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Wolfacejoeyy Interview: ‘buku,’ ‘All Your Fault,’ bending genres, embracing virality

Photo courtesy of Zay Maverick

Wolfacejoeyy is no doubt one of the brightest new stars rising out of the underground.

The 20-year-old, Staten Island emcee’s unapologetically original style combines the best elements of Jersey club, drill and the new wave to create fresh, lighthearted viral hits that are instantly recognizable — powered by tender vocals, fresh production and undeniably infectious hooks.

“The biggest thing with my music is I want it to sound like me and what goes on in my head. I feel like a lot of people are trying to portray some kind of image, or they’re doing their best to sound like someone else, but I really just want to express who I am and what I’m feeling the best way I can… I always want it to be me.”

Wolfacejoeyy on his sound

After first breaking through in 2022 with “Shake It,” Joeyy’s debut EP, All Your Fault, included a remix to his viral single featuring B-Lovee. Earlier this month, he stopped by On The Radar to become the first artist to perform their entire project on OTR’s “Plugged In” series. Just three months into 2023, Joeyy may already have another viral hit on his hands with “buku.” Produced by Whereis22 (co-produced by Cade), the track has caught fire on TikTok and already looks poised to surpass his breakout hit.

Laying the groundwork for an auspicious start to his career, Joeyy has not only built an all-star network of collaborators, but is fiercely committed to his original style. Staying true to his supporters and his unique sound — which fans have hilariously labeled as “cutie patooty” music — Wolfacejoeyy is a breath of fresh air in the current music landscape.

While looking like a proper underground phenom as he walks through the mall rocking his signature BAIN hoodie, Apple Air Pods Max and a big smile, we caught up with Joeyy to chat about his viral success, his debut project All Your Fault, his favorite collaborators, “buku,” his upcoming project hues, vol. 2 and more.

Check out “Buku” and our conversation with Wolfacejoeyy below!

AW: Your new single “buku” is already going viral… How do you feel about the reaction?

Joeyy: “It’s been goin’ crazy! To be honest, it already feels like its gonna be a bigger moment than “Shake It.” That was a big moment no doubt (my biggest so far), but this moment feels special because I feel like the fans that found me from “Shake It” and All Your Fault, now they have something to rally around. “Shake It” was really the first introduction for a lot of people, and then when “buku” started going crazy on TikTok, it gave the fans something to be like, “Okay this our guy now.” And almost all the videos on TikTok didn’t come from me or 22, it really just happened organically which is really cool.

AW: The “buku” video just dropped on Friday. Now you can answer the question that’s on everyone’s mind: How do those MSCHF red boots feel?

Joeyy: “Honestly bro, they feel amazing. I channeled my inner child that day because I love Astro Boy. When I was a kid, I loved watching Astro Boy so when I put on those boots I just felt so happy in that moment. They were comfortable though, for real, and actually easy to take off – I don’t know why everyone’s having such a hard time with that. We’re gonna release the behind-the-scenes footage of the video so everyone will be able to see for themselves how easy I just slipped out of them. Shout out to Bowery Showroom, that’s where we shot that video and shout out to Doctor Garmentz for hooking that up.”

AW: On the Radar recently dropped your most recent appearance, where you performed your entire All Your Fault EP. What was that like and how did that idea come about?

Joeyy: “I don’t think anyone has done that before, so I really just came to Gabe with the idea to just perform the whole tape on On the Radar instead of just one song and he was with it. We knocked it out a few days later. Shout out to Gabe P man, he’s really one of the most genuine people I’ve met in the industry. He’s the one who pushed for the blue lights and let me do as many takes as I needed even when he thought they were good – so shout out to Gabe and On the Radar, I really like how it came out.

AW: You mention a few names throughout the project, like Highway, Autumn! and ExavierTV. Could you shed a little light on a few of these notable name drops from All Your Fault?

Joeyy: “Shout out Highway man. I’ve been a Highway fan for a minute. Shoutout to John Luther actually I remember he was the one who put me on to Count Fast Island – like an OG Highway track.

And shout out Autumn too man. He really was like the first underground artist I started listening to back in like 2018. We’ve talked and met a few times, very cool guy.”

AW: ExavierTV put a little seasoning on the intro and outro of “UP”…

Joeyy: “Yes, ExavierTV is so funny man. I had just seen that ‘seasoning’ clip on his Instagram and thought that would sound so hard on a song. And it fit the vibe of the song so well. When I was making “UP,” I just felt like I was on top of the world, so I wanted to include that clip from Exavier as like words of encouragement to let people know they could feel like that too. I saw he’s actually putting out songs now too, I gotta check that out!”

AW: And of course on “buku,” you shout out your go-to producer, Whereis22 (aka Michael Rainey Jr) with the line: We don’t miss its me and 22 baby.”

Joeyy: “Yeah that’s my boy Mikey man — shout out 22 (Whereis22). He produced “Shake It” of course. We’ve actually been locked in for a long ass time and he’s one of my good friends now. He’s a busy man, you know, so whenever he’s got time he’ll send me beats, and I feel like literally every time we’ve made something special. It’s like we really can’t miss.”

