A Greek Sydney boy has been topping international charts, performing live on Jimmy Fallon and becoming an overnight sensation. But who is he?
Harry Michael, who is known professional as ‘Masked Wolf’, was born and raised in suburban Sydney.
Michael entered rap music at young age as a form of escapism from when his parents split. Triggering ongoing bouts of anxiety and depression, he moved in with his Greek Orthodox grandparents as a teenager.
Michael later become stuck in an artist management deal he couldn’t afford to get out of.
“I couldn’t release any music for about five years,” Michael said to GQ.
“I think that was a crucial part of me finding myself.”
“I could’ve given up on music and stuck with my day job. But I chose to work hard and articulate my sound. I look back on that time and I think to myself: I used it wisely.”
Michael found himself a new manager and released his first single, ‘Speed Racer’ in 2018, but it failed to take off on the charts.
It wasn’t until late 2020 that Astronaut in the Ocean – which had been on the Internet for almost 18 months by that point – began to appear on playlists everywhere.
“I call it the Scar Face song. It had this period of almost two years where it was out, just doing little numbers. No one said it was crap but it just wasn’t getting the push. I knew it was good, it just needed to be heard by more people.”
“It was put on a few playlists. But I think the most powerful thing about Astro is people were telling other people about it. I kept getting messages from kids like, ‘Yo, I vibe this track and I’m telling my friends and they’re vibing it’. It was the biggest chain reaction.”
The song is currently no.13 on the US’s Hot 100 Billboard chart, peaked at no.4 on the ARIA singles chart, and is the most Shazamed track in the world.
It was also the number three song on Spotify globally, a no.1 Spotify hit in countries including Saudi Arabia, Israel, Hungary and Ukraine, and its video has clocked around 86 million views on YouTube.
Masked Wolf was recently announced as the headline act for the Lost City music festival, just days after his TV debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he performed Astronaut In The Ocean.