Ebony Oshunrinde is living the dream.
The 16-year old, who makes hip-hop beats under the name “WondaGurl,” has gone from relative obscurity to sensation. The teen produced the track “Crown,” one of the more talked-about cuts on Jay-Z‘s new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. Sitting right there alongside high-profile producers like Timbaland and Mike Will Made It, is the work of the Nigerian-Canadian from Ontario.
The album was released today, but debuted last week for Samsung Galaxy users. And WondaGurl couldn’t have known how her whole world would change.
“It was crazy,” she told the Huffington Post. “Just people calling me, texting me and tweeting me all the time. My phone was just blowing up.”
WondaGurl was discovered by hitmaker Boi 1da, whose guidance helped her win Battle of the Beatmakers in 2012. She’s produced tracks for SonReal & Rich Kidd, Ryan Leslie, and her biggest pre-Jay-Z success was a Travi$ Scott song called “Uptown.”
“I made a beat and sent it to Travi$ Scott and he said he was gonna do some stuff with it,” Oshunrinde says. “A few days later he texted me and said he was about to change my life but he wouldn’t tell me what he was talking about. Then he called me and told me I was officially on Jay-Z’s album.”
“A lot of people are making trap [beats] and it’s, like, a little bit of that with real hip-hop mixed into one beat,” she explains, referring to the “Crown” beat itself. She also says that she’s also heard the sounds on Kanye West’s latest album, Yeezus, and is a fan of his work behind the boards.
“It’s really different–I like it, though,” she says. “As a producer, yes [I’m a fan], but not so much as an artist. I want to work with him, though.”
She’s idolized superproducer Timbaland since she was a young child and her career ambition is to win a Grammy. But first, she has to finish high school. The 11th grader promised her parents she would get her diploma before diving too deeply into her musical career.
“I have to focus on school because if I don’t, my mom takes my computer away,” Oshunrinde says.