Wolftyla might be one of the funniest people to follow online, but that doesn’t take away from her undeniable talents as a musician. The Queens, New York native first rose to prominence on the social media app Vine, building a devout following organically — which today stands as her own fanbase called Wolf Members Only.
The New York native is also currently in school getting her Bachelor’s in Music Business from New York University, hoping to apply what she learns in school to her own music career. Regardless, her personality continues to shine as she creates heartfelt anthems for audiences all around the world.
Wolftyla stopped by Shirley’s Temple to discuss “All Tinted” playing on the radio, recording the song in Korean, getting the cosign from BTS and Blackpink, mental health, collaborating with Jay Park, making her best music off heartbreak, and more!
AllHipHop: What was the young Wolftyla like hooping?
Wolftyla: Playing basketball definitely jumpstarted my competitive nature. When the lights go on, you gotta show up and there’s no time for emotions, nothing. Just get on the court, do your best, get off, then worry about everything else. That was my first love.
AllHipHop: What position did you play?
Wolftyla: She played pointguard. She was a leader. She was giving assists, she was stealing. It’s funny because my dad had coached me all throughout high school.
AllHipHop: You were a little Vine star!
Wolftyla: You know what’s so crazy? Every single time someone says that, I don’t think I realized how much I was on Vine because I was doing it so omg, video here, video there. No, people will come up to me: “You were on there for 4 years!” Damn, time really flies.
AllHipHop: Because I feel like you’re super creative.
Wolftyla: Thank you. It makes it hard to function sometimes, for sure. [laughs] It’s cool now because even after Vine, I’m now trying to take all those funny moments. Now when I start doing music videos, I’m so excited to tap into acting before the music videos. Those little scenes.
AllHipHop: Do you want to act?
Wolftyla: Ehh, I don’t think so. Well yes, but nah. I would kill it. I think it depends on the character, but I could do it. I think once you start playing basketball, you feel like you could do anything.
AllHipHop: What was Wolf’s life like during the pandemic?
Wolftyla: Oh man. Wow, what a time. Part of me was like wow, this is great. Because we’re all inside, yay. I always had this feeling of when I’m inside, I’d make myself feel a little guilty. Damn I’m not working, I’m not in the studio. I’m being still. Or I’m doing things I did when I was growing up, like watching movies or just chillin’.
For the first time during the pandemic, I didn’t feel guilty about doing that, because I was moving all the time. Now wait, I’m seeing other people being still and obviously dealing with what they’re going through. Wow, it gave me a little bit more confidence as an artist. I really tapped in and peeled back a lot of layers and was trying to figure myself out. Playing around with different sounds like okay, I can do this.
AllHipHop: You know me, I’m a fan of your music.
Wolftyla: Shirley was the one to literally bring “All Tinted” to Power 106 and tell all those DJs there to play “All Tinted.”
AllHipHop: That’s such a timeless record!
Wolftyla: Thank you, I really appreciate that. That was the record for me where I said “mmm. After this one, I’m done with music.” I recorded that in LA. I don’t know what I was experiencing at that very moment. I try not to get too invested in upsetting past moments, but in that moment I was questioning everything that I was doing. Sometimes, everybody has that point in their life where it’s like, what am I doing with my life?
I’m hilarious. I’m vibing. That was the moment for me where I said this is going to be my last piece of work, I’m good. Maybe let me explore something else. But the feedback and someone like DJ Felli Fel listening to it and saying “I’m playing it!” — doing things that they never have to, but willingly they did: it almost made me fall back in love with the music again.
“All Tinted” is definitely a record that’s almost this very light and airy version of myself. Even though right now when I’m creating that song, I don’t feel like that. For me, how it resonated was I want to sound like that. I want to get to that point. So making that record and explaining what my first summer was like in LA, that was my first summer. Everything that you see in that video was literally what we were doing in the summer. Vibing, late night. Riding on bikes, it was so euphoric.
AllHipHop: Every time summertime rolls around, is “All Tinted” the anthem?
Wolftyla: Yes. You know what’s so crazy? A lot of people don’t know that day when we were shooting the “All Tinted” music video, we were supposed to have a coupe, but it crashed on the way to set. I was on set vibing, but it turned out that we didn’t really need one. It was so much better that way.
