Let The Beat Build
Interview: Peter Berry
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.
Since selling her first beat some 10 years ago, 23-year-old Wondagurl has become one of the more dynamic and well-respected producers in hip-hop. In just the last two years alone, she’s made indelible beats for and with Travis Scott (“Gang Gang”), Pop Smoke (“Dreaming”) and many more. With a decade of experience and a production credits list that grows by the day, Wondagurl is now looking to the next phase of her career, which includes managing her own publishing company. Phoning in to XXL from California, Wondagurl runs down her most slept-on beats, next career moves and more.
XXL: You’ve worked with Travis Scott a good amount over the years, most recently on “Gang Gang” from his Jackboys project. What do you think it is that makes your collaborations work so well?
Wondagurl: I don’t know what it is. I guess it’s just because we’ve been working together so long. I kind of just know what he’s looking for now. I guess because we have a working relationship now it’s easy for us to collaborate.
What would you say is your most slept-on beat?
I feel like “How To Talk” by Lil Uzi [Vert] and another one from that project, “Malfunction.” I feel like those beats are super slept on. The “Malfunction” beat is just super different. It’s just a different vibe. And “How To Talk” is just different too. The time signature is just different. I don’t know, I like those beats. I don’t really care what anyone else doesn’t like.
What would you say a Wondagurl beat sounds like?
A Wondagurl beat can sound many different ways. I don’t really like to stick to completely one sound, but I always like to just tell a story in my beat in some way, whatever it may be. It’s just the overall mood. I kind of switch up certain things and most of my beats are just made based off just how I’m feeling that day. Sometimes I won’t even really make a beat if I have to just force it out. It’s mostly just a feeling that I’m getting, you know? I let something build up inside me or something and I’ll literally just go express how I feel in that beat. I don’t really know how to explain it, but it always comes out great.
You’re starting your own company. What’s it called?
I’m launching basically a publishing company and a recording…like a label. I’m calling it Wonderchild Music. And yeah, it just has a couple producers that I signed now and an artist that I signed as well.
Check out more from XXL’s Spring 2020 issue including our Future cover story, in which he speaks on his Life Is Good album, Lil Yachty discusses his new album, Lil Boat 3, and the respect he deserves, Van Jones talks about his love for hip-hop, Show & Prove interviews with Jack Harlow, Key Glock and City Morgue, YBN Cordae in What's Happenin, Rapsody talks about getting her flowers in an exclusive interview; G Herbo speaks on building up his community like Jay-Z and Meek Mill, Royce 5'9" considers his next move with Eminem for a new Bad Meets Evil project, plus there's a brewing, new hip-hop scene in New York, a look back at Yo Gotti's music catalog, Studio Time with Rico Nasty, Guapdad 4000 in Define Me, Denzel Curry's plans after rap and more.
See Exclusive Photos of Future on a Yacht for XXL Magazine's Spring 2020 Cover Story