A 16-year old Canadian-Nigerian, Ebony Oshunrinde, whose stage name is WondaGurl, has been listed in the credits for Jay-Zs new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.
Ebony, who resides in Brampton in southern Ontario, was credited for the track “Crown”, drawing a lot of positive comments from listeners all over the world.
Getting credited for production on an album by one of the greatest rappers ever is no mean feat, Ebony is delighted.
“It’s a really good feeling. I want to show young people that they can do it. Anybody can be successful. It doesn’t matter where you’re from.”
The producing prodigy started making her own beats after watching a video showing Jay-Z and mega producer Timbaland working in the studio together.
“It inspired me and I wanted to do the exact same thing that he did,” she said.
So, at age 9, she downloaded music software and taught herself how to use it from watching YouTube videos, amazed by the idea of creating something from scratch.
She came up with her name, WondaGurl, by swapping around the name of one of her favourite Canadian producers. Boi-1da has worked with the likes of Kanye West and Drake, and also contributed to Jay-Z’s new album.
A year ago, after winning Toronto’s Battle of the Beat Makers competition at only 15, Oshunrinde got serious about her music. She signed on with Black Box, the same label as Classified, and started working in a studio.
“It’s amazing to see somebody with that much talent working as hard as she can to make the most of it at such a young age,” said Ian Stanger, a representative with Black Box. “It’s her work that people should be paying attention to, not the fact that’s she 16.
The beat that landed on Jay-Z’s album began with a reggae song. Oshunrinde sampled the music and added her own twist using computer software.
“It has a lot of bass and a lot of bounce,” she explained.
She worked on her beat once and sent it to Travis Scott, a young rapper and producer from Houston who met Oshunrinde last year. He happened to be working in the studio with Jay-Z when she sent him her beat.
A few days later, Oshunrinde was at home with her brother and sister when her phone buzzed.
“He texted me and said, ‘I’m about to change your life,’” Oshunrinde said.
When Scott told her that her cut made it on to Jay-Z’s album, she thought it was a joke.
“Usually that doesn’t really happen to 16-year-olds,” the teen said.
And when she told her mother the good news, she cried.
Oshunrinde has never met Jay-Z and, like everyone else, had to wait for the digital release Thursday morning to hear “Crown.”
She just got her passport last year, and hopes she’ll meet the rap mogul next time she ventures south of the border.
Since Scott spilled the beans on Twitter about Oshunrinde’s appearance on Magna Carta Holy Grail , the teen has received lots of supportive tweets .
“A lot more people want to work with me now. It’s pretty cool.”