Jai Wolf on the meaning behind his name, EDM, and his Manila leg

Jai Wolf: synth-pop virtuoso, kindred spirit, and fellow third culture kid is making his way to Manila for his Starlight World Tour this Friday, October 7.

We’ve heard of Jai Wolf at the peak of “Indian Summer,” but as with any other artist, hearing music performed live is a whole ‘nother experience. Before he hits the stage at Black Market, we caught up with the young electronic artist to ask him a few curious questions:

You’re in the middle of your Starlight World tour, but what’s your favorite moment of the tour so far?

Playing a show in China for the first time was pretty wild. Hearing someone yell out “Indian Summer” halfway around the world is absolutely mind blowing to me.

Rolling Stone described your sound as “Noah ’40’ Shebib dropping some downtempo EDM” but how would you describe it?

Ha that interview is a bit old! It’s accurate for what I was making around 2014-2015 but I’d say my music is more synth-poppy.

You had a different moniker way back but you’ve stuck with your name since 2014. What’s the story behind picking the name “Jai Wolf?”

I wanted to pick a name I’d be proud of for the rest of my life and I thought my previous name “No Pets Allowed” was too silly. Initially I wanted to be Direwolf (from Game of Thrones) but my managers thought it sounded like a metal band. So I decided to combine it with a name that reflected my heritage. I chose “Jai” cause it was phonetically similar to “dire” and also reflective of my heritage.

You tweeted that “edm can learn a lot from the pop industry” while quoting a tweet on how EDM is the most woke industry. Do you mind sharing more about this?

I just think that a lot of the EDM world is very self-absorbed. I see a lot of pop artists tweeting about current events and important issues.

What are you looking forward to in your Manila leg? (If it’s food, we have recommendations.)

Definitely the food! I’m excited to be in the Philipines for the first time 🙂