In 2010, Wynter Gordon, a songwriter turned singer, landed a number 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs Chart titled Dirty Talk. It was Gordon’s introduction to the world, as a singer. Though it is a provocative song, Wynter says it represents a very small part of her; it doesn’t show who she is in general. That said, it did get people to notice her.
Ms. Gordon approaches music with a stylistic diversity that separates her from many of today’s artists. Looking at her, you might think of Donna Summer or, perhaps, Janet Jackson. Whatever the case may be, Wynter brings originality to the music world. Her blending of genres might lead her to being the next big thing in music, think Rihanna, Beyonce or Lady Gaga.
Though the skies the limit for this beautiful, talented 26-year-old, she reveals in our conversation her numerous struggles with depression, crying in her closet, wanting to give up and sleeping on friend’s couches as she was trying to make a career for herself in the music world.
Wynter’s CYInterview is a great reminder of all the steps and struggles that come with holding onto your dreams and working to accomplish your goals. Our talk is also a chance to learn about the real woman behind the sexy persona in the Dirty Talk and Buy My Love music videos.
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Chris Yandek: I was pointed out to you a few months ago and then I listened to some of your stuff and I saw you had a variety of music styles. You got the music style of today combined with the styles from earlier music times. Was that your ultimate goal for your career to have a variety of style?
Wynter Gordon: “My goal is to just do music I love. I think I was kind of like blessed with all these different tones in my voice and all these different like, this passion for so many genres and I kind of like put them all in one. And I do have a fondest for the past and the music of the 90s, 80s, 70s and I just want to make good music pretty much. That’s my goal.”
CY: I think you’ve been able to take these various styles and create your own original stamp and thus that is the reason for you to have an effort to stand out. You think I’m right about that?
WG: “I think you are right. I think you are right. And I feel like I’m just now really tapping into who I am and really comfortable actually with who I am and making sure what I put out into the world is really me. You know, just like this year, it’s really been about that moment I’m like, oh my God, like I just realized really what I want to do, what I want to say.”
CY: Everything, of course, is a growing process as you mentioned and you’re still expanding your horizons, but I wonder for those who are first being introduced to you through this conversation with me if they haven’t heard your music before, what do you want people to know about you aside from the artist that you are?
WG: “I’m pretty much just your cool girl around the way. I’m super passionate about music. Like that’s, pretty much that and my family is the only thing I think about during the day. Kind of give my all. Is this a fun facts thing? I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t know.”
CY: Well, you gotta keep your voice and you gotta keep your vocals healthy obviously of course. I respect you for that.
WG: “Oh yeah. I do two days of silence per week. I only break that if I have to.”
CY: In reading about you, it seemed like you were going to do anything whether it was numerous jobs to support yourself for example to make your dreams come true. Isn’t that really the real reality in achieving a dream? We have to go through the struggles, do what it takes to keep the dream moving along and stick around long enough for the big moment to happen. Isn’t that really what you did and that’s the true reality for many on how a dream comes together that there isn’t some magical quick process?
WG: “No way. There’s like years and years and years of work and putting in time and effort before you know, anything really materializes. I think it’s, it’s really nice when that happens for like the very few, but for me I had to take on a lot of jobs because I wasn’t making money when I first started doing music, pretty much sleeping on my friend’s couches and just really doing whatever it took for someone to notice me.”
CY: I just wonder you know, as I’ve been continuing to expand my horizons for 11 years and over 1000 interviews, we’ve expanded to everything lately having everybody from Zoe Saldana [see here] to Herman Cain [see here] recently. I know what it takes to stick with it. You just have to believe in yourself. Was it more than that for you, you know while you’re sleeping on your friend’s couches trying to keep your dreams alive? How do you keep it inside yourself believing that this is still possible? ‘Cause I think that’s what a lot of people struggle with.
WG: “I didn’t always just keep it inside of myself. I wasn’t very confident coming up. Not even till recently was I really like sure of myself. A lot of times I would be like super depressed, like very, very depressed and I felt like giving up. I would cry and sit in my closet by myself and like really like sob and weep and I just felt like giving up. But then I would like see my family, you know where we came from and it was like, I didn’t want to stay there. You know, I didn’t wanna, I wanted to be the one to make it for my family and my family and it was just, I had to. I didn’t really have an option or a choice to give up.”
CY: Well, there you go. So then going from the person who writes the songs and the person behind the scenes to becoming the artist, so many spend their lives behind the scenes never becoming the person or the focus. And some of them want that ambition, some don’t. But I just wonder at any point like you might not be that girl in front of the mic when you were behind the scenes?
