Young women in music are coming harder and becoming better than a lot of new men in music. All having different outlooks, vantage points, and experiences help for a more diverse scene for the artists and their listeners. For the 19-year-old Toronto artist, VARDINADA, she is working hard to do help the scene be stronger.
What other names do you go by?
Vardinada: Just to name a few, Nada, Ve or VeVe, or, I have one supporter who I’ve known from the time I started making my own music and she calls me Mama Nada, the dopest thing ever.
Is Vardinada a name that you gave yourself?
V: Vardinada was something I created but from another nickname, my ex gave me while dating he would always call me nada, he was Hispanic and nada in Spanish means “nothing” he would always call me that because I didn’t give him any (if you get me). And Vardi, well the name I go by is Victoria or Ve, so it would’ve been Veedi or Vardi and I chose Vardi, it rolls off the tongue better… I might drop my name to just ‘Nada’ or VeVe Next year, but I’ll think about it.
When did you get your start making music?
V: I’ve been making music since I was about 10 or 11 it started with FL studio, my brother and I would make beats. His were much better than mine but music has been a passion, so I stuck with it and eventually moved into creating music of my own at 17 or 18, I used to hate the sound of my voice but now it’s my trademark.
When did music become serious for you?
V: It became serious once Fancy blew up because at first I did this just for fun and I still do but I’m taking it a bit more serious.
When you first hear a Vardinada song, it’s like you are transported to her own world. With her soft voice and the fun, bubbly beats, she describes it as ‘electro-rap’, puts you in the mindset of the bad bitch that you truly are. Her song ‘Fancy‘, is described as “Pre**y music” on her SoundCloud, is perfect for young women who know their worth. Niggas need to know that you indeed are way too fancy and you don’t need any of the shit they offer.
When was the first time you knew you wanted to do music?
V: When I was really young around 13 or 14 I would search up any kind of beat and sing or rap over them, I never had a studio or a place where I could record but when I was 18 and a past friend of mine told me about an app I could use to do it and that’s when I created ‘Easy Money’ and never looked back. Now I have a producer and have studio time but I made an app on my iPhone 6S produce a song, now that’s talent.
Which one of your songs was the most fun to make?
V: “Kagome” was my favorite because I finally got to use autotune but I was sounding so crazy.
What or who inspired you to do music?
V: OFWGKTADGAF or ODD FUTURE for short, I was a die-hard fan, if Taco or Tyler would say go do something, guess what I would’ve done, it. I was absolutely in love with their group too bad they couldn’t stay together. And Father…I fucking adore him I’ve been a fan since I was 16 or so and I’m 19 now, everything about his vibe and his style of music made me want to pursue music.
How did music play a role in your childhood?
V: Music helped me through a lot, I never had a phone till I was 13 or so, so I relied on my DS Lite to play music and would always listen while walking home. When I was sad, I would listen to music, angry? Music Bored? music, you’ll never find me without headphones or music blasting unless I’m sleeping and even then, I have my music playing…on low though.
What was it like growing up for you?
V: Not that bad, besides the bullying and the depression I went through since I was around 10, I’ve managed to find an outlet which is music, and I’m able to express myself better than I would because of my social awkwardness and shyness.
How did that inspire your music?
V: It inspired me by knowing I can express everything I’m feeling through music.
Who are some artists that inspire you?
V: Father, Bali baby, and Tierra Whack.
For the music that she makes, it is hard to put her in a specific box. She is using her music to do her best to uplift and inspire all people who listen to her. In Toronto, she has seen appreciation from both the men and the women on both sides of her city. Even with the success that she has received in her city, she still thinks there is a lack of representation.
“I really do this for all the shy girls who aren’t able to express themselves just like I wasn’t able too until I said who cares and did it.”
What is the music scene like in Toronto?
V: Bare trap music that all sounds the same, I swear to you so many mans sound exactly the same apart from the unique individuals, but some are good no lie, we got safe and Roy Wood$ from Toronto so it can’t be that bad…right?
How is it being a woman in the Toronto scene?
V: The rap scene hers is pretty dense with male artists popping up every week, but that only makes any woman in this industry stand out more because there’s not many of us and that’s on that.
What are some relationships you made from making music? who are they?
V: Summer Alone a.k.a Hayden, is a friend of mine we get along really well, my voice is even one of the best tags on his latest songs and he works so hard and he deserves so much for what he puts out,
Do you feel like women who look like you are represented in media? Why or why not?
V: Nope and I say that because I’m yet to see an array of women who have an abstract style, amazing talent and lots of publicity without working x2 harder for it, all while not fitting into any standards that the media wants, taking all the backlash and bullshit from people who hate and that’s why I’m here….trying to add onto the solution.
Being a woman in the male-dominated trap saturated Toronto music scene, Vardinada finds little inspiration in her city. It is almost a challenge for her, most people are not receptive if the music is not like what is currently popular. For her, the inspirations she has outside of her city run long, consisting of Tierra Whack, Bali Baby, and Yung Baby Tate. All of whom do both singing and rapping just as Vardinanda does with her sound as well.
What were you doing before music?
V: I was and currently am an Instagram influencer, I promote music on my side account and post selfies and makeup posts on my main Instagram.
If you weren’t doing music what would you be doing?
V: Either in college, in hardcore debt…still waiting for me to blow up so I cannot go, or I would open up a business.
The process she has for her music varies, but it is routine. She will either start with a blunt or a nap, work on the chorus, verses then ending with the title. The only thing that is subject to change is her future sound. As her career progresses, she wishes the sound of her songs becomes more polished and professional. Vardinanda also hopes to add more of a personal aspect into her music.
“I want it sound produced like I’ve been doing this for years.”
What is your favorite part about being a black girl in music?
V: That I’m different, this isn’t my final form since I just started I can’t wait till I’m making music videos with my exact ideas expressed, I know that I’m going to be looked at as weird when I finally get to release music and videos exactly how I want, weird colors lots of abstracts and things that’ll make you scratch your head.
What are you most excited for in your career?
V: I’m most excited for recognition and performances, when that happens, I know that I did something.
What things scare you about your career?
V: That I’m never going to go anywhere with this, that’s my biggest fear right now.
Do you see yourself on the way to superstardom, or staying underground?
V: If I can stay underground while getting everything that comes with superstardom, I’ll take it, the mainstream will change if you get signed your label will change you and your sound unless they actually fuck with you and I don’t want to be another industry plant, I want to be me…Vardinada.
What do you want the reader to gain from this?
V: I want whoever is reading this to continue to do whatever they want to do if it seems to hard or far don’t give up, take a break but don’t just end there. If you’re wanting to become known in the music scene keep pushing till you’re where you want to because your only competition is you and your supporters will support you no matter what.
As her career progresses, Vardinada knows that one day she will be a legend one day, but the groundwork is important as well. The success that she is working towards will not come in one day unless one is lucky. She is starting her career in Toronto and hopes to take it worldwide, and her music will help her do just that.