For high-energy, empowering music then look no further than the “Princess of Afro-fusion”, Princess Wonda. An independent music artist, Princess Wonda blends genres effortlessly with a trademark Afro-based sound as a base. Her music is an unforgettable mix of catchy melodies and dynamic beats – it is music to get lost in. We caught up with Princess Wonda to find out more about the challenges of being an independent artist, how she has coped during the pandemic, her new album Fantasy Fair and more.
How would you describe your sound to new listeners?
I am an Afro-fusion artist and that sounds like West African music fused with R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop and even house. Essentially, I do not close myself to the possibility of merging Afrobeats to other genres.
Tell us about your latest album Fantasy Fair.
Fantasy Fair is an eclectic body of work pulling inspiration from music across Africa from Afropop, Afro Drill, Amapiano, Hip-Hop and more. It’s highly energetic with a combination of fast and tempo songs appropriate for all occasions.
What tracks or lyrics from the album are most meaningful to you and why?
That is very hard to say since every song is reflective of my state of mind at some point. However, ‘Dirty Swagger’ being my most recent single from the album was quite important to me. This is because, in a world where I am becoming more visible, the good has come with the bad. For example, some could tweet about playing my music on repeat and a minute later, someone else tells me I’m “fat” or don’t deserve to call myself “princess of afro-fusion”. Dirty Swagger was my clap back, so the bottom line is, do not let anyone dim your light disturb your peace/energy.
Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
Both famous and rising artists preserve through and reinvent themselves despite world issues. So, I’m inspired by Beyonce, Davido, Ms Banks, Yemi Alade, Doja Cat, Big Latto.
Is there a particular message you would like to get across through your music?
If you are looking for music to immerse yourself in, music that makes you feel encouraged, empowered and of course, entertained, I’m the woman for the job. I make music so that people can visualise themselves in a place they can learn more about themselves and fantasise about who and what they want to be.
Did the past year and COVID hinder or inspire your creative talent?
The past year has been extremely challenging, to say the least. However, it has also been the most life-changing for me. I learned a new level of perseverance, creativity and consistency. Inspiration alone did not carry me through a pandemic because that is a temporary feeling. I would say COVID unveiled birthed a new level of discipline and work ethic.
Is there anywhere in the world you would love to travel to and perform?
I’m very fortunate to have performed in the O2 Indigo London. But I’d love to go to the US and perform at the Super Bowl or Coachella as an ambassador for the Afrobeat community.
How important is your time in Nigeria to you as an artist and which African artists are on your radar?
It’s the birthplace of the music I am inspired by so it’s essential to spend time there. Davido, Ayra Starr, Yemi Alade, Blaq Bonez, Buju
The AfroFusion sound is growing in the UK. Which UK artists you are listening to?
Ms Banks, Not3s, J Hus, Stefflon Don.
What do you find are the biggest challenges of being in the music industry right now?
Personally, it’s being independent. You’re torn by wanting to have full autonomy over your intellectual property at the cost of being self-funded. There is politics in every industry and working without connections and building your network from scratch is taxing but my future is bright and I look forward to future joint ventures.
What’s a typical day for Princess Wonda?
A typical day looks like morning cold brew coffee, checking the back end of music streaming stats, discussions with management, content creation, finding time to work out and also working as a software tester!
What are the three things you cannot live without and why?
My phone, because it connects me to my team, family and my amazing fans.
My voice because it’s my gift and my main form of expression
Thirdly would be family because they are my support system and my anchor.
What are your new year resolutions for 2022?
Beat my work rate for 2021. That would mean doing more research, working outside my comfort zone, being open to more collaborations and networking.
This is one I fail at often and it’s to prioritise self-care. That means making time for sleep, relaxation, recharging and prioritising issues based on what I can or cannot control.
Fantasy Fair is out now.