FEATURE: Wynter Gordon “My mum named me after Diana Ross and I was just like ‘I don’t want to be another Diana.'”

Having made a sensational appearance on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ the night before we meet, it is little surprise that dance pop sensation Wynter Gordon is a little bit tired. Having flown across from Sydney to Melbourne after her performance, Gordon has already been flown into a flurry of fifteen minute meets with a parade of journalists. With our meeting taking place after her breakfast break, Gordon slumps down on the sofa clasping a mug of tea. She is understandably tired, but in high spirits. Her bubbly personality shining through the exhaustion and her star quality immediately apparent. Gordon is one of those people who can casually capture your attention and hold it effortlessly. Apologising for her constant sips of tea, she explains, “It is slippery elm tea, for the throat. I’ve been having troubles, I have been taking pills. It’s not fun. I am not actually really worn out, I am not really tired. I am just normal tired. I am in the thick of it all, so this is good for me. I will try to hang on as long as I can.”

“I am so glad it took this long for me to come out as I have built up a confidence in myself now.”

Having first come to global attention as the singer who teased with “Dirty Talk”, it might be a surprise to those who know little about her to hear that she has, in fact, been an established songwriter for just over half a decade. While she may only be 23 years of age, she has written hit singles for everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Mary J. Blige. You may also have noted her high profile collaborations with some of music’s biggest names – notably Flo Rida, Freemasons and David Guetta. So, which came first? Was she always a singer trying to get her lucky break by allowing others sing her songs? Or did she realise when hearing her songs on the radio that she could just as easily be doing it herself? The question is one that many avoid, seeing the answer as inconsequential, in effect a pointless conundrum of the chicken and egg ilk. Not Gordon, she smiles and admits, “I wanted to e an entertainer my entire life, since I was like 4 years old, but I didn’t have the confidence yet. I knew that was what I wanted to do, but getting up in front of people is really hard. So, I was like, well you know what, I am still going to try and do it. But this all happened by default. I got into writing first, because just by chance I got a song onto Mary J. Blige’s album. So, the label signed me after that as they heard about this girl who writes. They all brought me up to their labels and that is how it happened. I am so glad it took this long for me to come out as I have built up a confidence in myself now. I grew up doing music but I am just happy it took a long time.”

With the credits in her to die for debut album “With The Music I Die” listing her as Diana “Wynter” Gordon, is she making a conscious effort to seperate the shy girl sat next to me from her feisty, fearless onstage persona? While the explanation would make sense, heck, even Disney picked up on a similar trail when they created the monster that is Hannah Montana, Gordon’s reasons were far more personal. “My mum named me after Diana Ross and I was just like ‘I don’t want to be another Diana.’ I thought I was going to be pretty big back then, I would say to Mum, ‘I am going to be as big as Diana!’ So I was like, I don’t want to have the same name as someone else who is so iconic. There was also Princess Diana so I thought that name has been run to the ground. I chose something else.”

“No one has a name that start with a W that are really popular. This is like Wy, all the letters that no one uses.”

“Me and my management and my friends were just sat around tossing names, they we like ‘call yourself Supergirl’, but Wynter seemed like the best fit.” Having gone the distinct seasonally charged forename, Gordon was pleased that she would no longer just blend in to the background. Though the name Diana may have already had its many associations, in retrospect she may not have chosen something quite so inconspicuous. She laughs, “I am not so sure I would choose that today, I like Amanda, but it felt right. But no one has a name that start with a W that are really popular. This is like Wy, all the letters that no one uses.”

With her name settled upon, Gordon and her management realised that the next phase was to create an artist whose dynamic would stand out in equal measure to her name. While she notes that her debut single “Dirty Talk” may have got her on the musical map, she is equally aware that very few people would associate her with the song or even recognise her name let alone her face. Radio play may have been achieved with single number one, but there is a lot riding upon her album and current single “Buy My Love”. So, with so much to pressure to perform, how did she choose which songs would make it and which ones wouldn’t. The choice it seems, was out of her hands… “That doesn’t happen. You don’t get to choose with records go on your album, especially not a first time artist. It is more of a collaboration. You have a team and you all work together on the vision. Basically the vision comes from me, but we all have to agree on which songs come out.”

Words and Images: Jeremy Williams

Having made a sensational appearance on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ the night before we meet, it is little surprise that dance pop sensation Wynter Gordon is a little bit tired. Having flown across from Sydney to Melbourne after her performance, Gordon has already been flown into a flurry of fifteen minute meets with a parade of journalists. With our meeting taking place after her breakfast break, Gordon slumps down on the sofa clasping a mug of tea. She is understandably tired, but in high spirits. Her bubbly personality shining through the exhaustion and her star quality immediately apparent. Gordon is one of those people who can casually capture your attention and hold it effortlessly. Apologising for her constant sips of tea, she explains, “It is slippery elm tea, for the throat. I’ve been having troubles, I have been taking pills. It’s not fun. I am not actually really worn out, I am not really tired. I am just normal tired. I am in the thick of it all, so this is good for me. I will try to hang on as long as I can.”

