Denise Gordon

Denise Gordon

 Nairobi, Nairobi Area, KEN
SoloWorldSoul

R&B finds a home with African flavors. Denise pops your ears and sway your hips to songs inspired by the cadence of Africa and the soul of Motown!

Biography

BREAKING NEWS!

Denise Gordon will be performing in Extravaganza 2015 October 3, 2015 headlined by Morgan Heritage.  She headlined the Muthaiga Country Club's New Year's Eve Ball 2014. Their guests had such a good time they booked her immediately for the 2015 version of the same event.  The African TV Drama New Beginnings in which Denise is featured, has started airing on Nigerian channel Ebony LIfe.

From 2012-2014 this Afro Soul singer has made musical coaching was a central part of her schedule.  She taught musical performance at Brookhouse International School and was Music and Performance Coach for Season 3 of Primusic Song Competition in Burundi. She has also served as Vocal and Performance Coach at the 5th and 6th National Music and Dance Workshop sponsored by the Permanent Music Commission of Kenya.  Later this year she will shoot Season 3 of the TV drama she stars in entitled New Beginnings that will be featured on MNET's Ebony Life  Channel.

Denise's song African Flava was selected as the theme song of the 2012 Round Square International Conference at Brookhouse International School. Additionally she co-wrote the song Umoja with the students.

In July 2011, Denise was invited by the U.S. Consular General to South Sudan to perform and hold a workshop with local musicians in honor of the celebration of the independence of the world's newest country!

From 2010-2015 Denise was the headline singer with the 70's soul band The Beathogs in Nairobi, as well as building her original repertoire with the afro fusion band - Afro Simba, Different Faces and Danger's Trio, Mwai and the Usual Suspects.

Denise released her debut CD entitle 'Wangu We' which means 'You're Mine' in Swahili, the lingua franca of East Africa! Her  single Wangu We  is mature, catchy and easy on the ear. It can unburden weary spirits at the end of a tough week, even as it explores diverse issues that hit home in both Africa and America. (UP Magazine (Nairobi))The album is a fun mixture of R&B, afro fusion and jazz-funky lite! She is a native New Yorker who has lived in Africa for over 15 years and proud to produce this Made in Africa product that was recorded in Kenya and Burundi with African musicians and producers! The title track is the song she has always wanted to sing with the help of Senegalise producer Bachir Dia of Tanganyka Studios in Burundi.

She has dedicated much of her life to development of Africa. Naturally the nearly 20 years that she has lived here from East to West, play heavily on the songs she creates. The track "Black Man" with the borrowed cadence from Burundi and Rwanda, laments the similar situations of Black men in Africa and the Americas. 'My Ideal Man' is a delightful, spoken word piece painted by the piano of Kenyan musician Aron Rimbui, that describes just that! 'Suddenly Sudan' was written during her days in Darfur in support of those affected by the war. The rap in the beginning is by South Sudanese rapper Lam, a former child soldier, speaking in his native tongue of Nuer. When she traveled to Juba (South Sudan) she recieved comments on how Suddenly Sudan captured the misery of the moment. The heavy drums added by Executive Producer Robert 'Rkay' Kamanzi, represents the burden of war along with the chants of Kenyan singer Hellen Mtawali who make listeners feel the tears and suffering of the situation. Denise is delighted that this song has been selected to feature on the compilation 'Rwanda for Darfur' and got to perform it in Khartoum when she was invited by the U.S. Embassy in Sudan to perform at the inauguration of the new embassy complex as well as hold concerts and workshops with local musicians in June 2010!

In 1995 Denise went to Rwanda during a very turbulent time for the country. In her track 'Fusions' she professes " I found my voice where my ancestors left it. Wrapped in discovery of my new African world. " She discovered her musical voice and eventually moved on to Tanzania where she walked away from life as she knew it, to pursue her creative interests in singing and writing human interest stories. She has performed throughout the East African region accompanied by local musicians, notably in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Kigali and Bujumbura.

Surrounded by the richness, beauty and sadness and vibrancy of Africa. Denise looks to the song stylings of Angelique Kidjo and Kadja Nin! Her soul is R&B to the core, laced with love and rhythms of Africa.


Lyrics

Black Man

Written By: Denise Gordon

Gathered in chains
And placed in the hulls
The Middle Passage was not kind

Isle de Goree to the Cape Coast
Temporary storage of Black minds

Bridge:
Wars fought in foreign lands
For America’s hope
Instead they hung like “Strangefruit”
At the end of a rope

America was built
On their slave condition
And a new constitution
Of only two-thirds recognition

CHORUS:
Black man in America
What have you become?
Your manhood threatens them
And keeps you on the run

Black man from Africa
What have you become?
Your manhood threatens them
And keeps you on the run

VERSE:
The Congo River snakes down through middle Africa
Its shores bloodied by countless wars
For all its riches – People die
From the greed that festers in sores

Bridge:
Congo is Burundi, Uganda, Liberia, Sudan and So-ma-li-a
Millions suffer
Long forgotten in their youth

Yo Black man in Africa
Where does your future lie?
It’s with your women and children
Not the guns that make them cry

Black man in the world
No, history has not been so kind
Remember your back won’t break
No matter how hard they try…….

