Aite, aite aite, hold the phone put your hammer pants on and throw that cap backwards in some old school way, cause we have a rapper in our midst. Just to get you in the rap ‘zone’ here are a few key words.. Homie. Yeeeah. Whadup. Dis. Dat. Fat. Sh*t, I mean Phat. Embarrassing.
You in the zone? Me too, yo.
Rona Wignall is a Wellington based rapper with a dream, a dream she has always had there lurking in the back of her lyrical mind. But, unlike most of us, she has always backed herself to make it, and as a result has been working towards it since she was a miniature gangster. She has always been pretty darn sure that her future lies in music, so for her, it has been a matter of hustling and angling her experience toward it her whole life.
However, there was one little distraction along the way.
At high school, Rona played underwater hockey, which, like performing, she was really good at. So good in fact, that she was THIS CLOSE to representing NZ in the 2010 Under 19 girls’ team. She had been working hard, turning down social events to train and had been living most of her life outside of school at the pool – however, when it came to crunch time, and the authorities went to select the team, she was the only one out of 13 girls to be dropped. Rona said it was ‘heartbreaking’ to be told by 3 adults behind a desk that you can’t do something. But, she learnt some serious lessons from that experience – work hard, be humble, don’t quit just because someone has told you no. And in hindsight, it may have been a blessing in disguise because as well as giving her a bit of resilience, it allowed her to focus just on the music.
After high school, Rona went down to Dunedin to study music, and kept her head in the game by doing open mic nights whenever possible. With her talent, passion and willingness to learn, she eventually started to land her own performance slots. She was lucky in that those close to her have always been 100% supportive – but winning over a crowd in the early days was another thing altogether. ‘It was hard starting out knowing that when you get on stage, no one has any expectation of you’. Can you imagine it.. Like, seriously, you’re 18-19, the age at which you’re trying to prove yourself as super cool. You’re doing something that kind of against the grain, yet there you are about to rap in front of a crowd full of strangers who have probably already made up their minds about what you are capable of. Can someone say pressure???!!
Rona is a rapper who, shock horror, also happens to be female. And unfortunately, this still seems to put her at a slight disadvantage when pitted against boys who oversaturate the current market. Rona says that she tries not to let it get her down when ‘boys get preference over gigs’ she would love to play at, but she has built up a pretty strong resilience to it. And with any luck, that mentality is on the up and out anyway.
Rona is one awesome human for pushing through, for opening people’s minds and for showing that women are just as badass as men when it comes to feeling the fear and doing it anyway. This may also be the reason she adopted the stage name Arcee – a female autobot character from the Transformers franchise, who stands out as a female surrounded by a mostly male cast.
She is hoping to get many more opportunities in the future to expand her reach – however she is sure about one thing – if the opportunity means associating with rappers who promote rape, violence and crime then she’s out. She says ‘music has the power to speak to people, not just audibly but emotionally’, and this is why she chooses to treat her lyrics in a way that communicates where she stands on certain issues the world faces.
Arcee is one to watch – she’s living the hustle day in day out and people have finally started to sit up and take notice! You can check her out, keep in the loop with her upcoming shows and follow her progress on Facebook using this link: https://www.facebook.com/ArceeRapper?fref=ts
The wonderful Arcee has written some rap lyrics which reflect some of the most important Monday Hustle values.. So, sticking to these values, it’d be rude not to take the opportunity to embarrass myself by attempting to rap them. #MondayHustle