CHICAGO - Even though they are still in their early 20's, our next Rising Stars have truly built an empire with a brand whose slogan started out as "Chicago now, Global soon."
Now, it has quickly changed to "Global now, Chicago Forever..."
It was only five years ago as a senior in high school in Plano, Illinois that Cole Bennett dreamed up his plan for what would become one of the most buzzed about brands from Chicago, and with the help of his mom, Cole's idea would soon become known as “Lyrical Lemonade.”
"She said ‘Lyrical Lemonade’ and I remember looking at her like, ‘come on mom you gotta do better’ and I thought about it for a second and said that's it, that's the one,” Bennett said.
Along with his head of site and operations, Elliot Montanez, and a core staff of seven, Lyrical Lemonade has evolved from a music blog in Bennett's childhood home to a multi-dimensional company whose influence is now felt around the world.
"Lyrical Lemonade is 4 or 5 things under the same umbrella. it's our website, merchandising, our festivals and concerts and our music videos,” Montanez said.
Two years ago, Lyrical Lemonade's Summer Bash took place at the 1,300 capacity Portage Theatre.
This June, they will be throwing a two-day festival to 20,000 people in Douglas Park.
This summer, Lyrical Lemonade will embark on their biggest challenge yet as they venture into beverage business with the release of their very own lemonade.
"I really want to compete with Minute Maid and all of the elite lemonade and juice companies and I really think we can do that,” Bennett said.
With views of his self-directed and edited music videos on the Lyrical Lemonade YouTube channel now in the billions, Bennett has been able to work with up and comers such as Lil Pump and heavyweights like Cardi B and Kanye West.
"To work with someone like him was life changing and inspiring and let me know ‘I can do this, I’m here for a reason,” Bennett said.
Despite working with established artists, Lyrical Lemonade still finds it more meaningful working with and promoting emerging artists.
"You get someone who's hungry, that's the common theme with between us and them and that's why we love working with younger artist,” Bennett said.
But it's the bond between them that makes up the core of Lyrical Lemonade.
"Being friends is what makes it special,” Montanez said.
"Everything we do is family based. It's friendship before it's business," Bennett said.
With their now iconic lemonade carton logo recognized globally, Lyrical Lemonade knows they have left a legacy in Chicago for generations to come.
“I feel like we will end up being that turning point,” Montanez said. "We'll inspire the younger generation, not to be like us, but do their own creative thing. I feel like when we're all dead and gone, Chicago will be a better place musically.”
The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash will take place this June in Douglas Park with tickets going on sale Friday morning.
Also, FOX 32 can exclusively tell you that Juice Wrld (World), Kodak Black and Playboy Carti will be some of the festival’s headliners!