Kenny Beats ran onstage. “I got here off no sleep – if you’re getting fucked up tonight make some fucking noise!”, shouted the American producer extraordinaire to his crowd of committed fans.
Having won MusicTech’s Album Of The Year 2022 with LOUIE, we had high hopes for the beatmaking champion’s performance. And, with Lonely Hearts Club still being fresh with its 2022 introduction, Kenny Beats – real name Kenneth Blume – surely had his chance to leave his mark on the Art Deco-styled stage. He did not miss out on that opportunity.
Kenny came in hot. Starting with The Chemical Brothers’ Hey Boy Hey Girl, we weren’t expecting him to drop into house and electro – but he followed straight up with Skrillex, Missy Elliot and Mr Oizo’s RATATA and had the party going instantly. Throughout the dance-y first part of his set, Kenny didn’t shy from playing crowd-pleasing classics, such as Basement Jaxx’s Where’s Your Head At, Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head and A-Trak’s iconic remix of Yeah Yeah Yeahs Heads Will Roll. But he also got everyone moving with more underground selections, such as Rain Radio & Block Notice’s infectious track 079 and Skin On Skin’s Multiply.
We noticed pretty quickly, too, that Kenny takes a no-bullshit approach to his DJing. No gimmicky mixing techniques or overzealous usage of the effects chain – just dropping in each song at the exact right moment and letting the crowd react before queuing up the next banger.
Kenny soon floats into more hip-hop-driven tracks, and everyone at the stage is completely invested – all dancing, hands in the air and singing along with the DJ to Paper Planes by M.I.A and Kanye West’s Can’t Tell Me Nothing and Father Stretch My Hands. He even mixes BIZCOCHITO by ROSALÍA into Kaytranada’s Lite Spots, then into Move Your Feet by Junior Senior and One More Time by Daft Punk. Sure, these are all pretty well-known tracks, but he’s picking up on what the people want and isn’t afraid to experiment with such popular tracks in different contexts.
It’s getting to the end of his set but he has a few things to say before he heads out:
“Before I get the fuck outta here…If you make music don’t ever fucking stop. Keep going. Make art, you keep going.” Such a message resonates with the ethos he regularly shares with his 335,000 Twitch followers: ‘Don’t Overthink Shit.’ The artist is constantly trying to inspire up-and-coming producers and share his love of music with his community. And he did the very same during his Glasto set.
It’s hard not to love Kenny Beats’ attitude towards producing and performing, and he continues to prove to us why he’s such a force to be reckoned with in the music scene.
We’re coming to the final minutes of his set before he says ““Fuck it, fuck it…one more, one more.” Ski Mask the Slump God’s Take A Step Back (feat. XXXTENTACION) blasts aggressively through the huge sound system and everyone is jumping up and down. Kenny’s up on stage, jumping along, sharing his passion with us.
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