So youve just clicked on the Alternatives section of Allhiphop.com and youre wondering, Who is Wynter Gordon? You dont know me yet, but Im hoping that you will stick around and find out for yourselves what Im all about. I could tell you that I am a classically trained singer/songwriter and a professionally trained dancer from the Southside of Jamaica Queens. I could also tell you that I recently signed a record deal with Atlantic Records, or that I have written for various artists including Mary J. Blige and Danity Kane. But you didnt ask what I do – you want to know who I am.
I guess I could then say that I am a 21 year old Black woman from one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in New York City. I am the product of an abusive and broken home. I am the victim of racism and classism, but Im no longer a product or a victim. But you didnt ask where Im from – you want to know who I am.
The moral of the first two paragraphs is that I cant tell you who I am in two paragraphs. Instead, I can take you with me as I record my debut album for Atlantic Records. I can also take you with me as I go through the Artist Development stages of dance class, vocal coaching, media training, etc. I can take you with me as I fight like hell to make it in this climate of slow record sales and shady music business people. I can take you with me as I visit my old neighborhood of Southside Jamaica, Queens to see family, old friends and even some enemies. In sum, I can tell you who I am by taking you on this journey with me.
I want everyone reading this to watch the videos that Ive done, because I dont want anyone to like my records because theyve been programmed. I want people to like my records because they see that my songs are a product of hard work, determination, faith, and a lot of pain. I want to tell people a little bit about my background, because I believe my story is encouraging and inspirational.
I was born in South Jamaica, Queens in 1985. I lived in a little yellow house that had one broken door, two small rooms, two adults, and six children. I have never met my father, but hes left a profound effect on my entire family more on that some other time. My only escape from welfare checks, food stamps and child abuse was music.
While growing up in an impoverished Black neighborhood, I was bussed to an all-white elementary school in Howard Beach. This is where I developed an appreciation for pop and rock music. Since I was obviously from an underprivileged position, the teachers in my school would treat me like Duquan from The Wire, giving me food and clothes. Many of the white children and their parents would befriend me because I could sing and dance. I guess I was a young bojangles. I starred in every school play, in which I was often rewarded with, My mom says you can spend the night at my house. I would always accept as way of avoiding my own home.
I had an especially difficult time in Junior High School, and spent most of my time dreaming of becoming rich and famous. My day would come when I auditioned for Fiorella H. Laguardia High School for the performing arts. I nailed the audition, and was soon welcomed into this prestigious school for the arts.
High School was an awakening for me. I went to the hairdresser for the first time when I was 16-years-old. I made friends and I was performing everyday. I sang at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and made several television appearances. I interned at various record companies and networked with people in the music business.
After High School I went to AMDA, a performing arts conservatory, but left after six months to pursue my dream of becoming a recording artist. Soon I was signed to a gospel label, but I knew that I wanted to do something else. The person that discovered me at the gospel label became my manager, and brought me to a production company that would believe in me. Two months later I was writing for Mary J. Bliges Breakthrough album, and eight months later I signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records.
Now Im working on my debut album for Atlantic records, and Im drawing on all of my experiences, good and bad, to write this album. While Im writing about my struggle to develop a healthy self-esteem and physical and emotional abuse, Im also writing about love, politics, and even this music business. Im also writing conceptual records that are just fun thoughts (see Sweet Dreams).
Over the next few months Ill provide audio and video clips with snapshots of my journey towards a successful music career. And along the way Ill provide you with my opinions on everything from sports to politics. Ill even share stories from my experiences in the music industry and the different people that Ive worked with, like Mary J. Blige, Will.I.Am, Cool & Dre, Ryan Leslie, Shea Taylor, etc. Stay tuned, because this promises to be one very interesting ride.
Oh, and heres a video to introduce you to the movement