Triumphantly Biting The Bullet - Karl Wolf
Karl Wolf, a Lebanese Pop, R&B, Soul and Fusion musician based out of Toronto, and is quickly becoming one of Canada’s leading music sensations. Talent, determination, persistence are key to what makes Karl Wolf’s musical entrepreneurship such a success. Wolf has been triumphantly singing, producing, and writing all of his own music since the start of his career in 2001. “Well initially when I was starting out, no one wanted to work with me. So, I took it upon myself to learn how to write my own music, produce my own songs, as well as perform them. I wanted to make a name for myself so I really put in the work,” says Wolf, currently spending some time in Montreal after just wrapping up a tour through Canada and overseas.
In the beginning, his odds were stacked against him as he struggled to get his foot in the door of the music industry. “I think it is really important to know everything you possibly can in order to be successful in music. I have definitely become accustomed to my busy lifestyle, but I am really disciplined when it comes to balancing work and fun,” he says, and his dedication to his passions were more than apparent as he released his first solo album in 2006, “Face Behind the Face”. He continued to release three more albums, “Bite the Bullet” in 2006, “Nightlife” in 2009, and “Finally Free” in 2012. Currently his main focus is promoting his newest single, “Yes,” the first known multilingual reggaeton single. “Super Sapo, Deena, Fito Blanco, and I were able to collaborate on something really special,” Wolf continues, “I have a few friends out there that were able to hook it up with yachts and private jets and essentially everything that we needed to make this killer video, so of course I was like, Yes! Let’s do this!” With over 100,000 streams on Spotify and over 250,000 views on YouTube, he is making his goals a reality and his struggles are long behind him.
Staying true to what he loves, he has progressed immensely within his works. “I feel like a lot of music these days is all about sex. I really want to steer away from that and put real, actual love back into music today,” stated Wolf, as he makes it a priority to channel his passions and values into what he produces. Prioritizing love, entertainment, and addicting lyrics makes his music relatable and relevant to large audiences. “The most important advice I have ever received is simply to make my music my own,” Wolf insists. Advice that led him to produce his most successful single, “Africa,” was topping the charts all over the world, including Billboard, Canadian Hot 100, Czech Republic’s Rádio Top 100, amongst other countries including Hungary, Japan, and Slovakia. While what seemed to be an overnight success story, this single did not come quickly to Wolf. “Well, when I was working on my single “Africa,” I was planning on redoing Africa by Toto and it just wasn’t going as planned. My manager at the time, Nick Carbone, insisted that I just change the whole thing and about 20 versions later I produced my most successful single,” Wolf says, “focusing on making my music reflect who I am is what made this such a hit.” Wolf then went on to receive numerous awards for “Africa” including the “Anglophone Song of the Year” award at the Sounds of Blackness Awards, and the “Best New Group or Solo Hot A/C Artist of the Year” at the Canadian Radio Music Awards.
Wolf credits his successes to combining his passions with his work ethic. “I’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot for work whether it be touring or filming, I really try to use filming videos as an excuse to go on vacation because I love filming in beautiful places,” Wolf says. With a love for travel and chasing an endless summer, he has had some amazing experiences working on his music videos. “Filming in Turks and Caicos was amazing, I’ve also gotten to spend some time working in Dubai, Greece, and Jamaica,” Wolf shares. “I really try to implement summer vibes into my music and my videos. Growing up in Dubai really made me have a deep love for summer and all the beachy vibes that come with it,” Wolf adds. He has continued to spend a lot of time in Dubai, where he has shot three music videos. His travels have led him to vast opportunities to work with many talented people. Wolf recounts, “ in Jamaica I filmed “Ghetto Love” with Director X, who has produced some of Drake’s music videos. That was a really fun experience and I was able to learn so much.” Wolf finds much of his inspiration through classic R&B, which he and the well-known artist “Akon” have in common. “I’ve toured with Akon multiple times. We’ve talked about collaborating and that’s something that I would still really like to do. I’ve also always dreamed of working with Michael Jackson, I mean if Drake did it, it should still be a possibility right?” Wolf explains, talking of Drake’s recent collaboration titled, “Don’t Matter to Me”, that features an unreleased track by Michael Jackson himself. Wolf is a huge fan of the Soul & R&B genre from Jackson’s era, “Whenever I get stuck writing a song, I always just go back to R&B. What truly inspires me and gets me going is the genuine love portrayed in the works of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Prince,” as Wolf credits them as his main influences of motivation.
Since then, his career has exploded and has continued to thrive, currently standing with 5 SOCAN Awards, 1 MTV EMA, 3 JUNO Nods, and is a co-writer of the OMI hit single, “Hula-Hoop.” A man of many talents, Wolf continues to surprise us with fun, tasteful, and upbeat singles and albums. It is anticipated that many exciting projects are right within reach. “I have another tour coming up soon in Paris and in Lebanon that I’m really excited for. I’m also working on an album that should be coming out at the end of September,” Wolf shares. With these next few projects, he hopes to spread his fanbase into the United States. Intent on making plans for a world tour, Wolf adds “I am really excited and eager to expand into the U.S.. After all these years of success all over the world, I guess we’ll see if America is ready for it!”