AllHipHop: You were skateboarding, right?
Wolftyla: Skateboarding. Penny boarding I guess. Specifics. I might say skateboarding, they’re like no! That’s a Penny board. But people were riding bikes, pushing people in the pool. I highly suggest if you haven’t watched it, go watch it.
AllHipHop: It’s at almost 10 million views?
Wolftyla: Oh wow, that’s a lot. But I have to thank Wolf Members Only, because if it’s not Wolf Members Only, I don’t know what it is. Being an independent artist, I literally only count on the people who really genuinely love me. It really meant so much when people tuned in or gave a watch. A lot of the Korean BBQ spots out in LA were having it on screens.
AllHipHop: Do you be cooking?
Wolftyla: I do, a little bit. I like to cook pasta. I know people are going to make fun of me about pasta, but pasta’s so good. If you’re really a pasta head, then you know that there’s so many different ways to make it. I like making salmon, chicken. I like sauteed spinach and broccolini.
AllHipHop: Did you learn from your mom?
Wolftyla: No, I don’t think so. She put me out of my favorite dishes like pasta. She goes crazy in the Korean world.
AllHipHop: Did you grow up eating Korean food?
Wolftyla: Yes, I enjoy Korean food more than American food. I’m still getting introduced to American food. The other day, I had my first milkshake. I’ve never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before. Just never thought about it. But I do know if I was to try a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, it’d be no crust. I don’t know about the crust, I don’t think I could trust that.
AllHipHop: “All Tinted” is such an original sound, but what’s more meaningful is you recording it in Korean.
Wolftyla: Oh wow, that was an experience. I did that just because I come from an immigrant background. In any way that I’m able to represent my grandparents, that’s what I love to do. They were born and raised in Seoul until they came over here. As soon as I finished recording it, the first person I went to was my grandma and grandpa.
AllHipHop: What did they say?
Wolftyla: They loved it. My grandma loves “All Tinted,” that’s her favorite song of all time. My grandfather likes “Candy.” I’m like, you think that “Candy” is better than “All Tinted”? He’s like, “‘Candy’ has a different sound. It’s timeless.”
AllHipHop: I pulled up to that video set.
Wolftyla: Yes you did! We merged Kpop elements with R&B, then had some Bobby Brown inspo. It was pulling from a lot of areas. That was so much fun. Even the kids that came on set, they had so much fun. They were like “Candy!!” It was great.
AllHipHop: How does it feel to have “All Tinted” cosigned by these huge K pop stars? Someone from BTS and someone from Blackpink.
Wolftyla: I was like, wait what? V from BTS showed love through doing an interview with Paper Magazine. I remember one day I was in Miami, I was eating kale. I was literally in the middle of trying kale for the first time, then my phone started going crazy. On Stories, underneath the comments, on everything.
It felt like someone was grabbing me from the shirt like “do you even understand that V from BTS is listening to your song?!” I looked it up like, wow yeah. Rose from Blackpink, she posted on her Story.
AllHipHop: Did you have relationships with them at all?
Wolftyla: No, but I did build a really good friendship with Rose from Blackpink. We still talk till this day. I was really shocked. I was really grateful for that too because I was definitely in a creative area where it wasn’t the best. I’m running low on fuel. That gave me more confidence to continue to keep on making music that resonates with me, rather than feeling like oh, let me make this music because I know what you guys would want to hear. It’s more so no, let me show you me. It was cool, cheers to great friendship.
AllHipHop: You signed super early right?
Wolftyla: Before that, I was really fresh with music. I didn’t know if I wanted to do music or not. I didn’t know that it’d bring me this far. I didn’t even think I’d really still be doing music till this day, that it puts a roof over my head and everything like that. When I had signed a while ago, I was so young. I freshly turned 18, a couple of days after my birthday.
Looking back at it now, this is also the reason why I go back to school: to learn more about the music business. It’s one of those things where damn, maybe if I had known that back then, I could have avoided certain situations. But that was me being super premature, I didn’t know. I showed up at the label and they said, “let’s make all this music.” I didn’t even know if I wanted to do music.
