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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 32)
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. Wise released the EP Blisters in 2016, his debut studio album soil in 2018, and his second EP Apparition in 2020.

Early life[edit]

Wise was raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He grew up amongst 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 mom asked him if he wanted to audition for the Maryland State Boys Choir and he refused so she signed him up anyways 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, which is a school for gifted and talented students and 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 in 2017 with producers including Clams Casino, Katie Gately, and Adele collaborator Paul Epworth. The album was released on June 8, 2018 to rave 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 in concert with Björk on her 2019 Cornucopia tour, contributing vocals to "Blissing Me".[12] On June 26, 2019 he released a song "Receipts" which featured Ty Dolla Sign.[13] In 2020, he worked with Ty Dolla Sign again by singing background vocals and being a credited writer on Ty Dolla Sign’s song "Ego Death", a collaborative track with Kanye West, FKA Twigs, and Skrillex.[14] On July 17, 2020, he was featured in a track titled "Start" in Ellie Goulding's fourth studio album Brightest Blue.[15]

On January 8, 2021, he was featured in Virgil Abloh's single titled "Delicate Limbs".[16]

Personal life[edit]

Wise is gay and from a young age used gospel music to express his sexuality.[17]


Studio Album[edit]

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

Extended Plays[edit]

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

Music Videos[edit]

  • four ethers (Nov 17, 2016)
  • cherubim (May 2, 2018)
  • bless your heart (May 7, 2018)


  1. ^ @serpentwithfeet (9 July 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 5 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "When the classical world passed on serpentwithfeet he built a whole new one for himself". Loud And Quiet. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  4. ^ Schnipper, Matthew (21 July 2016). "serpentwithfeet: The Ecstasy of Exorcism". Pitchfork. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  5. ^ Lozano, Kevin (2 September 2016). "blisters". Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  6. ^ "serpentwithfeet - blisters". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  7. ^ Henderson, Nick. "serpentwithfeet blisters". Tiny Mixtapes. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  8. ^ Geffen, Sasha (14 July 2018). "blisters". Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  9. ^ Empire, Kitty (10 June 2017). "Serpentwithfeet: Soil review – raptures of a former choirboy". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  10. ^ St. Asaph, Katherine (19 June 2018). "serpentwithfeet's Mystic soil Is a Triumph". Spin. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  11. ^ "serpentwithfeet Crafts His Own Language For Queer Life". Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  12. ^ "Bjork's 'Cornucopia' debuted at The Shed (pics, video, setlist)". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
  13. ^ "serpentwithfeet and Ty Dolla $ign unite for new song "Receipts"". The FADER. Retrieved 2020-10-21.
  14. ^ 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.
  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. ^ Price, Joe (January 8, 2021). "Virgil Abloh Releases New Song and Video "Delicate Limbs" f/ Serpentwithfeet". Complex. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  17. ^ Bychawski, Adam (9 September 2016). "Serpentwithfeet: the tattooed occultist who's reinventing gospel for 2016". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 July 2018.