Ebony Oshunrinde, a 16-year old Canadian-Nigerian girl, known as WondaGurl, has been listed in the credits for Jay-Zs new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.
Ebony, who resides in Brampton, southern Ontario, was credited for the track ‘Crown’.
“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 elated beat maker expressed her delight on being featured by one of the greatest rapper in the world.
The teenage self-taught producer is reported to have started making her own beats after watching a video showing Jay-Z and mega producer Timbaland working in the studio together on the album.
“It inspired me and I wanted to do the exact same thing that he did,” she said.
At age 9, WondaGurl 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.
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.
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 on July 4 to hear “Crown.”
She just got her passport last year, and hopes she’ll meet the rap mogul when she travels to the USA soon.