Wynter Gordon, Singer and Songwriter
Ten years ago, Diana Gordon was just another kid from Queens with the bug to sing, a LaGuardia High School diploma, and a waitressing job. A decade later, she’s Wynter Gordon, an industry vet with an album and dozens of high-profile collaborations to her name. One thing hasn't changed, though — the lady still works and plays like a champ. We grabbed the stylish, sweet Gordon to talk about her career path, her favorite nightlife picks, and the sacrifices required to get your voice heard.
So, even at your age, you’re a real music-industry vet. Can you tell us a bit about how you broke in?
“I’ve had the bug since I was about four. I imagined myself on Broadway as a kid, starring as orphan Annie, or doing voiceovers for Disney cartoons. I was singing and performing everywhere I went (I got on everyone’s nerves with all my noise), but my parents gave me 100 percent freedom to do whatever I liked. I went to LaGuardia High School (the Fame school), got my classical training, and decided I was gonna take it serious when I was about 17. I was focused on my future even in high school. I worked during the day as a waitress and, at night, hit the studio as an intern. While the other kids partied and focused on the opposite sex, I was doing late-night studio sessions. I was so excited — I didn't mind the stress.”
And what was the moment you knew you’d “made it”?
"When I wrote the title track for Mary J. Blige’s The Breakthrough…and it won best album!”
Now, you’re doing more collaborations than ever, working on a new album, touring, and more. How do you do so much work and still lead the colorful nightlife we know you do? Like, do you have a secret cure for hangovers?
“Never had one — I don't drink alcohol. Look, there’s a lot of work that goes into being an artist. It’s not busywork like most desk jobs, but I’m up all day and night. I don't have a sleep schedule. I miss the nicest days, because I’m in the studio all day sometimes. I usually go to sleep at 5 a.m. and wake up around noon. I’m never home, so I always beg my siblings to come clean up my mess. It’s hard to keep a partner happy in a relationship if they are not as busy as me, I find.”
Wow. So what’s a “night off” for you?
“Home. Netflix. Donuts.”
Ha. Okay. So when you are out, what are songs that always get you out on the dance floor?
"'Show Me Love' by Robin S. and 'This Is How We Do It' by Montell Jordan.”
And any fashion and makeup tips for the late-night adventurer?
“Bring flats. Wear a piece of clothing that says something about you or stands out (you can never go wrong with a white shirt and heels or all black). Personally, I never leave home without my MAC Ruby Woo lipstick, Clinique matte powder, a bag of Skittles, and a bottle of water.”
What are your favorite spots for a ragin’ night out?
“I like the Luxx parties at Mister H on Wednesday nights. It always feels like a basement party. The energy is good, and people actually dance. Oh, and here’s a tip for my ladies: If you want a good girls' night out and ditch the thirsty dudes, head to Westway on gay night. Westgay is poppin' — the best music, the best dressed people in the city, and the best drag show.”
What’s the most epic party you’ve been to, ever?
“I was in Miami, and I got a call to go hang out with LMFAO. These guys are crazy on paper, which means they are insane nuts in person. I mean, people were hanging off the walls at this party. There were pink gorillas, streamers, smoke, dancers. I could have sworn someone was juggling, and someone ate a sword. It was a true circus.”
Styled by Lauren Edelstein; Hair and Makeup by Bethany Brill.
Screaming Mimi’s vintage jacket; Uniqlo tee; Zara pants; Topshop boots; Ballys hat; Bernard James rings and bracelet; Shourouk Phoenix Rainbow necklace, $689, available at American Two Shot; Joomi Lim Set of 2 Rings with Crystal & Skull, $124, available at Joomi Lim; Rebecca Minkoff Connor Mini, $195, available at Bloomingdale's.
Photographed at Apothéke, 9 Doyers Street; 212-406-0400.