Talks With 20: Wolf Colony Proves You Don’t Have To Be A Signed Artist To Make A Killer Album

After an intimate penthouse performance hosted by Magnises at their new townhouse location, the Hotel on Rivington, located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Wolf Colony sat down with us for a brief interview and gave us some insight into the process of entering the music industry and his new album, Unmasked.

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AW: Can you tell us a bit more about the wolf behind the mask? Who are you when you’re not performing?

WC: I tend to identify still as a singer songwriter. It’s important for me to separate the art from the artists, so that’s the reason behind the mask. I think, in general, I’m very chill and like most people. I love music and food. I like enjoying NYC and hanging out with my friends, but music is my passion and my focus.

 

AW: Do you have a plan for the mask to come off at any point in the future, or is it a permanent part of you as Wolf Colony?

WC: I think for now it is definitely a permanent piece, but who knows what will happen. It is definitely something that I identify with. It gives me comfort and enables me to say and do whatever I want [artistically] without having it be about me specifically.

 

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AW: You went to business school before breaking into music. Was there something else you saw yourself pursuing before you went down this track?

WC: I actually didn’t know what I wanted to do, I just went to business school because it was recommended to me by family and friends, and just culture in general. Until I found music, I honestly didn’t have a purpose in life. Now music is a priority and everything else is secondary.

 

AW: You just recently released your album, Unmasked, was this your first recorded work?

WC: Yeah, this is my first official work that I’ve ever done. Before that, I started in college writing music, songs specifically, with no musical background whatsoever. It just sort of came out of nowhere. It wasn’t until I moved to New York a couple of years ago that I actually started to record and take it more seriously.

 

AW: How was the process creating the album?

WC: To be honest, it happened very easily and naturally. I used to write songs and sing. Neil Sarin, who is my producer and manager, we were friends from college, he used to tell me “you’re good, you’re good,” but I always thought “no, I’m never going to do this.”

Once I was up here in NY he sent me some tracks, and I came up with lyrics and melodies over them instantly. I didn’t sit down to write, they just came to me. I recorded some demos and sent them back to him. He said they were amazing, so every few months we recorded more and more, and a year and a half later we had the full album ready. 

So, I’d say there wasn’t a lot of pressure because I wasn’t signed. It was important to not be signed because I wanted to take my time and to enjoy it. And now I’m a lot more open when it comes to that.

 

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AW: Does the Album title “Unmasked” suggest that it’s something introspective or something a bit less personal?

WC: I think the inspiration is that I don’t have to reveal my face for you to know who I am. You can listen to my songs, my lyrics, or ask me questions and I will answer them truthfully. You don’t have to look at me to know who I am. I think that’s a mistake that a lot of people make. When they look at someone, they think “this is this sort of person” or “that sort of person,” but I dont want that holding me back. I want complete freedom creatively.

 

AW: What was your reasoning behind leaving the tracks sounding a bit more raw and not delving into the endless layers of post production?

WC: Very simply, it just felt right at the time. My song writing process was very natural, so I wanted to evoke that same emotion vocally. So whatever I recorded and however that sounded, I wanted to stick with it.

 

AW: How is that transitioning to live performance?

WC: It hasn’t been very easy to be honest. I think that’s the toughest part as far as creating music – how to translate recorded songs into a live show, especially because I’m a solo artist. I’ve hired bands and it didn’t work, hired other bands and it didn’t work. Now, finally, I’m getting a band together that I feel very comfortable with. I know what to play electronically and what to play live, so its a lot of experimentation seeing what works and what doesn’t.

 

AW: What else do you have in store? Can you give us some insight into what comes next?

WC: I’m very excited, I just finished mixing my new EP, which is titled “Ocean,” today, and I’m premiering it at Le Poisson Rouge on July 9th. I’m also shooting a short video for it, so it’s more of an art project. After that, I’m playing a festival in Barcelona with Hard Rock Rising. It will be incredible. I’ve never played a festival before so I’m very excited to be performing there.

You can check out music and videos by Wolf Colony at wolfcolony.com as well as on Soundcloud, Spotify, and YouTube.

Check out Magnises to find out how you can attend more events like this around NYC!

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