It’s a rainy day up in Sydney and Wynter Gordon just had her breakfast taken from her.
The girl hadn’t even touched it. Do you know how devastating it is to see a good bacon taken from you? I’m sure we can all relate.
The American debutantess of dance caught up with me for a phone chat last week when she was in the country playing the Creamfields festival and I couldn’t help but lay on my heartiest congrats the minute we spoke.
Since our last chat in December, Wynter‘s breakthrough single ‘Dirty Talk’ has gone #1 here (certified triple platinum sales), her gay pride song ‘Putting It Out There’ was launched as the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras official anthem, and now her second single ‘Til Death (Denzal Park Edit)’ is set to keep the party jumping.
We spoke about her vision for her forthcoming debut album With The Music I Die, a project that’s been five years in the making, and why she doesn’t want to rush it out just yet. The album, which has been described as a marriage of various dance music influences, features productions by Nick Littlemore (Empire of The Sun), Tom Neville and Ace of Base.
Wynter also talked to me about owning her online presence, why she’s proud to rock an afro, and yeah, I should probably mention that we’re both on the look out for good Aussie men. Please form an orderly line.
A snack of the chat was played on my radio show Diff’rent Strokes with Jade and Dave on JOY 94.9 but you can read the full interview right here after the jump.
Dave: So much has happened since the last time we spoke: ‘Dirty Talk’ has gone #1 here in Australia, you’ve currently got five songs on our iTunes dance chart, and all of the sudden, I don’t have to explain to people who Wynter Gordon is anymore.
Wynter: (laughs) Well I do! See, I want people to walk down the street and say, “that’s Wynter Gordon!” but I don’t think we’ve accomplished that yet. But we will, you and I!
Dave: This is your third trip to Australia in four months…
Wynter: Yes! I’ve been here so much. I know where I’m going now when I walk down the street and I know how to get around. I feel like I’m a little citizen. I had a good time before but it was so much work, [this time] I’ve actually been able to enjoy the people on tour with me like Skrillex, deadmau5, Sam La More, Martin Solveig… everybody! We’ve all had a really good time together and I got to meet so many hot guys! I am telling you. Australian men! If you live here, you’re hot. I am so overwhelmed, I don’t know what to do.
Dave: I think you’re gonna have to just… have a good time with our men!
Wynter: See, I’m not that type of girl.
Dave: Do you feel like people hear ‘Dirty Talk’ and just assume you’re that kinda nasty, kinky girl?
Wynter: Yeah! Every interview I do, people are like, “talk dirty to me!” and I’m over it. You guys do realise that I write songs? ‘Dirty Talk’ was just a song. Unless you’re my boyfriend, I don’t wanna talk dirty to you.
Dave: Last time you were here, you performed at the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. Did you have a good time?
Wynter: I had a really good time! Everybody was really nice and I got to wear a latex suit. I was sweating so bad inside of that but at least I was warm. I was surprised [with the entourage of dancers on stage], I think they volunteered. They’re really nice kids!
Dave: Your track ‘Putting It Out There (Pride)’ was the official Mardi Gras theme song. What’s the reaction been like?
Wynter: A lot of my LGBT friends and family were just like, “thanks for supporting” and for taking part. I can’t say that I did much but I wanna do my part. I think [the song is for] anybody who’s ever been bullied, not just gays and lesbians. I was bullied just because I didn’t have money growing up and I didn’t have nice clothes. You know, being popular can sometimes be really superficial. It’s not about who you are, it’s about what you wear and who you hang out with.
Dave: Let’s talk about the new single ‘Til Death’. How did you end up picking this song?
Wynter: I didn’t pick it – all I do is write the records and at the end of the day, my label decides which is going to be the single. I love ‘Til Death’ because I wrote it and I support it, but for me, picking a single is really hard because if I had a choice, I’d pick a single that wasn’t about partying. They’d be more of the artistic and creative songs on the album but I know that being a new artist, to get people’s attention, you kinda have to give them something catchy. It’s just fun!
Dave: You shot the video for ‘Til Death’ in New York a few weeks ago, so when do we get to see it?
Wynter: It’s almost ready! [Editor’s note: it’ll probably be released sometime this week. See above snap from the set of the video shoot, courtesy of Rap-Up.com]
Dave: Can I just say, in the last few months I’ve noticed more bloggers and magazines complimenting your look and style.