AllHipHop: How’d they find you?
Wolftyla: They had found me through me doing one song, which was my first song “Feels.” That was the first song I ever wrote, put together and released on the SoundCloud platform. I took the poetry that I was making off of Tumblr. I’m romantic.
AllHipHop: Wow, so you’ve been expressing yourself!
Wolftyla: Yeah, in ways that I didn’t know I was expressing myself. I didn’t realize how vulnerable I was being, very openly. That’s the reason why I have so many people that love me outside of the music. People that support the real life human things I’m doing, rather than “oh, she just makes music.” They know that there are so many layers to me, and that’s why it’s Wolf Members Only.
AllHipHop: A huge part of this show is mental health, how are you doing? How’s your mental state?
Wolftyla: I’m good. I’m finally getting to a place where I’m learning stillness, I’m learning a lot more patience. Really allowing things to happen for what they are, rather than what I want them to be. Just trusting the universe to move the pieces around, while being me. Showing up. That’s the most difficult part, is to show up. But I’ve been good, vibing.
AllHipHop: You actually started Wolf Members Only because you were going through clinical depression yourself.
Wolftyla: I was going through clinical depression, I was going through anxiety. It was really tough to navigate through that. As a student athlete during high school, then Vine hitting so fast where I’m now getting attacked at malls. It was really crazy.
AllHipHop: Is this when you were back home in New York?
Wolftyla: This is back when home in New York. Not in a bad way, just oh my God! We’re getting recognized in places that I never thought I’d ever get recognized, like movie theaters. That did a lot to my anxiety, it almost shifted and shook my world up really fast. I definitely navigated through it, but it was tough.
AllHipHop: A statistic states musicians are 3 times more likely to experience anxiety or depression than the general public.
Wolftyla: Probably. I don’t put it past. It’s also part of us being so creative too. Throughout life, if we’re able to find those things that help us to cope, navigate and express, oh my God. Even having more outlets of being able to comfortably talk about it, like this show.
AllHipHop: What do you do for self-care? To get your mind right?
Wolftyla: I meditate. That was one thing that I didn’t do last year, I didn’t do the year before. I don’t think I really have taken meditation serious. I’m like okay, I got my eyes closed. Come on, it’s time to go. A little bit towards the end of last year going into this year, I really took meditation serious and gave myself those 15 minutes. Definitely not at monk status, but 15 minutes to at least clear the mind.
Also, candles. I love me some candles. I’m definitely spending some money in a candle store for sure, without a doubt. Another thing I found was running. I have a husky, so he needs a lot of exercise. I went on Amazon, I felt like such a dog mom. I literally got one of those leashes, it’s like a bungee cord. I put it on my husky, and he’s out! Pulling me on the skateboard, all that.
AllHipHop: Talk about doing “Butterflies” with Jay Park, love him!
Wolftyla: Yes, I love Jay Park. It was so much fun! In the middle of the pandemic, which is crazy. Him and I have never met each other in person. We didn’t even meet in the video. We edited it. I shot mine in LA, in Malibu. Literally, he shot his in Seoul, Korea. I sent him the treatment. I said “the aesthetic needs to look like this, so try to find this.” We ended up finding a studio out there. This was all through email, then through DMs with Jay. We made it happen.
AllHipHop: You’re a genius for that.
Wolftyla: I worked on it with Aser Santos. Literally one of my favorite people in the world, such a great director. He did “Butterflies.” We shot something for “Play for Keeps.” This summer, we’re definitely dropping some stuff.
AllHipHop: Off the new project? You announced it already right?
Wolftyla: I did: If You’re Not Happy Then Leave.
AllHipHop: Is this inspired by the breakup?
Wolftyla: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely sensational, yeah.
AllHipHop: Do you make your best music heartbroken?
Wolftyla: I want to say I do. I feel like I really do. Everything that I was writing: “All Tinted, “”Play for Keeps,” “Keep You Close,” “Someone Like You,” all those songs were heartbroken. I definitely am excited to tap into the music that I make with my happier self too. That’s what came about during making If You’re Not Happy Then Leave. I experimented with a lot of different things.