The LA artist’s career was heading down a cul-de-sac until Bey came calling. Now she’s ready for her moment in the spotlight.
It is 11am LA time and Diana Gordon is feeling, as she puts it, “hazy”. We were meant to start our interview half an hour ago, but Gordon’s sleeping pattern has gone out the window, a symptom of lockdown’s anxiety-tinged paranoia. There is a more practical reason, too. The day we speak, the 34-year-old singer has just released Wasted Youth, her second EP under her own name: a low-slung, eight-track collection that fuses her love for female-fronted 90s alt-rock and cranium-rattling trap. “I’ve been editing videos until 4am every day,” she says softly. “I woke up at 7am to post the EP and then I fell asleep again.”
Gordon has been her own boss since 2016, when she co-wrote three songs on Beyoncé’s Lemonade, including the bitter kiss-off Sorry. The infamous lyric “He better call Becky with the good hair” was all Gordon’s doing. “I still laugh at that to this day,” she says when I mention the tabloid speculation over the mysterious “Rebecca” at the heart of Jay-Z’s alleged infidelity. Working with Beyoncé gave Gordon the confidence to be herself after years of releasing more pop-leaning music under the moniker Wynter Gordon. While 2016’s The Legend Of, her first single under her real name, found her playfully bragging about her new status (“I just gotta fat cheque from Beyoncé”), the poem she released to accompany it was more sobering. “My real name is Diana … and it’s time for me to get to know her,” it read.