It’s a depressingly rainy day deep in East London but dance artist Wynter Gordon is ready to shine for her London press day. Today Wynter is wearing an oversized Russian furry hat, a purple plaid coat with fur detail around the wrists and black flat biker boots, a look which she describes as edgy, vintage chic (she later tells me she likes to do high fashion vintage with ‘character’). Wynter has just over an hour to catch her flight back to New York so the interview takes place at the back of a blacked out Adison Lee cab, shopping bags, manager, PR and guitarist in tow. However, what should have been a 20 minute ride to Paddington Station, turned into an hour of getting to know the girl that is Wynter Gordon.
Wynter (first name Diana) tells me she’s spent the morning shopping in her new favourite British store- River Island, ”I’ve only really shopped on the [British] high street twice. I went to River Island and I was like ‘Woooow.’ I love going shopping where you can buy high street things for the same price as high end things.” The conversation then veers onto her take on English fashion Vs. American fashion, ”I think we’re sort of unified now with the internet and the magazines. I think that here (London) people dress like the old school kinda way of dressing which is pretty cool because in America no one really dresses that way anymore so it’s kinda cool that retro fashion is in here.”
Wynter, who is 26 and was born and raised in South Jamaica, New York, had her first big break back in 2010 when her single Dirty Talk went to number one on the Billboard dance charts. ”For me, I never really grew up on urban music, my mum didn’t really allow it,” she tells me, her Manager, PR, guitarist and cab driver listening in. ”I used to listen to alternative gospel and I went to school in more of a white neighbourhood growing up. Urban music wasn’t the type of music that the kids were listening to so I listened to more alternative, more rock so that’s kind of what shaped me. My voice melodically gravitated more towards that as opposed to RnB music.”
Life for the the Dirty Talk singer isn’t without its obstacles, however, she tells me: ”[I feel pressure to always look dressed up] More now than ever now, because I wasn’t really getting noticed in the street, but I just started getting noticed like everywhere. I remember going to the supermarket and I had sweatpants on and a hoody and it was like the middle of the night and I was walking down the aisle and somebody was like ‘Wynter Gordon? What are you doing in Brooklyn?’ and I was like ‘God I’m going to start dressing up now’…there is pressure now because everyone wants a photo.”
Then the girl talk really starts. We get talking about her performance at the Sammy B show during New York Fashion Week back in September (which, by the way, I caught and was very impressed). ”Sammy is like one of my best friends!” she exclaims. ”Solange [Knowles] came up to me afterwards and was like ‘I like your music’, so that was like the highlight for me, I like her style and her vibe is really cool.” Speaking on some her favourite brands Wynter tells me: ”I love Chloe, me and Chloe get along famously, I like the sleekness of a Prada shoe and Jimmy Choo, they make your feet look really good and I have really big feet (UK Size 6 1/2). I love my clothes custom and vintage, most of my clothes are custom.” Wynter also names her style icons as: Bianca Jagger and Gwen Stefani, adding: ”I like Tina Turner’s spirit, I feel her in everything thing I wear.”
”I’m fairly easy getting ready in the morning,” she continues ”I have so many like cool pieces, that’s the good thing because in my apartment there’s just racks of cool little items. I just throw something on and i’ve got my make-up down to a science, my face is like a stencil (laughs).” She names her fashion essentials as her accessories including her most prized possession, an old Irish ring, ”I don’t wear earrings too much, they’re like heavy, when I’m on stage they could just like fly off mid performance. I think cool accessories take an outfit a really long way.”
After the interview Wynter brings out her Macbook to show me the new music she’s currently working on, ”This is what we’re hear for right?” she says smiling and placed the laptop on my lap while humming along to her favourite songs, ”I’m still working on it” she smiles as I listen to the electro-pop dance beats. ”A lot of dance music is really about having a good time and not really expressing emotion and feeling so I really try to tell a story with the music I write on every song,” she tells me. ”I want to give, I want to paint a picture, I really just want to give people something different in their world, they might be pumped up on ecstasy, on drugs, but they can still enjoy the music (laughs).”
Wynter ends our time with: ”I made up my mind about what I’m going to do and what I’m not going to do in the future. I have ground, I know who I am now.” A very powerful statement but one that appeared to be fitting. It seemed that Wynter Gordon was finally ready for what she deserved, worldwide recognition.
By Jessica Anuna