Sina Holwerda, better known as Wynne is a rapper. Not a female rapper, but a hip hop artist. Being a woman in any industry is already challenging enough between the economic inequality, beauty standards, and the seemingly unavoidable sexism in daily life. For performing arts, especially the hip hop industry, the inherent challenges one faces to be a credible, successful artist is immense. Remove her appearance while listening, and Wynne is a raw talent focused not only on her craft, but education, consciousness, and honesty throughout all of her work. Wynne is serving an important role not only for women our own age, but for all women. She acknowledges that for most of her career that she’ll be the youngest in the room as well as of the only women, but she’s not alone in the years ahead.
So, some people may recognize you from the #SoGoneChallenge. Where did the challenge originate and what inspired your take on it?
I believe Chance the Rapper started it. A friend of mine posted the #SoGoneChallenge and I saw a few entries, so I stayed up that night and wrote one, then recorded it the next day. When I went viral, it was crazy; my phone ended up crashing a few times.
Tell me about any new projects in the works:
I just completed “An Open Letter to Donald Trump” that was released inauguration day. It’s on iTunes, and all proceeds will go towards charities geared towards social justice. Currently, I’m becoming an industry artist in LA. I am working with different producers to master my sound. Before I release anything else or other labels approach me, the music needs to be ready.
Does your approach toward collaborations opposed to solo projects differ? How so? (Wildcat! Wildcat!, etc.)
WildCat! Wild Cat! and I were connected because the same guy that advises me, manages them. I rarely approach people to be featured on my own music, and I don’t think I’ll use rap features, until my music is where I know it can be. I’m still finding my sound.
What emotions are you trying to evoke through your art?
I want my music to reflect my personality and how I interact with people. I am a very open person, and I have a big personality. I am just doing what I want to do, and I’m saying what I want to say. Hopefully, I am inspiring others to be themselves in the process.
How would you describe your style?
I’d describe my style as casual street style, but dope. I really like baseball hats and turtlenecks. I don’t want to make things sexual. Ultimately, my style just reflects me.
Photo from Wynne’s latest music video: CVTVLYST.
Are you working on being signed? If so, by whom, if not discuss your value as an independent artist? Do you find it necessary to be signed to a label?
I don’t feel strongly toward being independent or having a label. Currently, I’m in a position where I don’t need to sign. I’m not approaching labels, nor do I want to sign until the music is ready. I don’t want to be in a position where I feel as if have to sign. I need to develop who I am first and foremost, and if I do sign, it’s going to be on my own terms and I’ll have options.
Looking into the future: How would you describe success for you?
I don’t have a backup plan so ideally, I’d like to support myself and my family from my career. If I can wake up everyday and make music, and hang out with people who inspire me, I’d consider myself successful.
Talk to me about your role in a male dominated industry:
When you’re a woman in hip hop, there’s always a gimmick. Either you’re like Nicki Minaj which is totally a fine way to go about your artistry, just not mine, or you’re hardly even compared to the men even if you’re as talented as Lauryn Hill (She’s one of my top 10 favorite MC’s). A huge reason I do what I do is to break that mold.
I don’t have to bend to adjust to a man’s scale. Most of the time you can’t just be a rapper, you have to be a female rapper. “Female rap” isn’t separate from hip hop, nor is its own genre. It’s a goal to be a household name rapper and breakthrough for women. As a kid, I didn’t really think about being a female when I thought about the future of my career. When I first started, my icons were men, and I didn’t think about doing something different than them. Women have to have some sort of “thing” to them in addition to their talent whether it be a voice gimmick, a style of performing on stage, or over dramatic clothing .
I want to be one of the women to help change the industry- when male rappers are interviewed it is about their music, when women rappers are interviewed it’s about being a woman. For now, I want those questions- I want people to understand how much farther we have to go on gender equality.
What’s the best part of performing live?
The energy is the best part of performing. I love rehearsal too and preparing before each show. The actual performing is really about feeding off the energy. I am an attention whore, so dancing around is awesome. My hype man is also a breakdancer, he’s really talented, and we really feed off each others energy.
If you were to design a music festival, where would it be and who would headline?
I would put it in an east coast forest and sometime in the fall so all the tree would be colorful. A few headliners include Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, Alicia Keys, and Childish Gambino.