AW: Who are some of the other producers you like to work with?

“Definitely Rio Leyva from Internet Money. Apart from 22, he’s one of the guys I know I can always go to and know I’m gonna get something great from him every time. There’s also WisVoo, Cade and Downtime. I keep my producer circle pretty small and I’m pretty close with all of them. I’m open to working with others, but it’s just those guys I always know we’re gonna do something special.”

AW: How do you describe what your music sounds like, and what genre would you categorize it?

Joeyy: “It could definitely be categorized as a mix of genres like Jersey club, drill, and just like straight underground/new wave type stuff. The biggest thing with my music, though, is I want it to sound like me and what goes on in my head. I feel like a lot of people are trying to portray some kind of image, or they’re doing their best to sound like someone else, but I really just want to express who I am and what I’m feeling the best way I can.”

AW: How do you feel about fans labeling your sound “cutie patooty” music?

Joeyy: “To be honest, I find it so funny bro I love it. People don’t really know that before I was a ‘rapper’ I used to be on the internet a lot. It wasn’t like mean spirited, but I would definitely troll around the internet for fun. So when I see stuff like that in my comments, I just find it so hilarious. I get how from the outside it might seem like they are making fun, but I really find it so funny and I love that there are people out there that are coming together to come up with a way to describe my music. Cutie patooty is so funny for real, I could never be offended by something like that. ”

AW: It also seems like fashion is a big focus of yours. You’re rocking the BAIN right now. What’s your relationship with BAIN and fashion in general?

Joeyy: “Shout out my boy Will! (White Collar Will). Lowkey, I was really there for the beginning of BAIN and got to watch it evolve. Apart from being my manager, Will’s one of my closest friends. Ever since he started it, I knew he was gonna go crazy. And now it’s like everyone wants BAIN. People even stop me in the mall sometimes who don’t even know what it is they just like the hoodie. So yeah I’m super proud of Will, watching him go from making cover arts to being a full-on manager, designer, curator, and damn near A&R.”

In general, I just love clothes. I would have to attribute a lot of my fashion sense to my mom to be honest… She was ahead on a lot of trends and always kept me in good clothes. I definitely want to do merch and clothes of my own. If you’re merch is fire and accessible to even people that don’t necessarily listen to your music, that’s really when you’ve won. I feel like that’s what Tyler, The Creator’s been able to do with GOLF le FLEUR. Or Young Thug with Spyder. That’s definitely a goal of mine.”

Wolfacejoeyy on his sense of style

AW: Who or what do you feel inspired by?

Joeyy: “In terms of artists, again, Tyler is definitely my biggest inspiration. And I feel like Travis Scott is lowkey one of the reasons why I even started to have the idea to make music in the first place. Definitely Playboi Carti of course. And when it comes to the dance type stuff, for sure KAYTRANADA, Black Coffee and definitely Jess Glynne, she’s like a dance goddess… And I know some people wouldn’t want to admit it, but a lot of my artist friends inspire me like Skaiwater, midwxst, Jaydes, Devstacks, SoFaygo and others. Even some of my producer homies like Y2, Bryce, its2ezzy. All those guys really put a battery in my back and when I see them doing something great, it pushes me.”

AW: From your perspective what do you feel like have been the keys to your success?

Joeyy: “Apart from just me being me, when it comes to putting out music my two biggest priorities are consistency and quality. Then again, I could be doing those two things and it still doesn’t work, so I also think the music I make resonates with a lot people in a unique kind of way. Of course my fanbase — they really just carries this thing to the moon. A lot of artists like to be mysterious, and while that can work for some people, I like to really interact with my supporters because I think it works better when they see you’re a real person. I respond to DMs, I go on Live, I answer questions. If I see supporters out in public, I’ll stop and talk with them, take pictures because I know I’d be nothing without them.”

AW: What has been your favorite performance so far? And what would be your dream stage to perform on?

“Not gonna lie, my favorite is probably the Skaiwater and midwxst show we did last November at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn. It was the second time I performed “Shake It.” I had all my friends with me and the energy was just insane. If we’re talking like full performance, though, it was probably that first show I did with midwxst in 2021. I haven’t done too many performance yet to be honest, but that one was definitely memorable. Excited to do more in the future.”

“I definitely would love to do Rolling Loud. I’ve been watching it every year since I was like 15, so I’m kinda mad it’s not in NY this year, but we’ll get there! And you already know I would love to do Camp Flog Gnaw if they ever brought it back. Tyler is my favorite artist so I would love to do that. Also Lollapalooza, just cause it’s Lollapalooza.

Joeyy on his “dream stages”

AW: What’s the future look like for you? What are your plans coming up?

Joeyy: “Well ‘buku’ is still going up and the video just dropped. I have a few more singles that are all gonna go crazy just like this one. I also have another little project coming out soon, hues vol. 2, that we would have put out sooner but “buku” really just caught fire. Then I’ll probably aim to drop another project closer to the end of the year.”

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