Wynter: Yeah! It’s interesting! Honestly, I feel like because I’m owning it, people are starting to see. Before, there was no space for people to get to know me or see who I am from day-to-day, so I took charge and started my own blog to let people into my world. I’m just putting myself out there and thankfully people like it.
Dave: One thing I really like about your look is that you are proud to rock an afro!
Wynter: I am. [Black women] spend the most money in the world on hair products! As a culture, we’re taught as young girls to not love our hair. We’re taught that “bushy” and “thick” is wrong. In TV and magazines, all the girls have straight hair. They don’t represent that black is beautiful. A lot of African American girls don’t think they can pull off [the natural bushy hair]. They don’t think they’re pretty enough or feel confident enough to do it. You have to get to a point of saying, I’m tired of spending $500 a month on a weave or going to the hairdresser every five minutes, and just let it be.
Dave: Now let’s talk about your forthcoming album With The Music I Die – when is it coming out?
Wynter: Honestly, my label would say something different, but I don’t want it to come out too soon. I really want my fans and people who know me just a little bit to get to know me some more. I don’t want to force myself upon you. I’m confident that everyone will love it so I wanna have some more time to plant seeds.
Dave: I heard that Ace of Base had done a track for the album! Please tell me more.
Wynter: I wrote the song and it was funny that they were the producers of the track. I’m a fan of Ace of Base! [Having them on] was just like an extension of the cool and hip culture of the 90s.
Dave: So is the album like a blend of dance music from different eras?
Wynter: Yeah, but they all tie in together. There’s a track where we’ve gone super tribal and really barbaric, on another song it’s really retro hippies 60s/70s sorta vibe… I know that’s kinda wack but I wanna show all parts of me because I’m not one-sided, you know? I wrote every record with co-writers or just by myself. I’ve been signed for five years and I’ve really gone through a struggle – [with] writing music and trashing it, really analysing my songs… I really feel that at this point, what we’ve got is really strong and it means something. It’s just classic!
Dave: It’s great collaborating with other writers and producers but how do you get to that point where you’re confident enough to own it and go, “this is what I want my record to sound like”?
Wynter: It took time to focus on what the sound would be. Over the five years, I’ve really developed as a person and my confidence has definitely gone up – that’s [reflected in] a big part of the music. I’ve become certain of myself. You know what I’m saying? There’s just a feeling that overtakes me that says, ‘I know what I’m doing, I have a vision and this is what it is.’ It’s just a knowing.
Dave: Will ‘Believer’ (with Freemasons) and ‘Putting It Out There (Pride)’ be on the album?
Wynter: No. ‘Believer’ was a record for them, it was just featuring me. ‘Pride’ was a record I had written but the label wasn’t supporting, so I put it on YouTube.
Dave: In 2011, we seem to have a handful of female solo artists bringing out dance/pop albums. Off the top of my head, there’s Zoe Badwi, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and yourself… do you feel any pressure?
Wynter: There’s a lot of artist doing that right now. The sound is dance and everyone’s jumped on the band wagon. [But] when you guys hear the album, no one in the world is gonna feel like this is just a dance album. They will be like, this is music. One of the songs that was supposed to make the album – ‘White Lies’ (the unfinished version leaked recently) – is kinda where the album is going. It’s not your four on the floor-type dance music. It’s eclectic. We were really fighting for ‘White Lies’ but the producer Starsmith had other creative differences with us so it’s not making the album.
[Most of the album] is not like ‘Dirty Talk’ or ‘Til Death’. Of course, we put those records out because the label thinks they’re good as singles and I support the records because you always need a good party song on your album! But the meat of the album is very classic – especially the record I did with Nick Littlemore (Empire of The Sun) called ‘Still Getting Younger’ [snippet above]. It’s just one of those records that can be played for years and years.
I’m just so excited because I want people to see the real me! ‘Dirty Talk’ was fun and my knack for writing catchy things is on that record but that’s not Wynter, that’s not Ms Gordon. And I just want people to get to know me.
Dave: Is there any chance of you working with Zoe Badwi? I know you’re both on the same label!
Wynter: I’d love to do a song with Zoe! She’s talented, I love her spirit and she’s a friend. We just gotta make time to get in the studio.
Dave: It’d be great to do a duet then have you both go on tour together. That would go off!
Wynter: Yep. And it would give me more time to see the beautiful men of Australia!
Wynter Gordon‘s ‘Til Death (Denzal Park Edit)’ climbs to #21 on our ARIA singles chart this week. You can purchase the track here on iTunes.