With an impressive roster of top hit singles Wynter Gordon has written, you’d think this talented musical artist wouldn’t have such a light and airy perspective on life. However, with a humble upbringing of singing in the church choir, and a tight grip on family morals, this spiritually enlightened singer proves her pure talent with dedication and versatility. It all began one night as Wynter sat on her bed with hopeful aspirations of writing music for Mary J. Blige, and from there on turned her life around into a frenzy of success. Get to know our latest This Miss KL in her revealing interview showcasing her vibrant and irresistible personality.
Who are you and what do you do
My name is Wynter Gordon. I am a singer/songwriter, I’m a comedian, I love the earth, I’m spiritual, I love my brothers and sisters. I am me.
Tell us a little bit about your career path - how did you get started in music and how did you end up where you are now?
I’ve been very passionate about singing since I was a little girl. My mother had me in church singing in the choir where I was heavily into gospel music, and I think that because my parents didn’t let me listen to secular music I was very rebellious and really pushed to listen to all types of music in secret. It opened up the door for me to different genres, and that’s where I really fell in-love with music. My first taste of doing music professionally was when I wrote a song for Mary J Blige. I got the gig by chance. Previously I was signed to a production company and heard that Mary needed a new track for her album she was finishing. On top of that, she didn’t have a title for her album yet. So management sent me the track, I sat on my bed, and just went at it. I was about 18-19 and didn’t think anyone would ever give me a chance so you can imagine my surprise when I found out they chose it, and Mary ended up naming the entire album after the song. That pretty much opened up the flood gates to me writing music for so many different popular artists.
What’s your experience with writing music for other people?
There are so many people I’ve written music for, I can’t even think! I’ve written music for J.Lo, Ciara, Chris Brown, Diplo, David Guetta. One of my most favorite songs I’ve ever written was for J.LO, and it’s called ‘What is love?’ It was near and dear to my heart because that was the story of my life at the time, and I didn’t know what love was. I needed to figure it out, and that song pretty much summed up a huge portion of my life. Sometimes it’s hard to give away a song but I figured if no one is going to hear my own songs, I should give it to someone who will get it out to the masses. It also helped that it was a song which she felt in her heart as well, and related to.
Where do you get your inspiration from when writing music?
A lot of times I pull inspiration from being heartbroken. I feel as though I’ve spent the majority of my life heartbroken, and so I really use that to fuel the creative juices. I also love pulling inspiration from movies. I’m a huge Tim Burton fan, and am totally obsessed with his work. (We also have the same birthday.) I like weird shit. Reminiscing about my childhood and the things I grew up with make me happy.
How did you discover that writing music was your niche?
When I was growing up, I went to the high school that was in the movie/play FAME – LaGuardia High School. We had this class called the “New Music Singers,” which is for all the songwriters, which really helped my dive into the subject. That was my starting point for writing songs. In my senior year I actually won a scholarship to college off of writing a song which coincidentally was about graduating. I was like, “oh I can actually make money off of this!” and that’s when I really considered song writing as a profession.
In an industry that’s so chaotic, what keeps you grounded?
I would have to say my family. They keep me on my toes. I mean, I’m not the big sister - but I am. My big sister is always leaning on me, and has me babysitting my nephew a lot. Just helping my family motivates me. Not only that, but I have this intense drive inside that won’t let me stop. I must be the best. I must put out great music. It’s just in me to do it. It’s something I’m born with.
What’s been one of the most excited things you’ve encountered so far in your career?
I’d have to say my fans. I think they’re crazy – but in a good way. How passionate they are is intense, and I love it. I’ve had the opportunity to experience the passion these fans have on a personal level. They want to tattoo the names of your album to their body. It’s crazy.
It also helps that I get to travel all over the world. It wasn’t until I put out my very first song that I went on a plane. Just being exposed to the world and all the different cultures – that part is fantastic. There’s no other career that gives you that type of freedom.
Were there any struggles you had to overcome as an artist?
Money. It takes a lot of money to create an album. You also have to find a deep belief within yourself because when you’re not “HOT,” people will tear you down. It takes a lot of confidence to actually continue. And if you’re spending your own money, that belief has to be strong. But I believe in my career with all my heart – and my fans have given me a lot of the inspiration to keep going.
You’ve traveled all over the world. What places are your favorite for shopping, food, and culture?
New York will always be my #1 place. I live in New York, born and raised. For me, thrifting, vintage shopping, even high end shopping…plus it helps that everyone speaks English. Everything you could want is in New York. There’s nothing missing. Every culture is in New York. My hometown is my favorite place to be.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is performing for my fans, and experiencing their response to my music which I’ve put so much love and effort into. It’s like a huge hug from the crowd. So much energy is coming your way as you’re giving out energy. There’s no other feeling like that – EVER.
How does your personal style reflect your music?
I’ve fallen into this kind of “futuristic hippie” look, I think this new album is really shaping up to be a future-folk album. It has influences from a lot of genres, but I think it’s cohesive with “future folk.”
If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing for a career?
I imagine myself being a relic hunter, something like Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. I can’t imagine myself with a normal job. I’d be an antique hunter. That, or I would be a drama teacher.
What other hobbies do you have besides singing?
My whole life revolves around music, but I also ride my bike everywhere. Even in 100 degree weather, you’ll catch me outside sweating. I read a lot of books, I’m a Netflix groupie, a Game of Thrones girl, and I like to throw parties.
Is there any advice you’d give to girls looking to follow in your footsteps?
Figure out who you are as a person. Ask yourself ‘What do I want? Who do I want to be? What do I want to represent? What’s my image?’ Know yourself. Plus, you have to be prepared to work very hard, almost obsessively. I feel like those are the people that make it. Give it your all and just be driven to make it. Your career becomes your whole life, it’s a full time commitment…so be ready.
So what exciting new projects do you have in the works?
Well I started DJing for fun with my friend, Artie. We call ourselves the “Righteous Young,” and just have been DJing a ton of parties for fun. I’ve always had the opportunity to DJ since my friends throw so many parties but I’ve just begun pursuing it seriously. I am also working on my next album, and the new sound, which I’ve dubbed as “Futuristic Hippie.” It’s a mix of folk music with a modern take. It’s something that took time to cultivate, but I’ve finally gotten it right. My fans have been waiting and waiting for new music, and so I’m beyond excited that this new project will be on iTunes pretty soon. There’s so much stuff going on with my music, it’s intense.