WG: “No. I always wanted to be an artist. I don’t think I always had the confidence to be an artist, to be in front of the camera and sometimes I still don’t like being in front of the camera. I don’t like doing stuff in repeats and things like of that nature. But I wanted my music to be known as my music. You know, that was important to me. You know, I didn’t necessarily want to be famous, but I wanted people to know where the songs came from and the messages. And it’s obviously, there are deeper songs that I have than Dirty Talk is what I mean. I wanted people to know that those songs came from me.”
CY: And then with that being said, after you have that number one dance hit in Dirty Talk in 2010, was that the moment where you finally started gaining that confidence?
WG: “No, no really it wasn’t. It wasn’t a song that did it. I was thankful for Dirty Talk because I knew I had the gift and I knew I had the talent. It just made people pay attention to me. You know, I don’t. I think that, I’m grateful for Dirty Talk because you know it was obviously a hit and it was that song, but it didn’t really feel like it really represented me in whole. It was just a small tiny piece of me, a little fun side, but I don’t put my career on that song. “
CY: Do you think that it’s kind of the point, we also focus on Buy My Love, you know these two different songs kind of like are what I like to call, current event, social commentary almost or you’re pointing out certain things that are social trends. Do you think that that’s kind of what you’re trying to, the message that you’re trying to send out through in these two different songs? Like, that you’re focusing on what’s going on in society today like kind of as social commentary?
WG: “No. No. Dirty Talk was really just a fun, really fun song, upbeat and I didn’t even think anyone would ever hear it honestly ‘cause I had so many songs that were never you know singles. So, really it was just for fun. Me and my girlfriend wrote it. And with Buy My Love, I was really trying to tap into the 90s with the hook. So I had that hook and really writing around the song was pretty difficult, but I had the hook immediately. I was really just trying to do something melodically 90s sounding. That was like last year.”
CY: I think you accomplished that by the way.
WG: “Yeah. Thank you. But I feel like the songs on the EP, some of them like Still Getting Younger and Back To You, those deeper songs really reflect more of where I want to go. But if I feel like every album or EP needs it needs its emotional wave. It needs the high, the fun, it needs the set, it needs the anger, it needs to talk about realness. So that’s what I kind of wanted to do. Where I think Buy My Love is just subliminal It’s kind of what, really women do want that. I don’t think a real woman is a gold digger, but we do want. We want chivalry again. We want to be spoiled. We want to be pampered and we also want to pamper our spouses.”
CY: Absolutely. As I always say on a side note before we finish up with this, men, it’s when you surprise a women when she least expects it that matters.
CY: By what I read it seemed you grew up in a strict family background. How did that shape you?
WG: “How did that shape me? Wow. I don’t know about being shaped. I’m really happy that my parents didn’t let me do whatever I wanted to do. And my mom, she sent me to a really good school. In my neighborhood, the schools are not good at all. But she sent me far out to a school that was good. She didn’t let me really get into trouble. And for some people that would cause them to be rebellious, but it kind of inspired me to stay on the right path ‘cause there were so many times where I could’ve like, I could’ve became a slacker, you know. And I was too afraid to get a whoopin if I messed up in school. I was too afraid. You know, I was too afraid to get in trouble. So thank God my parents scared the shit out of me. It works for me.”
CY: Being from New York, I wonder what you think about all the protests going on in New York currently?
WG: “I feel like it needs to be more people. I don’t really think we’re gonna accomplish anything with not everybody joining in. Not enough people know about the facts. Everyone’s not really into it. I don’t think enough people care, but it’s nice to know that there are some people who are starting this process. I think we all need to join in. I’m a little ashamed I haven’t.”
CY: I’m all about first amendment rights and people speaking their mind because if we don’t question our government and we don’t stand up against our government, there will never be change. Speaking with the likes of Congress and Herman Cain and everyone else in the last few months it is all about the normal public speaking up and that’s what I try to do every day and try to bring some of that substance to conversations with you Ms. Gordon. In closing with you, if one day down the road you rise to the level of a Lady Gaga, Rihanna or Beyonce status, what would that mean to you? Do you think maybe perhaps you’re the next big thing in music? I think you might be. You have a lot of different originality going on.
WG: “I think I am. I think I am the next big thing and it would be very nice. I’m not looking for fame, but I would love for my music to reach the masses and I think that’s a huge responsibility because everyone’s watching you and everyone’s saying what you say. They’re speaking everything that you say into existence. So I think it’s huge responsibility and I think I’d be good to get there. Every musician’s life, they want to reach that point.”
Wynter Gordon’s official website is at www.wyntergordon.com
Wynter Gordon’s official Twitter is here.
Wynter Gordon’s official Facebook is here.
You can email Chris Yandek at ChrisYandek@CYInterview.com