CHORUS

We Need the Children

Written By: Denise Gordon

In a time when life hangs in the balance
It’s the strong that make it ahead
We forget the young and the innocent
Left to fight and steal for their bread

CHORUS

For the world to survive
We need the children
For the world to survive
Give them education
For the world to survive
Love them and protect them
For the world to survive
We need the children

Verse

We must take their hands with our guidance
Let them know they are loved through and through
Let a child be a child –no interferance
Strike the drum, sound the call
Let’s pull them through

In Africa they die by the age of 5
AIDS orphans by the time they are 3
Wars rage as they give a child soldier a gun
Education holds for them the one true key

CHORUS

Instrumental

CHORUS

We must take their hands with our guidance
Let them know they are loved through and through
Let a child be a child –no interference
Strike the drum, sound the call
Let’s pull them through

Wangu We

Written By: Denise Gordon


I’m not playing hard to get
But baby when you’re near me
My thoughts tend to fly away
Why can’t you feel me

When you speak my name
How it makes me melt inside
I want to take your hand
And place it where my love
Burns the most for you

Chorus

Nakupenda, Nakupenda, Nakupenda
Wangu We

Nakupenda, Nakupenda, Nakupenda
Wangu We

Bridge

Why am I afraid to let you know
Just how you make me feel
If you can’t meet me with your love
I send my prayers to God above

Chorus

Soul Sister Melody

Written By: Denise Gordon

Soul Sistah Melody

I’m taking a page from Jill Scott
With her “Golden Life”
Celebrating my existence
With all its pain and strife

I look at my “Brown Skin”
And Journey to India.Arie
Feeling the love on the positive
That’s how it’s meant to be

Lady Day had it rough
The demons wouldn’t let her be
And Ella had no words
As she scatta bada bebop be

What a difference a day made
Dinah only knew
This would be an everlasting love
That Nathalie often blew

CHORUS
Calling my soul sisters
So many come and gone
Bring forth their voices
In their classic song

Feeling my way through the maze
Searching the voice for me
I nursed on all your songs
Singing it loud …naturally

VERSE

Divas Mariah and Whitney
Had me believe in miracles
While Lauren, Badu and QLatifah
Rapped and hopped us the truth

The Queen of Soul
Remains on her throne
OOoo
While pretenders aspire to be
Oh No

Donna and Gloria
Survived the “Last Dance”
Strong and timeless
Their sound to me

Miriam Makeba, Kadja Nin and Kidjoe
All sang “Malaika” for the angel she is
Mamas Africa
Nakupenda!

Your shadow was my study
Your songs the air I breathe
You are all my inspiration
Keeping alive my musical dream

Suddenly Sudan

Written By: Denise Gordon

I heard about it long ago
North of New York City
And east of Tokyo
The largest country in Africa
Nestled in the Sahara
The history of the world
Dates back not much farther

Chorus

Sand covers the land east to west
Smiles cover the scars deep in their chest
Loudly it calls my name
From deep in the sand
Burning an eternal flame
Suddenly Sudan

Spoken
Who cares about your religion
You're still my brother
Who cares about race
We got the same mother
Blood spilled on the Nile
For way too long

Chorus

Spoken Word

Chants:
Kua wic dan lat ee gua
Ee gua kua wic dan late
E gua , ee gua

(Let us build our land well and good to stay)

Sunday

Written By: Denise Gordon

It's Sunday morning
I roll over and my eyes feast on you
Are you the gift God sent to me
What am I gonna do?

Did you find me
Or did I , did I find you
You truly satisfy my longing
So easy like a Sunday morning

Bridge
Everyday should be a Sunday
A common force within my soul
Oh, how I love me some Sunday
You have my heart
Now take it home

Chorus
Where did you come from baby
When did you know you'd find me here
How did you know I needed you
Before I needed you.

Let's make this day lasts into the night
Monday through to Sunday
If you feel me the way I am feeling you
I'm gonna love you for the rest of my life

Chorus

Bridge

Discography

'We Need the Children' - CD single (2003)
"Wangu We" - Debut CD - release date - October 2006

Set List

Sunday (original)
Fusions (original)
Wangu We (original)
Permission to b' Me (original)
Keep On Moving (original)
My Ideal Man (original)
Black Man (original)
Suddenly Sudan (original)
African Flava (original)
Maisha (original)
We Need the Children (original)
Not The Way We Planned It (original)
Boobala Baby (original)  

Penziletu (original)

Come and Partay - (original)

Samborera
Change the World - Eric Clapton and BabyFace
Superstitious - Stevie Wonder
Human Nature - Michale Jackson