Interview: Karl Wolf
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Karl Wolf is the award-winning artist responsible for smash hits like, 'Africa,' 'Carrera,' 'Yalla Habibi' and now 'Hurting.' We caught up with him to get an inside look at his life, career and his music.
SM: Where does the name Karl Wolf come from?
My real name is Carl Abou Samah. It means ‘father forgive us’ in Lebanese. The first time I got the name Wolf is when I was on this basketball team in High School and there was this movie that came out called ‘Teen Wolf’ about the smallest guy on a basketball team who would turn into a wolf and become the fastest guy. If you see me in play you will know why they call me ‘the wolf’ – so they started calling me ‘the wolf.’
SM: You spent a lot of time writing and producing. What made you change direction and start performing?
I’ve always wanted to be a performer. I would write songs and work on demos, and all the major labels would get back to me and tell me “no it’s not your song but we have our own artists…do you mind if we take your song for them instead?” So that is how that came about. I tried every label. I know the presidents of all the labels because I went everywhere. So when it finally did work out with ‘Africa,’ they all started calling me and congratulating me but it started as me writing for other people. I made money that way and built my studio and my record label and what not. I finally made the switch to start performing about four years ago after I started winning all these awards. It was time to stop, even though it was paying very well, and make the switch because I need to do it while I am still young and energetic.
SM: You have been all around the world making your music. Where is your favorite place?
Dubai. I got my Carrera there I got my family there, the beach. It’s a beautiful place. I grew up there – so I have all my High School friends. It’s home. I don’t get to go very often anymore because I am so busy.
SM: How do you find that the audiences around the world are different? Are we any different from each other?
I don’t think they are different. Here’s the thing – fans in Japan, Australia, Middle-East, Canada are exactly the same. They react the same to the music. Music is the universal language. When you say things like “put your hands up” they react the same way. I think the world is so globalized now. Everyone is on the Internet and everyone is watching the same thing. Things that are cool seem to work for everybody now so I don’t really see a difference.
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