After going stupidly viral with his huge hit ‘Astronaut in the Ocean’, Masked Wolf had the music world at his feet in 2o21.
Billions of streams; TikTok domination; songwriting acclaim; everything seemed to be heading in the right direction as the Sydney rapper entered 2022.
Behind the scenes, though, there were issues. “I was thrown into a world I knew little about and in no way I mentally prepared for,” Masked Wolf, real name Harry Michael, revealed on social media late last year.
“Along with a popular song comes pressure to follow it up, peoples opinions, people trying to take creative control and direction of me and my music, the hateful messages, the backlash of being an Aussie artist gaining traction outside of your country.
That’s why Masked Wolf realised he was struggling to “find my own lane and voice in and industry that tells you what you should be doing and will point out everything that’s wrong with you.”
After cutting ties with Warner Music Group, it was announced earlier this year that Masked Wolf was back with his old pack at Lucky Ent’s Teamwrk, who struck a partnership with Ingrooves Music Group for worldwide distribution.
After witnessing him cement his independent credentials in 2023, regaining “complete creative control” of his music again, Tone Deaf decided to catch up with Masked Wolf to find out his main reasons for going independent again.
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You can read that below, and catch Masked Wolf in action live when he supports OneRepublic on their Australian arena tour this month (more information here).
Masked Wolf‘s Top 4 Reasons To Go Independent:
Going back to my independent roots with Teamwrk Records means I have full creative control back of my releases. I’m releasing music at a rapid rate right now all because I can. Teamwrk take my lead and make things work around that.
Working back with an independent label has involved so much more collaboration, as opposed to one big release cycle that feels like a lot of one-way traffic. Independently, everyone has unique input and influence over what happens with my music, but most of all the decisions start and finish with myself.
Independent artists have the ability to pivot quickly and respond to changing trends and opportunities and ideas they might have. It means not having to go through a crazy approval process before releasing new music or starting on a new project or idea.
Peace of Mind
I speak with the people who work on my music on a daily or weekly basis, the communication is open, and there’s a level of trust and enthusiasm about the music I’m releasing that’s just authentic. One positive about being independent is the peace of mind that your music is being prioritised – it’s not part of a huge machine, it’s a passionate group of people that I can speak one on one with at any time. Shout out my team!