Austin is more than just the capital city of Texas, the Lonestar State. The city has positioned itself as a cultural staple adopting the nickname The Live Music Capital of the World. Anyone whose experienced an Austin City Limits, or South by South West festival would hardly disagree. Between Austin's festival scenes, and UT-Austin's collegiate culture and sports legacy, there's little wonder if anything special can come from the Capital City.
Wande, born Yewande Isola, is a budding Hip Hop artist dynamic performer, Austin, TX native that is here to inspire. Using her infectious rap skills and personality, she accomplished an impressive 11-song release cycle in 2018 that featured a mix of features and original songs, earning her a Rapzilla,com Freshman nod for 2018, and launching her rap career. The momentum culminated in her being offered a recording contract offer from Reach Records where she worked as an A&R administrator and would become the first woman artist in the label's 16 year legacy. "It was fulfilling knowing my work didn't go unnoticed, given how much effort I put in," said Wande.Ç
It wasn't all just music. With Instagram as her preferred social media outlet, Wande grew her audience to over 10K followers with a daily regimen of photos and videos that spoke messages of hope, faith, and creative inspiration. "It's encouraging getting to interact with people all over the world and see firsthand the impact these little nuggets can have on people." "It also encouraged me to keep going with my music career based on the love and feedback I was getting from people," Wande said.
With an undeniably youthful spirit, she oozes confidence, while an ability to simultaneously promote humility throughout her songs. On her 2018 single "Gotta Live" she raps about her path to success saying, "The blessings are fitted/ that means you can't get it/ but you can get yours, if you just stay submitted." #BARS. This compelling and uplifting combination distinguishes her from peers who may settle for braggadocio only. "Yea, I had a plan, but God flipped it/ blew it up like POW/ I was sowing seeds, now it's looking like I need the plow," she raps on "Fuego", which shows her insistence on centering faith in her music. "My faith is the core of my music." It's the reason behind what I do and without it my music wouldn't be the same," she says.
On the question of gender, many would view working as a woman in the male-dominated Hip-Hop industry as a disadvantage. Wande has a different take. She instead sees this imbalance as an opportunity to empower women to be bold and pursue their goals. Offering her thoughts on the systemic gender-based inequalities, biases, and expectations in the genre she says, "I won't let other's expectations determine my future or what I'm capable of achieving." "To me, it's about doing what I'm called to do. I'm just going to focus on that."
Authenticity is another theme that flows through Wande's work. From her music to her style, the Nigerian-born Texas-raised rapstress does not shy away from showcasing the beauty and richness of her culture. "I realize there's power in my name so rather than trying to Americanize it, I fully embrace that part of my identity," Wande says. With a wide range of stylistic capability, and cultural richness to draw from one thing is certain; Wande is poised to become a uniquely uplifting and unstoppable force.