Hip-Hop Producer / 18
Listen to “Crown,” the eighth track off Jay Z’s megahit 2013 album Magna Carta… Holy Grail, and you’ll discover the best parts are the beats: gothic electro trills and dub-steppy bass lines that loom large over the frenetic vocals. They’re the work of Ebony Oshunrinde, better known as WondaGurl, the virtuoso teen hip-hop producer originally from Mississauga, Ont. WondaGurl’s beat-making odyssey began at age eight, when her grandmother gave her a Casio keyboard. “I didn’t care about the melodies, but I was obsessed with the drum pads,” she recalls. By the time she was 17, she was creating her own beats and posting them on YouTube, one of which caught the attention of hip-hop artist Travis Scott, who was working with Jay Z and sent him one of her tracks. Now WondaGurl is developing a new sound—“I can’t describe what I’m imagining,” she says. “I just want it to be weird”—and teaming up with hip hop’s biggest names, including Kendrick Lamar and ASAP Ferg. Her latest collaborators? Drake and Lil Wayne, who tapped her to produce “Used To,” a melancholy track off Weezy’s latest album.