Having first come to global attention as the singer who teased with “Dirty Talk”, it might be a surprise to those who know little about her to hear that she has in fact been an established songwriter for just over half a decade. While she may only be 23 years of age, she has written hit singles for everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Mary J. Blige. You may also have noted her high profile collaborations with some of music’s biggest names – notably Flo Rida, Freemasons and David Guetta. So, which came first? Was she always a singer trying to get her lucky break by allowing others sing her songs? Or did she realise when hearing her songs on the radio that she could just as easily be doing it herself? The question is one that many avoid, seeing the answer as inconsequential, in effect a pointless conundrum of the chicken and egg ilk. Not Gordon, she smiles and admits, “I wanted to e an entertainer my entire life, since I was like 4 years old, but I didn’t have the confidence yet. I knew that was what I wanted to do, but getting up in front of people is really hard. So, I was like, well you know what, I am still going to try and do it. But this all happened by default. I got into writing first, because just by chance I got a song onto Mary J. Blige’s album. So, the label signed me after that as they heard about this girl who writes. They all brought me up to their labels and that is how it happened. I am so glad it took this long for me to come out as I have built up a confidence in myself now. I grew up doing music but I just happy it took a long time.”

With the credits in her to die for debut album “With The Music I Die” listing her as Diana “Wynter” Gordon, is she making a conscious effort to seperate the shy girl sat next to me from her feisty, fearless onstage persona? While the explanation would make sense, heck, even Disney picked up on a similar trail when they created the monster that is Hannah Montana, Gordon’s reasons were far more personal. “My mum named me after Diana Ross and I was just like ‘I don’t want to be another Diana.’ I thought I was going to be pretty big back then, I would say to Mum, ‘I am going to be as big as Diana!’ So I was like, I don’t want to have the same name as someone else who is so iconic. There was also Princess Diana so I thought that name has been run to the ground. I chose something else.”

“Me and my management and my friends were just sat around tossing names, they we like ‘call yourself Supergirl’, but Wynter seemed like the best fit.” Having gone the distinct seasonally charged forename, Gordon was pleased that she would no longer just blend in to the background. Though the name Diana may have already had its many associations, in retrospect she may not have chosen something quite so inconspicuous. She laughs, “I am not so sure I would choose that today, I like Amanda, but it felt right. But no has names that start with a W that are really popular. This is like Wy, all the letters that no one uses.”

With her name settled upon, Gordon and her management realised that the next phase was to create an artist whose dynamic would stand out in equal measure to her name. While she notes that her debut single “Dirty Talk” may have got her on the musical map, she is equally aware that very few people would associate her with the song or even recognise her name let alone her face. Radio play may have been achieved with single number one, but there is a lot riding upon her album and current single “Til Death”. So, with so much to pressure to perform, how did she choose which songs would make it and which ones wouldn’t. The choice it seems, was out of her hands… “That doesn’t happen. You don’t get to choose with records go on your album, especially not a first time artist. It is more of a collaboration. You have a team and you all work together on the vision. Basically the vision comes from me, but we all have to agree on which songs come out.”

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September Issue!!

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The September issue contains:

Stornoway “A living, breathing Mark Twain novel.”
Levi Miller “I thought it was great to be famous enough to have your picture on a pencil case.”
Eliza Doolittle “I have something to work towards rather than something to live up to.”

Tye Matthew Harris “I believe a point comes when you have to change things in your life.”
Dog Is Dead “We’d like people to think of us as a choir and an orchestra making pop music.”
Chris Anthony “It is much better to be inspired than to think up new ideas if that makes sense.”
Example “I just want people to take my music for what it is.”
The Milk “We just play really well with each other.”
Motion City Soundtrack “We are like family. We have learned to live around each other.”

Freemasons “It is only a matter of time before albums are released as apps…”
Tara Mathew “I just feel transformed to a different world when I perform.”
K. Anderson “As a teenager all I listened to was music by lesbian.”

Win! Win!

Forgotten Gems:

Album: Shelby Lynne “I am Shelby Lynne”
Book: Jim Thompson The Killer Inside Me”
Film: Rebecca

Designer of the Month: Robot Alien Clothing

Reviews:
Albums: Locnville “Sun In My Pocket”, Capac “Pastels EP”, Fyfe Dangerfield “Fly Yellow Moon”, She Makes War “Disarm”, Aaron Wright and The Aprils “Behold A Pale Horse”
Singles of The Month: The Like “Wishing He Was Dead”. Dog is Dead “Young”
Live Music: V Festival, Kendal Calling , Summer Sundae, One Night Only, Wildbird & Peacedrums
Theatre: Corrie!, Sound Of Music, Joseph
Film: Robin Hood, Kick-Ass
Books: Matthew Yorke “Pictures of Lily”, JockyBoy26 “The Big Book of Gaydar (Uncut!)”

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