In an exclusive interview with Elite Daily, Remi Wolf discusses her new deluxe 'Juno' album.

Remi Wolf Will Get The Party Started

The Juno singer’s summer (and career) are scorching.

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Remi Wolf’s stage is a cross between psychedelic art and the cover of a Lisa Frank notebook. Wearing white cargo pants, a gingham sweater vest, and a beaded necklace, the 26-year-old singer roars as she dances in front of a screen projecting trippy, saturated video collages that are unexpectedly calming, like a children’s sensory bottle but for adult music festival heads.

It’s a Friday in late May, and following an early afternoon storm, the mood at Hangout Music Fest in Gulf Shores, Alabama, is now bright and colorful. You can thank Wolf, who is performing her 2020 song “Disco Man,” about flirting with a boy who buys gas station sunglasses. (Who among us...) Really, Wolf is the disco ball, reflecting energy onto the crowd with each note. “I’ve been performing pretty much since I was in sixth grade, before I was writing [and] before I took on my artist career,” Wolf tells Elite Daily. “It’s really a happy place for me.”

Wolf has several reasons to be happy. Her debut album, Juno, dropped in October and quickly garnered critical acclaim for a kaleidoscope sound of funk, pop, and rock influences brimming with power and personality. Pitchfork gave Juno an admirable 7.0 rating, and Wolf has more than 4 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

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She’s kept the momentum going. Earlier this month, Wolf dropped the deluxe edition of Juno, featuring four new songs. “Fired” and “Sugar” were written before she started working on Juno, while work on “Michael” and “Cake” came after its release. “Cake,” in particular, shows Wolf’s signature funk-pop sound is already evolving to include heightened synth production.

Wolf is about to kick off a nine-show European stint before she returns stateside for her Gwingle Gwongle tour in September and October. Along the way, she is performing at festivals like Primavera Sound Barcelona, Summerfest, and Lollapalooza. So, yeah, she’s pretty busy.

Right now, though, Wolf is chilling in the Artist’s Lounge at Hangout Fest before she brings the crowd back to life in about 30 minutes. Wolf is notably laid-back, likely conserving her energy as her “work day” just started. On tour, Wolf is regularly working the night shift: 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. “Straight up, the most 9-to-5 my job gets is touring,” she says, estimating she’s performed more than 100 shows in the last nine months.

“It’s easy now,” she says. “I don’t feel so fresh and new and mind-boggled anymore.”

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At a time when it’s trendy to be an alt-maximalist, Wolf embodies the modern Gen Z sensibility for exuberance without any traces of following trends. Wolf is sonically and topically varied. She calls herself “the West Coast Bob De Niro” on a song titled “Sexy Villain” and named another track, “Anthony Kiedis,” after the Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman. “Buzz Me In”? Well, it’s about needing to be buzzed into an apartment. Relatable!

It’s been a long journey to arrive on the beaches of Gulf Shores. When Wolf was 17, the Palo Alto native auditioned for Season 13 of American Idol in 2014, aka the Jennifer Lopez era. TikTok wasn’t around yet, and Shawn Mendes was just surging on Vine. Reality singing competitions still had cache if you wanted to break into the music industry, and Wolf did. For a brief moment, the show was exciting because Wolf made it to Hollywood.

She was unceremoniously cut after five days. Wolf may have lucked out with her Idol association because she barely has one. The experience is relegated to two sentences on her Wikipedia page. “It doesn’t hold that much meaning to me at this point in my life,” she says.

Fortunately, Wolf was also in L.A. for college auditions, which turned out to be a better entry into the industry. Wolf graduated from the popular music program at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music in 2018 and released her debut EP, You’re a Dog!, the next year. She followed with a second EP, I’m Allergic to Dogs! (featuring “Disco Man”), in 2020. (Pitchfork gave it a 7.4 rating.)

While Wolf didn’t triumph on American Idol, she recently won an arguably more prestigious competition. Lorde picked Wolf to open for her on the North American leg of her instantly sold-out Solar Power tour. Venturing across the United States with a certified pop star, Wolf soaked in Lorde’s command of a large-scale traveling show for a little more than a month in April and early May. “Just being in the presence of her live show, seeing her artistry every night, and really soaking that in gave me such a cool perspective on just what it means to be an artist,” Wolf says. “How to just really be individual and not bend to what people expect of you.”

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Learning to be an individual is an overarching theme on Juno, her sonic attempt to tackle personal turmoil. “It was a ‘get my sh*t together’ album,” she says.

On “Anthony Kiedis,” she sings about tricky family dynamics. On “Liquor Store,” Wolf goes long on getting sober, and on “Grumpy Old Man,” Wolf worries her defensiveness is making her like, well, a grumpy old man.

Has her life improved with a critically acclaimed record and international tour dates? “Yeah, I don't know. My f*cking personal life is constantly f*cking weird as sh*t,” she says. “I’m just constantly learning crazy lessons about dating and how to navigate sh*t with my family, which everybody’s doing that right now at this age.”

Part of those life lessons is learning when to close a chapter, which means the Juno era’s horizon is approaching. “I’m excited to move on,” she says, admitting she’s almost done writing a new album. “I’m so deep in that, that I’m happy to [have] put the [deluxe] songs out, let the world hear them, and then just sink as deep as I can into this next record and production of it.”

There’s already a name, and most of the songs are nearly done: “It’s going to be sick.”