Born into a Muslim family, Wande’s only exposure to Christianity was from her mother. Today, 24-year-old Wande is the first female Christian rapper at Reach Records with her debut album, “Exit” releasing earlier this year.
P: How did you come to know Jesus?
W: So, I actually grew up with a Muslim father and a Christian mother. So, to me, faith was very chill growing up. I did not really understand the full implications of what it meant, and it was more of like, my dad was like, “Oh, yeah, you all can go to church to be a good person and to have good morals. But actually, in 2009, I went to a summer camp called Discovery Camp in Columbus, Texas. That is where I heard the gospel for the first time presented fully and that is when I truly understood and gave my life to Jesus.
That is kind of where my journey started. After that point, basically, everything in my life is geared towards trying to know more about Jesus and trying to just share it with my friends at school and having it already shared and know about like the love and just the joy found in the new relationship with God.
P: How does your faith influence your songwriting?
W: By being the fuel behind it. My faith, essentially, just forms the perspective of how I approach life situations and just thinking from the perspective of how God would see and want me to deal with my emotions. Then, there are certain times where I just want to write a song just so people can know who God is and why He is so great and why you should get to know Him.
P: What do you want listeners to take from your new album?
W: I think I want them to take that whatever life throws at you, it is never the end. Every exit is an entrance. So, what may seem like the end of the world right now, God may be using to bring you to somewhere new and just to bring you to a new level.
So, I just want to encourage people, even with that too, that even in life, like, you know, eventually, we are all going to pass away with God. But it is not the end either, that is the one entrance to see—eternity and a full relationship with God forever. So, I just want to encourage people, ultimately, that every exit is an entrance.
P: Who would you say are your musical influences?
W: Honestly, I am inspired by greatness. So, anybody who is considered the best at what they do in their field, those are kind of like where I get inspired. Whenever I just hear something moving, it is moving your spirit—stuff like that inspires me to just get up and want to write and just kind of create something great for God.
P: How is it working in an industry or at a label that is primarily male-dominated?
W: Yes, I would definitely say it is a very interesting experience working in a label (Reach Records) that is male-dominated. But one thing that has been really cool is it has taught me to be intentional with my team and with my decision. So, I have just been very intentional about bringing more women into our space and getting more opportunities for women to work in this industry. I am just being confident in my opinions and how I feel because, obviously, if you are surrounded by a bunch of men and you are new, they may be like, “Oh, we know what we are doing.” But I kind of just trust the way. If God called me to be here, then He is also giving me a mind to know that He knows what I am seeing as well. So, it also has given me the confidence to just kind of be bold and speak up confidently about where I was getting my ideas.
P: In the midst of this global pandemic, what gives you hope?
W: Knowing that God is in control. I think if you keep that perspective and realize He is your provider, it keeps you from freaking out and worrying because how the Bible even talks about like finding crops for the birds. Like, the birds are not worried about, “Oh, where am I going to get my next meal from?” So, I think having that perspective kind of helps me stay grounded. See this as an opportunity for more innovation—how can God use me now to do great things with the new normal that we are having?
P: In the wake of the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, what words do you have for young people, specifically young Black, engaged Christians?
W: Yes, I think I would just say, justice does not come easy. But I would say, do not give up. Continue to seek on the Lord for justice and express how you feel and invite moments in—as things will come. I would say also, just realize that do not look at the world—because I think sometimes when we see bad things in the world, it is easy to say like, “Oh, these are our enemies,” but I would also say just look at who God has created as an ally and the cause-and-effect He created. Also, I put my things towards the perspective of love versus having hate fill your heart, and just kind of like, continue to seek for more change and more progress. But as you continue to do that, just, do not let the joy and the love in your heart disappear from pain that you may experience.
P: What is your favorite Bible verse?
W: I think my favorite Bible verse is Matthew 6:33 (NIV) and it says, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I think it kind of sums up where if you seek God first, you are more concerned about Him; if He has been in your life, you are not worried about now, like, “Oh, I have to do this, I have to please this person. I have to go and do this.” It is more of like, “Focus on God, and He is going to take care of the rest.” So, I think that is my favorite verse because it reminds you of what is actually important and kind of puts your priorities in order.