Sometimes we may not realize that one of our countrymen is gaining international popularity. An example is Carolin Mrugała known as Wønder. If you haven’t heard of her, it’s worth making up for it, because her career is just taking off. The artist has collaborated with the creators of LoL and The Witcher.
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We like to be proud of our countrymen, especially when they achieve fame beyond our country’s borders. However, it may happen that we are not even aware that this is happening and that someone we do not necessarily know is making a career at the moment. Such is the case with our compatriot Carolin Mrugała, better known as Wønder.
Carolin Mrugała can be associated with i.a. fans of the idol program because she participated in one of the editions in 2017. Since then, a lot has changed and she is becoming more and more recognizable in the world. The main reason for this is the gaming industry. Under the artistic pseudonym Wønder, the artist connected many aspects of his business with it.
She is best known for Polish versions of popular games, as well as her own work inspired and dedicated to games. Although the first projects of this type were a private initiative, he now also does it professionally. So far, Wønder has already collaborated with e.g. with Riot Games, creators of one of the most popular online games in the world – League of Legendsduring the campaign Ruined King: A League of Legends Story.
Also, our native CD project did not fail to use Wønder’s talents, which she created for the studio as part of the promotion Gwent track:
- “Ritual of Kaer Tiele”,
- Rosemary and thyme
- “Calm as Heaven”
- as well as Polish adaptations of “Wolven Storm” and “Lullaby of Woe”.
In addition, Wønder also has songs inspired by e.g. The last of us, World of Warcraft and much more. As if that was not enough, as part of her vocal career related to games, Carolin Mrugała performed this year at one of the most important gaming events in Poland – Poznań Game Arena, where she participated in the Epic Game Music concert.
It is worth noting that both this performance and the artist’s songs on YouTube channels and developed in cooperation with game developers have received a lot of praise also outside our country. But that’s not all.
However, Wønder’s activity is not limited to a musical career. The artist is also a voice actor and we could hear her Hearthstone (votes of two cards) and Bee simulator, where she voiced several characters and was a senior lecturer. She also participated in creating the Polish language version for the anime Pokemon: The Greatest Journeys on Netflix and voices a Pokémon trainer who appears in one of the episodes.
Wønder is also known in the cosplay arena, and has a lot of interesting creations from the most popular games on the market. In this form, the artist is invited to events such as this year’s Pyrkon. It must be admitted that Wønder’s activity is quite impressive, and after the positive reception of the artist also outside Poland, it can be concluded that her career is just taking off. So we decided to get some information from the source herself, and she agreed to answer some of our questions.
How did your adventure with music start and at what point did you decide to combine it with the subject of gaming?
I have been musical since childhood. I made performances for parents, in kindergarten, at school – wherever I could. My passion for computer games is connected to music in a very natural way. My first video on the channel was the song “Legenda Everlasting”. I’m a big fan of localization of music content (and not only), and there are many songs in the game world that have not been translated into Polish. I would change that. I love the song “Legends Never Die” from the League Of Legends universe and I decided to adapt it to Polish. I didn’t even have an active YouTube channel at the time, so I simultaneously posted the video to a friend’s account.
My version of this song was so liked by the Polish community that it now has over 900,000 views on my channel and my friend’s channel. After publishing the first video, I knew I had found something that I love to do and that there are people who want to see it. What more could you want?
But you are not only limited to singing. Can you briefly tell us about your other activities such as cosplay and voice acting?
Computer games offer us a journey to another world. We immerse ourselves in a whole new reality and absorb it as we progress through the game. This is my favorite artistic challenge: to transport the recipient into a magical world, far from the real one. This is why acting, cosplay, larps and music are so often intertwined in my projects. I love writing songs for games, movies, larps, which have to take the receiver into a certain world. This is an extremely exciting artistic challenge!
Sometimes I’m a pirate encouraging her crew to fight the elements with a loud shanty, another time a nature goddess lamenting lost love, and sometimes a sorceress singing a song about Geralt of Rivia at an inn in Novigrad. On the other hand, dubbing is something I’ve dreamed about since I was a child. If someone told little Carolin that one day she would be the voice of a pokemon trainer, she would probably pass out with happiness. I’m hungry for new artistic challenges, I can’t wait to see what else life will bring!
You have collaborated with quite a few famous creators and with some extremely high-profile brands. Collaborating with which developer sticks in your memory the most and why?
It is difficult to choose such a collaboration, because each of them taught me something different and gave me the opportunity to spread my wings in its own way. The first thing that comes to mind is collaboration with CD Projekt on original tracks in the style of “The Witcher”. It was my first major collaboration with a gamedev and I remember not being able to believe it was actually happening. I love the world created by Sapkowski, I’ve played CDP Red games several times and I’m a big fan of the whole series. The fact that such a respected company trusted me enough to entrust me with writing original songs to promote their game was and still is a huge honor for me.
I am also extremely proud of my projects with Riot Games, because they are huge music and production projects. “Sea of Gniew” is one of my favorite songs. I often go back to the “Making Of” video on my channel to reminisce about the process of making this song. There are a few future/current collaborations that I could mention, but that’s coming next year.
Most of your current work seems to be focused on the gaming industry, do you play games yourself? If so, what titles have you absorbed the most lately?
I play too much. My favorite genre is definitely fantasy RPG. Games like “Dragon Age”, “Elder Scrolls”, “Diablo”, “Mass Effect” or “The Witcher” greatly influenced my artistic sensibility. The stories that grab your heart and won’t let go will stay with you long after you’ve played the entire game. I remember playing “Dragon Age: Origins” on an old laptop that overheated so much it burned my legs (I played while sitting on the bed, don’t judge) and I had to put it on the balcony every 20 minutes because it was winter and then it cooled down quickly.
I also have a huge soft spot for the Tomb Raider series of games because I feel like I grew up with Lara. I also like to check out all the Lord of the Rings games because it’s my favorite fantasy world. When it comes to online gaming, I play “League Of Legends” regularly and “PUBG” from time to time. Recently I got completely lost in “Disco Elysium”. So much so that I began to deepen my knowledge of the political and social issues raised in it on a wider scale. I want to write a song in the atmosphere of this game. Maybe next year?
Recently, you had the opportunity to participate in one of the most important gaming events on Epic Game Music at the PGA in Poznań. Can you tell us behind the scenes of this event from your own perspective? How did your participation come about and what emotions came with this speech?
Performing with a symphony orchestra during the Epic Game Music concert at the PGA is a real dream come true and a huge achievement in my artistic activity. I was very nervous because not only did I want to give the audience a world-class performance, but I also didn’t want to disappoint the 40+ amazing musicians on stage with me. Together with the CoOperate Orchestra under the direction of Adam Domurat and the academic choir of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań under the direction of Beata Bielska, we performed several pieces, e.g. a symphonic version of “Legends Never Die”. One hell of a vocally demanding track, but that’s the fun of it! Our performance can be seen on my YouTube channel. I am very proud of him. I am glad that it was also an opportunity for my viewers to hear me live and meet after the concert.
Would you like to say something to the readers of our Gra.pl website?
I would like to thank my viewers for the constant support and great enthusiasm they give me with each of my projects. Readers of Gra.pl are cordially invited to familiarize themselves with my work and send me ideas for new music projects! Who knows, maybe there’s a game begging for a track from Wønder!
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