In 2014, a then-22-year-old rising rapper, now known as Masked Wolf, started bootlegging hip-hop CDs on the streets of Sydney to self-finance his debut project. “I paid for everything,” he says, adding that he had 500 copies made. After working his day job as a salesman and consultant, selling corporate printers and helping companies go digital, he walked around the city “trying to sell my album for $10.”
Growing up in Sydney, Masked Wolf, born Harry Michael, was raised by his Greek immigrant grandparents, and developed a love for music and playing instruments at a young age. By 15, he gravitated toward hip-hop, feeling particularly inspired by American hip-hop acts like G-Unit, especially leader 50 Cent’s winner-take-all demeanor, as well as Eminem, whose songs “Stan” and “Lose Yourself” motivated him to write music that formed a narrative.