In the most fascinating way possible, 21-year old artist Wé McDonald is an enigma. In conversation with her, you’re met with a vivacious, uplifting, and refreshingly original personality which is certain to make you smile. But through her music, the old soul of Wé emerges in full force, and the initial shock of “the switch” is followed by a deep sense of wonder and admiration.
The Harlem-based musician first gained global recognition through The Voice at seventeen years old, where she finished as the second runner-up in the competition back in 2016. In 2018, she released the music video for her original song “Head Up High.” Here, the inconceivable power of her voice blended with her talent for writing lyrics with depth proves that Wé is a force to be reckoned with––and resides in another league entirely. “Broken Wings,” my personal favorite, is filled with a poignancy that can only properly be compared to legendary musicians of an earlier generation, such as Nina Simone.
“My songwriting process takes on its own form depending on how I feel. I like to use pen and paper to write all of my stuff down because I like the process of everything,” said Wé. When it comes to where she draws her inspiration from, she primarily pulls from her own life experiences. “Growing up in Harlem, I see that there isn’t necessarily a voice but just people who long to get out, not people who long to grow within themselves and where they come from; I want to be a really good example of growing.”
Inspired by the current unprecedented times, Wé has joined forces with hip-hop artist and singer XEL in a brand new song which intends on bringing hope and healing into a world that appears to be on the verge of collapsing. Written by Prince Cre McEntrye and XEL, “Shaking My Head (Savior Master Healer)” is a faith-based anthem that is a reminder to call on a higher power for guidance through the darkness. “I was really excited [about the song] because this is the first time I really got to get in depth with what I believe in, and how I feel about everything going on right now,” said XEL.
“Shaking My Head” will be featured on McEntyre’s upcoming album “Project One Race United,” where various artists will join together in order to deliver potent, empowering messages through the vehicle of music for those who are struggling with mental health issues or experiencing difficulties and setbacks due to the pandemic.
Head over to JARO’s podcast to listen to Wé discuss the message behind her music in depth with Eric Scott.
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