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Petey cuts through all the noise on 'USA'

We are all surrounded by a lot of noise. There's the noise that comes from outside — like ads, social media, the news and the radio — from the people and things around us, but there's also the noise inside your own head.

Petey has found ways to work with that kind of noise. It's what fuels much of the music on his new album, USA, which sometimes lyrically reads almost as a stream of consciousness. That inside-your-head noise is also what fuels his comedy. Petey's videos, where he plays all of the characters dealing with daily life, seem like the fragmenting of a single consciousness.

He started posting those videos on TikTok during the pandemic, a time when many of us were spending a lot of time alone with our own thoughts, and he quickly gained a following. In this session, Petey talks about becoming TikTok famous when you don't even consider yourself an "internet person," and we talk about how the pop punk he grew up listening to inspired his new album.

This episode of World Cafe was produced and edited by Miguel Perez. Our senior producer is Kimberly Junod and our engineer is Chris Williams. Our programming and booking coordinator is Chelsea Johnson and our line producer is Will Loftus.

Copyright 2023 XPN

Raina Douris
Raina Douris, an award-winning radio personality from Toronto, Ontario, is the host and writer of NPR's daily nationally-syndicated music interview and discovery program World Cafe. She has interviewed artists like Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Questlove and Brandi Carlile, and was a 2022 keynote lecturer on the topic of Folk Music and music discovery at the Chautauqua Institution.
Miguel Perez
Miguel Perez is a radio producer for NPR's World Cafe, based out of WXPN in Philadelphia. Before that, he covered arts, music and culture for KERA in Dallas. He reported on everything from the rise of NFTs in the music industry to the enduring significance of gay and lesbian bars to the LGBTQ community in North Texas.