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serpentwithfeet performing in Minneapolis in 2017
serpentwithfeet performing in Minneapolis in 2017
Background information
Birth nameJosiah Wise
Born (1988-07-09) July 9, 1988 (age 33)
OriginBaltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Years active2014 (2014)–present
Associated acts

Josiah Wise (born July 9, 1988),[1] known professionally as serpentwithfeet, is an experimental musician based in Brooklyn, New York City. Wise released the EP Blisters in 2016, his debut studio album soil in 2018, his second EP Apparition in 2020, and his second studio album Deacon in 2021.

Early life[edit]

Wise was raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He grew up in a religious family; his father owned a Christian bookstore and his mother was a choir director.[2] Wise joined the church choir as a child and grew up with classical and gospel music as a primary influence.

When he was 11 years old his mother asked him if he wanted to audition for the Maryland State Boychoir and he refused, so she signed him up anyway and he ended up loving it.[3] This was his introduction to classical vocal music. He realized from this experience that there was a lack of diversity in the choir and there was "not much room for the black voice."[3]

He attended high school at Baltimore City College, a school for gifted and talented students that was known for their internationally competitive choir. At the age of 14, he competed in choir competitions with his school choir in Europe and won trophies. He said in an interview with Loud and Quiet: "It was all black kids, but our repertoire was predominantly classical. And that blew my mind." After this, Wise decided that he wanted to become a world-class performer and he started taking vocal lessons to become a classically trained opera singer.[3]

He later moved to Philadelphia, where he attended the University of the Arts. Although Wise was initially interested in becoming a classical opera singer, he was rejected from conservatories he applied to.


After leaving the University of the Arts, Wise spent time in Paris and in Philadelphia's neo-soul scene. However, his voice was seen as closer in tone to opera than to his peers in neo-soul.[4] Wise then moved to New York, where he released his first single "Curiosity of Other Men" in 2014.

The song led to Wise's eventual signing with Tri Angle Records in 2015 and the release of Wise's debut EP, blisters, in 2016. The EP featured production from The Haxan Cloak, who has worked with artists including Björk and The Body. blisters debuted to extremely positive reviews from critics.[5][6][7]

Wise began work on his debut studio album soil in 2017 with producers including Clams Casino, Katie Gately, and Adele collaborator Paul Epworth. The album was released on June 8, 2018, to positive reviews from critics.[8][9][10]

In 2017, Wise went on tour with the band Grizzly Bear as their opener.[11] In the BROCKHAMPTON album iridescence, Serpentwithfeet features on the song "Tonya", which was first performed live on the The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He appeared on a remix of Björk's "Blissing Me", and performed in concert with Björk on her 2019 Cornucopia tour.[12] In 2019, he also served as the opening act in selected dates of Rosalía's El Mal Querer Tour.[13]

On June 26, 2019, he released a song "Receipts", which featured Ty Dolla Sign.[14] In 2020, Wiise was featured in a track titled "Start" in Ellie Goulding's fourth studio album Brightest Blue,[15] and collaborated with Ty Dolla Sign again by singing background vocals and writing on Ty Dolla Sign's song "Ego Death", a collaborative track with Kanye West, FKA Twigs, and Skrillex,[16] and additionally appeared on an interlude on Ty Dolla Sign's 2020 album, Featuring Ty Dolla Sign.

On March 30, 2020, Wise released the single "A Comma" in collaboration with Adult Swim. He also announced his upcoming EP Apparition, via Secretly Canadian.[17]

On April 29, 2020, following "A Comma", he released the EP "Apparition" this EP is made up of three songs including his single "A Comma", "This Hill", and "Psychic", via Secretly Canadian.[18]

On January 8, 2021, he was featured in Virgil Abloh's single titled "Delicate Limbs".[19]

In January 2021, Serpentwithfeet announced his second studio album Deacon, and release the lead single "Fellowship", co-produced with Sampha and Lil Silva. The album released on March 26.

