Following on from her Swedish transplant Kissey, now, we’ve got a video premiere from her musical other half: TK Wonder – slam poet turned electro beat-maker.
You’ve heard this story before: an aspiring rapper takes the stage, under a yellowing spotlight at a Brooklyn dive bar. It’s open mic night. She lands herself a producer, lays down a few tracks, and before you know it, becomes an international sensation, pulling crowds of half a million. It sounds almost too good to be true — and it usually is, unless you happen to be TK Wonder.
These days, Wonder is unstoppable. If you’re not already following her on Instagram, chances are, you’ve seen her face in retail campaigns across the country, together with twin sister Cipriana Quaan. She’s a blogger, natural hair icon, and street style darling — not to mention a bonafide legend among EDM lovers of the Eastern bloc. Now, she’s bringing the party home to New York City.
TK Wonder isn’t the first to marry hip hop and electronica, but she does it like no one else. A slam poet by trade, she delivers spitfire lyrics and unexpected sounds: at times, it’s the stark and minimalist hip house of “BorderTown;” at others, the Technicolor electropop of “Won’t Lay Down.” Her signature? A beat you can’t shake for days.
It’s no surprise that TK Wonder is an artist’s dream collaborator. She is the protégé of Macedonian producer Kiril Dzajkovski and one half of Wonderkiss, alongside Swedish experimentalist Kissey — but this year, Wonder is finally giving her fans what they really want: an album of her own. We caught up with her to talk Poland Woodstock, meeting Sting, and the most beautiful place in the world. But first, have a listen to her new track “Van Gogh”.
You’ve opened for some pretty big names, from Erykah Badu to Sting. How did you get your start?
A New York-based Macedonian musician saw me perform during CMJ week almost six years ago and introduced me to a critically acclaimed Macedonian composer/producer, Kiril Dzajkovski, whom I tour with every summer. My first festival show with him was Exit Fest in Novi Sad, Serbia, in front of a crowd of 15,000. I was incredibly nervous, but I pulled that show off without a hitch, thank goodness. Now I’m performing in front of crowds over 100,000. It’s daunting and exciting.
What’s been your favorite experience since then?
Quite a few, but the top memories were meeting Sting and watching his live performance. Perfection is an understatement when it comes to this man’s live show. I was in a state of bliss. Another memory is when I performed in front of half a million people for Poland Woodstock festival. I could not believe my eyes! I psyched myself out and feigned that half of the audience was CGI to calm the ol’ nerves.
What do you pack when you’re on tour?
What don’t I pack is the question. Tons of healthy snacks! I’m the only woman in a 7-man band so the guys can eat whatever, but there are some snacks that I’m unable to find in Europe, so I bring them along. Of course, my performance attire, Mac, Kindle, recording microphone…the list goes on and on.
Let’s talk about your creative process. What’s the first step?
Sometimes, I already have a topic in mind before I listen to the track, or I’ll listen to the track first and a topic comes to mind. Usually it’s the latter; however, I’ve written everything from social to political and of course love.
Who or what inspires you most?
Reading. I’m having an affair with The New York Times. Sssshhh.
Where is the most beautiful place in the world you’ve visited?
Noumea, New Caledonia! It’s about two hours away from Australia. This island will take your breath away. I was there for ten days while on tour, and I really look forward to returning in the near future.
What’s next for you and your music?
Working on my solo EP, collaborating on songs with Kiril Dzajkovski for an EP, new music video in the works, I just became a writer for a site called urbanbushbabes that my sister co-founded, and preparing for another tour.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
I have identical DNA with someone else.