Elusive producer Jai Wolf isn’t chasing hits, he’s playing the long game

Elusive producer Jai Wolf isn’t chasing hits, he’s playing the long game

Words by Priya Francis

Wolf prepares for his return to Australia, bringing along his debut album, The Cure To Loneliness, and the ethereal world he’s created within it.

For those who know and love his music, it seems like Jai Wolf has been around forever. His debut single, ‘Indian Summer’, released in 2015, racked up millions of streams, propelling him to success, and he’s been pushing the envelope ever since.

Born in Bangladesh and raised in New York City where he currently lives, Wolf’s music has evolved into an atmospheric experience in itself, one he’s bringing to Australia at the end of the year for his The Cure To Loneliness tour. He’ll be showcasing his latest release, a twelve-track album by the same name. The pressure of following up iconic releases such as ‘Indian Summer’ and ‘Starlight’, which he released in 2017, doesn’t seem to phase Wolf.

“I just knew that I wanted to make the music that I wanted to make and if people wanted to champion it and support it then that’s great. I really didn’t have any expectations. I knew that I was really proud of the songs and if other people were drawn to it as well then that’s just a bonus.”

His success has been a long time brewing, and while his most famous songs have taken their time in blowing up, Wolf almost prefers it as such, and manages to appreciate the beauty in the long run.

“I think music should be challenging, it should take time to understand it, it should take time to grow, and it means that they’re songs that people won’t get bored of too quickly if they blow up super fast. The overarching longevity is more important than whether it’s a smash hit for the now.”

While some of his earlier tracks have a sense of worldliness to them, his latest release sees Wolf dipping into the genres of his youth, taking inspiration from M83, The Strokes, Two Door Cinema Club and Phoenix, some of his favourite bands and musicians and injecting it into his own genre of electronic dream-pop.

“I love how when you press play, the riffs are so recognisable, and all those bands are so good at that. So I wanted to write a song where you hit play and you knew off the bat the riff, like the defining part of the song.”

The space Wolf’s music encapsulates is a timeless one, and with good reason. The longevity and lasting power of his music is something he says he kept in mind while creating this album.

“I wanted it to feel like you couldn’t really tell when the album was made, if it was made ten years ago, could have been made ten years into the future. I just wanted it to feel like you couldn’t really put a year on it.”

The concoction of ambience, atmosphere and emotion Wolf manages to capture within The Cure To Loneliness is one that has long resonated with his large following all over the world. It’s a sense of nostalgia and emotion that he’s extremely excited to bring to Australia for this leg of the tour.

“I feel like the live shows are an immersive experience. It’s not just music, it’s audio and visual. I want people to come to the show and feel like they’re existing in this custom world that we built for them, forgetting about what’s happening outside and really living inside the show. It’s a very ethereal, nostalgic and cinematic experience, so I’m very excited about it.”

It’s a live show Wolf wants his audience to grow from.

“If you go and see an electronic artist, there’s such a wide variety of what electronic music can be performed as or showcased as, so I want people to come to the show and understand that this is not a typical electronic experience. We tried our best to make it feel like this is what Jai Wolf is, so I hope people walk away thinking, ‘oh this was a very unique show’. I hope they also see that I worked extremely hard on it.”

Jai Wolf brings The Cure To Loneliness to Max Watt’s on Friday November 15. Tix available via Live Nation.