by Oyin Akande
Do you remember when Beyonce dropped Lemonade, the frenzy-inspiring visual album that incited a modern witch-hunt and a worldwide Internet debate over the fictitious “Becky with the good hair”? Well, the femme fatale songwriter behind the lyrics from “Sorry”, as well as “Don’t Hurt Yourself” and “Daddy Issues”, Diana Gordon, has recently topped her efforts and this time it is her voice singing her words. Gordon has been working in the music industry for years, producing and writing songs for several artists- such as Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez and Ciara– and performing in dance clubs.
Following her success on Beyonce’s album, the singer/songwriter- and long-time personal favourite of mine- dropped her stage name Wynter Gordon and set out on a career afresh. Reintroducing herself to the world, as the undiluted Diana Gordon, she released a self-affirming poem explaining her decision:
“I release all the negativity surrounding my past including a false name that I wore as a costume,” she wrote. “I wiped it off like smudged makeup after a long night of partying. My real name is Diana. It says so on my birth certificate. And it’s time for me to get to know her.”
She has quickly risen to the star-studded ranks of music and was made the performance coach of Chloe x Halle, the remarkable young sisters and Beyonce’s protégés. Earlier this month, she performed along with music legends Mariah Carey, Patti LaBelle, and Chaka Khan at VH1’s Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night special, and, last week, she released the music video to her single “Woman”, which premiered on Vogue.com. “Woman” is a badass neo-rock anthem that explicitly and apologetically celebrates the power of a woman and is an ode to contemporary motherhood. The music video is a grainy New York cityscape and resembles something of an 80s cinematography shot by Cameron McCool. It features five heavily pregnant, diversely beautiful women, which expectedly made for an interesting shoot. Gordon also rides around town with model Adesuwa Aighewi.
“This song, that celebrates your mother, my mother, your sister, and my sister, is just my way to stand up for the woman next to me and all those unseen. In a time when we are still defending our right to choose, pay equality, moral and ethical equality; a time where single motherhood is on the rise and women are in the trenches raising the next generation largely by themselves, we have to be all-encompassing and stay strong through the worst of situations. We need to stand together”. Gordon hopes her lyrics will be received as unifying rather than as divisive, as they, unfortunately, were with “Sorry”.
“God gave you the answer when he gave you the woman,” Gordon sings and we are definitely singing along.