Personal life[edit]

Wise is gay and from a young age used gospel music to express his sexuality.[20]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album Details
  • Released: June 8, 2018
  • Label: Secretly Canadian/Tri Angle Records
  • Released: March 26, 2021
  • Label: Secretly Canadian


Title Album Details
  • Released: September 2, 2016
  • Label: Tri Angle Records
  • Released: April 29, 2020
  • Label: Secretly Canadian


Title Year Album
"bless ur heart" 2018 soil
(featuring Ty Dolla $ign)
2019 N/A
"Delicate Limbs"
(with Virgil Abloh)
"Fellowship" Deacon
"Same Size Shoe"
"Heart Storm"
(with NAO)


  • 2013 Gifts for Shitenno[26]

Music videos[edit]

  • four ethers (November 17, 2016)
  • cherubim (May 2, 2018)
  • bless your heart (May 7, 2018)
  • Fellowship (January 25, 2021)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ @serpentwithfeet (July 9, 2018). "got this "boy brandy" shirt made as a gift to myself cuz today is my 30th birthday & i plan to enthusiastically sing Brandy deep cuts all fuckin day !!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Phares, Heather. "serpentwithfeet". Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "When the classical world passed on serpentwithfeet he built a whole new one for himself". Loud And Quiet. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  4. ^ Schnipper, Matthew (July 21, 2016). "serpentwithfeet: The Ecstasy of Exorcism". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  5. ^ Lozano, Kevin (September 2, 2016). "blisters". Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  6. ^ "serpentwithfeet – blisters". Resident Advisor. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  7. ^ Henderson, Nick. "serpentwithfeet blisters". Tiny Mixtapes. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  8. ^ Geffen, Sasha (July 14, 2018). "blisters". Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  9. ^ Empire, Kitty (June 10, 2017). "Serpentwithfeet: Soil review – raptures of a former choirboy". The Guardian. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  10. ^ St. Asaph, Katherine (June 19, 2018). "serpentwithfeet's Mystic soil Is a Triumph". Spin. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "serpentwithfeet Crafts His Own Language For Queer Life". Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  12. ^ "Bjork's 'Cornucopia' debuted at The Shed (pics, video, setlist)". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Am; May 1, a HatfieldPublished; 2019. "Rosalia & serpentwithfeet played a 2nd Webster Hall show (night 2 pics, video, review)". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved May 3, 2021.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "serpentwithfeet and Ty Dolla $ign unite for new song "Receipts"". The FADER. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  15. ^ Kenneally, Cerys (July 7, 2020). "Ellie Goulding shares snippet of new serpentwithfeet collaboration "Start"". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  16. ^ Minsker, Evan (July 1, 2020). "Ty Dolla $ign Shares "Ego Death," New Song With Kanye West, FKA twigs, Skrillex, and serpentwithfeet: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  17. ^ "serpentwithfeet Announces New EP, Shares New Song "A Comma"". Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  18. ^ "Stream serpentwithfeet's New Apparition EP". April 29, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  19. ^ Price, Joe (January 8, 2021). "Virgil Abloh Releases New Song and Video "Delicate Limbs" f/ Serpentwithfeet". Complex. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  20. ^ Bychawski, Adam (September 9, 2016). "Serpentwithfeet: the tattooed occultist who's reinventing gospel for 2016". The Guardian. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  21. ^ "soil, by serpentwithfeet". serpentwithfeet. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  22. ^ "Deacon, by serpentwithfeet". serpentwithfeet. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  23. ^ "blisters, by serpentwithfeet". serpentwithfeet. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  24. ^ "Apparition EP, by serpentwithfeet". serpentwithfeet. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  25. ^ "Receipts (feat. Ty Dolla $ign), by serpentwithfeet". serpentwithfeet. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  26. ^ "Gifts for Shitenno, by Josiah Wise-GodBodi f/ Trae Harris". Maiya Norton. Retrieved March 23, 2021.