For most people, producing a track for their favorite artist would seem almost impossible, but not for 16-year-old Ebony Oshunrinde, who produced the “Crown” track on Jay-Z’s new album Magna Carta Holy Grail. When Ebony was just 14, she entered Toronto’s Battle of The Beatmeakers competition and made it all the way to the quarterfinals before being eliminated. The following year, the determined teenager entered the competition again and won. After winning she got signed to the Black Box which helped her get a track placed on Jay-Z’s new album.
In an interview with CBC, Ebony (also known as “Wondagurl”) revealed that she learned to produce beats after watching a video of Jay-Z and Timbaland in the studio when she was just nine years old. She then taught herself how to make beats by watching videos on YouTube:
There’s a video with Jay-Z and [Timbaland] in the studio. So I was like I want to do what Timbaland does. [...]
After creating “The Crown”, Ebony sent the track to rapper DJ Travis Scott, who somehow got it in the hands of Jay-Z:
A few days after, [DJ Travi$ Scott] messaged me and said I’m about to change your life. He called me actually and then said you’re on Jay-Z’s album and like congratulations […] I felt like crying.
Ian Stanger of Black Box also added:
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. It’s her work that people should be paying attention to, not the fact that’s she 16.
Now, Ebony says her goal is to win a Grammy! She wants women, especially young girls to know:
You can do anything that you want. Not even in music, in anything that is male dominated, you can do it. Just try.
What an incredible story!