’my first name is julia. i’m from queens. lyrics over everything. really really tall. also really italian. that’s all I got rn’
WOLF’s Spotify bio says a lot about her in just a few words, which is exactly what she aims to do when it comes to her music.
– ‘my first name is julia’ –
Correct. Her first name is Julia, but her last name is certainly not Wolf. WOLF is the artist name that she picked for herself mostly after her ride or die, her sister. When her sister was little, she used to have an imaginary pet wolf and it just stuck with them to this day. After finding out that in Greek mythology the God of Music Apollo was also called the Wolf God on the side, Julia was left with no choice… ’this whole wolf thing kept popping up and I just kinda went with it!’
– i’m from queens’ –
Born and raised in New York City, dude!
– ‘lyrics over everything’ –
Growing up, Julia was a very shy girl, who was always trying to avoid anything that could cause attention to herself. She would not look at people in the eyes, she would not raise her hand to go to the toilet during class and most definitely she would avoid talking to people face to face as much as possible. The only thing that she felt comfortable doing was performing on a stage. Since she learnt how to sing and play the piano, WOLF performed only cover songs for years. It was not until her music teacher found out about her talent that she started writing her own music. After hearing Julia play the piano in the music room during lunch time one day, he encouraged her to sing an original song in the senior showcase. At first, Julia felt mortified and embarrassed at this request, but once she started putting words down on paper she realized that writing songs was the perfect way for her to express the feelings that she was not able to share otherwise. Lyrics over everything! When talking about her writing process, WOLF says ‘[it] is always lyrics first and try to pay attention to the small details. […] I think a huge inspiration to me [is] when I see other artists say things in the simplest ways, I think that is the hardest thing to do. Saying so much in such few words… that is what I try to focus on in my writing’. She also adds that her goal is to ‘be as visually striking as possible with my lyrics so that you can remember things’. And honestly, we could not agree more!
WOLF’s lyrics are painfully honest and real. In true Frank Ocean style, she can get her emotions across in the most simple and direct way, making people connect with her and relate to her story on a deeper level. Staying true to herself, she can paint vivid pictures into people’s minds, allowing them to reminiscence their own emotions and experiences in an extremely powerful – and sometimes unconscious – way. When WOLF sings ‘I wasn’t in the mood to let you down / Had to play dead so I won’t forget / It was not love’ (in her latest single Play Dead) or ‘You like to argue when you really need to heal / Don’t be mad if I don’t stick around and chill’ (in Ghost) — oh man, I really felt that! And if you didn’t… you are lying right now.
Julia does not only write her own lyrics, but she also produces her music. She first started producing out of necessity as she explains, ‘I did try and reach out to a ton of people, but I felt that everyone was always trying to change what I was expressing. [..] And even then, I would just send demos to people to mix and I would get the songs back just unrecognizable’. After a lot of dead ends, she finally met the producer with whom she has been successfully collaborating with on her latest tracks, Jackson Foote. The final result? A collection of dynamic pop melodies that are much more than just that. Grabbing different elements from other music genres, like rap and R&B, Julia and Jackson were able to merge these elements together seamlessly and develop a very unique, genre-bending sound.
Check out the playlist WOLF curated for TBC to know more about what artists and music inspire her the most.
– really really tall. –
Guess we will take it as given — zoom calls are not the best to tell how tall a person is, unfortunately 🙁
– also really Italian. –
We can guarantee you this for sure though!
Born in America, but with a very Italian dad, Julia can fully understand AND SING in Italian. ‘My parents did not speak English while I was growing up cause my dad still didn’t know English for a long time so I think it has left its impression on me’, she says. Since an early age, Julia has always been used to listening to music from the country of la dolce vita, including the hip-pop phenomenon Fedez and the extremely versatile pop icon Jovanotti, whose album Oh Vita! was produced by none other than rap mogul Rick Rubin. Being a huge fan of hip-hop and its sub-genres, Julia is currently obsessed with the up-and-coming rapper from Rome Joe Scacchi and his sound. ‘He is the first Italian artist that I just really loved sonically’ and we can totally see why. While his dark sound tends to be categorized as trap music, he enjoys experimenting when it comes to making beats, mixing the traditional 808’s with pop-ish choruses and rock guitars (amongst others). Keeping it versatile like the artists she loves and respects the most, WOLF tries to incorporate Italian in her music whenever she can. Just listen to her single ‘Immortale’ for a taste of ‘cultural crossover’ music: the ‘when Italy meets America’ version.
– that’s all I got rn’ –
That’s all she got… Just for now!
Despite being stuck at home as everybody else during lockdown, Julia has been on it, researching and listening to a lot of new music and forcing herself to keep writing ‘cause I think it’s a muscle that needs to be exercised and that’s how you grow’. What can we expect from WOLF in the near future you may ask? With seven tracks out right now, her plan is to drop a couple more singles, while an album is definitely in the works. And let’s not forget about music videos and merch… ‘Right now I don’t really have much marketing, I do the artwork and my covers and stuff, [but] yeah, I am trying to create more than just the music, like I wanna have a visual representation as well. You know, I love fashion so yeah, I would love to do videos [..] and merch [..], it’s all on its way!’. Talking about her plans for the future, Julia adds, ’The hardest part about this is making decisions. I don’t wanna rush things, even though it’s super tempting to, I do think it should be more of a marathon than race cause that’s the bigger win at the end of the day’.
So let’s just hold on tight and get ready to see WOLF win this marathon! To not miss any updates in the meantime, catch her @juliawolfnyc on IG.