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1 Billion Streams For Masked Wolf

4 February 2023 | 9:29 am | Mary Varvaris

The Sydney rapper joins the one billion club with this hit single.

(Source: Supplied)

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Australian rapper Masked Wolf, real name Harry Michael, has joined the one billion club on Spotify, with his hit single Astronaut In The Ocean receiving over one billion plays. Being in the one billion club means that the Sydney artist is now in the company of Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, Queen, Sia and Oasis on the mega-streaming platform.

"Who would've thought? Spotify sent through the goods for Astronaut In The Ocean - one BILLION streams plaque," Masked Wolf said in an Instagram video. He captioned the video by writing, "A BILLION Spotify streams on this track & we still going hard!"

Masked Wolf then told some of the story about how Astronaut In The Ocean changed his life. "When I wrote Astronaut In The Ocean I was still working in a corporate 9-5 job and doing music by night," he wrote. "I felt so far from where I wanted to be. The lyrics represent the day to day struggles I faced mentally but never really spoke about. I wanted it to connect with people but never imagined the global reach it would have. Grateful for every single stream and the fans who listen to my music daily!"

In December, Masked Wolf departed from his major label, Elektra Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group. Masked Wolf had a multi-album deal with the majors but still announced his return to the independent label Teamwrk Records

"This year has been a weird one for me. Spending 3 months touring Europe and playing my music live was a surreal experience. Connecting with fans in countries I only dreamed of being able to travel to - let alone playing my music in," Masked Wolf began in a post shared on Instagram.

However, he noted where he felt tremendous highs; there were also lows. His 2019 single, Astronaut In The Ocean, was initially released by Teamwrk. After the song went viral on TikTok, he signed to Elektra in early 2021, re-released the track and now, Astronaut In The Ocean has hit over one billion streams on Spotify.

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"After releasing Astronaut in the Ocean, I was thrown into a world I knew little about and in no way I mentally prepared for. Going into 2022 I was trying my best to pave my way as the artist I had always envisioned," the Aussie rapper added.

"However along with a popular song comes pressure to follow it up, peoples opinions, people trying to take creative control and direction of me and my music, the hateful messages, the backlash of being an Aussie artist gaining traction outside of your country. Along with being a massive introvert battling anxiety I had no idea how to manage."

Masked Wolf noted that with success came times when he didn't feel authentic to his artistry, which led to the decision to depart Elektra and return to the Teamwrk fold "with complete creative control over my music again."