Remi Wolf has never taken much time off. And now, following the release of her debut album Juno and preparing for a North American tour, she’ll have even less time to spare. For instance: When Billboard interviewed Wolf a few weeks ago, she was enjoying her daily commute to rehearsals, propping her phone up on the dash. “We’re still working out the kinks of the set,” she says of the practices,” but it’s really all coming together.”
Wolf, 25, says performing is her “favorite thing ever,” adding how eager she is to get back on stage after a year of growing her online fanbase (whom she calls the “Remjobs” — a repurposed nickname once very inappropriately given to Wolf by a childhood ski coach). She says her shows are a “very crazy energy exchange” in which her fans’ excitement helps Wolf feed that energy right back to them.
Her performance chops are something she has worked to master her whole life, from singing in a girls’ harmony group to auditioning for American Idol at 17. Later, she attended University of Southern California where she studied popular music.
Somewhere between Idol and USC, Wolf met her main collaborator and close friend, Jared Solomon (also known as Solomonphonic), who has co-written many of Wolf’s songs since she began releasing music in 2019. Though they lost touch for about five years, the pair reconnected — only to emerge with her sophomore single “Sauce” after one of their first sessions writing together.
“That song quickly changed both of our lives,” she says. “We knew right away that song was special, but we didn’t know how much it was going to change everything.” The track created a domino effect, starting with Solomon relocating to California to keep writing with Wolf. She says, “Our lives just became working with each other.”
Wolf’s vision of a pop career marked by technicolor visuals, eccentric lyrics and funk-laced beats didn’t take long to catch on. Soon, she had a slew of artist co-signs, including Still Woozy who reached out to the then-management-less, label-less and agency-less Wolf asking her to open for him on tour. The same day the Still Woozy tour was booked in early 2019, Wolf finalized her management team, led by Alfredo Tirado of Take & Thrown Management. “I didn’t even have time to think at that point,” she recalls. “It was moving so quickly.”
Soon after, she dropped a couple EPs, signed a deal with Island Records, and arguably most importantly, adopted her French Bulldog Juno, who became the inspiration for the name of Wolf’s debut album. With the breakneck pace she had become used to, the beginning of quarantine in March of 2020 sounded like it might give her a “nice bit of a break.” But, much like everyone else, as the initial weeks of lockdown stretched into endless months, she found herself reevaluating her direction. In the absence of her normal distractions, Wolf says she “had to really look inwards more than ever — I knew then that I had to get sober.”
In what she calls “the hardest thing ever,” Wolf began to conquer at her alcoholism, something that left her feeling like “a raw nerve.” “It was such a crazy lifestyle change for me,” she says. “It left me with very little emotional control.” Concurrently, as she unpacked her addiction, Wolf also used her time off the road to write the songs that would eventually become her debut album. “I think my rawness added to the art. I ended up just making some really real shit.”
Released on October 15, Juno is a series of chaotic songs that sound and feel like an inner monologue: jumping from one thought to another and obsessing over minute details. And while some tracks call out everything from drinking Alta Dena Dairy to Postmating Chuck E. Cheese, there’s also a deceptive amount of gravitas to others. On “Liquor Store,” Wolf examines her alcoholism while on “Anthony Kiedis” she talks about loving family members in spite of their flaws. Now, after a year-plus spent creating Juno, Wolf says she is “excited to get it off my chest.”
And even though she admits it’s “very hard to feel in control, I really struggle with that,” she assures, “I think I’m getting used to the chaos.”