News

16 Year-Old Ebony Oshunrinde aka WondaGurl Crafts Beat for Jay-Z

16 Year-Old Candadian/Nigerian Ebony Oshunrinde aka WondaGurl makes beat for Jay Z's platinum-selling album Magna Carter Holy Grail


The internet is abuzz with news of the precocious 16-year old producer WondaGurl, who helped craft a beat that made it onto Jay Z's platinum-selling new album, Magna Carta... Holy Grail. The track "Crown," was created by the Nigerian-Canadian teen Ebony Oshunrinde who has been making beats since since she was 9 years-old.  At 14 she entered Toronto's Battle of the Beatmakers but was eliminated in the quarterfinals. Not to be deterred, she returned the following year when WondaGurl took first place.  Success followed success and was signed by Black Box. Apparently, when she sent a track to Houston rapper Travi$ Scott he replied a few days later with the words: "I'm about to change your life." Scott played the track to Jay-Z, and then came the phonecall "You are on Jay Z's album, congratulations."

Despite her prodigious success, Ebony's Nigerian mother Jozie Oshunrinde is adamant that she keep studying. After winning Battle of the Beatmakers WondaGurl said in an interview "I just make sure I get my credits cause I know if I don't, my mother will not be okay with that at all, and possibly take all my music stuff away..."

You'll want to follow this girl wonder: @WondaGurlBeats. Here she is talking about her experience:

* Wondagurl with her mother Jozie Oshunrinde

Interview
Photo by Trevor Stuurman.

Interview: Thando Hopa Never Anticipated Acceptance in the Industry—She Anticipated a Fight

We speak to the South African lawyer, model, actress and activist about her historic Vogue cover, stereotypes imposed on people living with albinism and her work with human interest stories about vulnerable groups as a WEF fellow.

Vogue Portugal's April edition was a moment that caused everyone to hold their breath collectively. For the first time ever, a woman living with albinism was featured on the cover of the magazine in a sublime and timeless manner. Thando Hopa, a South African lawyer, model, actress and activist was the woman behind this historic first. It was not just a personal win for Hopa, but a victory for a community that continues to be underrepresented, stigmatised and even harmed for a condition outside of their control, particularly in Africa.

At just 31, the multi-hyphenate Hopa is a force to be reckoned with across different spaces. Through her considerable advocacy work as an activist, Hopa has and continues to dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about people living with albinism as well as changing what complex representation looks like within mainstream media. In 2018, Hopa was named the one of the world's 100 most influential women by the BBC. After hanging up her gown as a legal prosecutor after four years of working with victims of sexual assault, Hopa is on a mission to change skewed perceptions and prejudices when it comes to standards of beauty.

As a current fellow at the World Economic Forum, she is also working towards changing editorial oversights that occur when depicting historically underrepresented and vulnerable groups. The fellowship programme prepares individuals for leadership in both public and private sectors, and to work across all spheres of global society.

OkayAfrica recently spoke to Hopa to find out about how it felt to be the first woman with albinism to be featured on Vogue, the current projects she's working on and what's in the pipeline for her.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Uzo Aduba Snags 2020 Emmy Award for Role in 'Mrs America'

Nigerian-American actress Uzo Aduba was awarded an Emmy for her stellar performance as Civil Rights icon Shirley Chisholm in 'Mrs America'.