The 21-year-old London-born musician has all the rockstar vibes with none of the impenetrable ego. And at a time when the music industry is saturated with clout chasers and self-congratulatory SoundCloud rappers, Wu’s down to earth authenticity is a welcome respite. And it shows; even as a relative newcomer to the American stage, (being recently signed to Def Jam), her energetic live performance drew a crowd.
She grew up messing around on guitar at home and sneaking into underground raves, wanting a band from early on; but playing instruments “wasn’t encouraged” in the all girls’ school she attended. So she’d spend her time making songs independently, “imagining the band around me, what parts they’d play,” writing lyrics about being over partying and her own mental health struggles.
When she dropped out of sixform, she took matters into her own hands and signed up for a production class––breaking through the remnants of sexist industry customs in the process. “There’s a reason that girls are singers,” Wu told office, “[girls are] told to learn to sing, but nobody encourages you like they do boys to get on with the tech side. There’s an invisible wall in the music industry that men don’t like to address, but it’s very real.” And for her, confronting that wall never required a second thought––because making music is an inextricable piece of her identity.
Read our conversation with the artist, below.