This Rising Disco Queen’s Beauty Motto Is “the Bigger the Hair, the Better”

The singer Gavin Turek is straight out of another era. Her sound consists of sultry pop vocals over a disco-heavy beat that evokes 1980s Whitney Houston—especially on her single named after the icon, in which she coos: “Got me feeling just like Whitney.” On stage, she is often barefoot, her short, shimmering flapper frock swaying to the rhythm of her nonstop, high energy dance moves—courtesy of years training in ballet and bamaya, a traditional Ghanaian dance. And then there’s her beauty look: glitter makeup, dewy skin, and a perfectly quaffed Afro that fittingly frames her oval face. “My motto is: the bigger the better,” says the 31-year-old over the phone from her Los Angeles home. “I want my hair huge and crazy!”Image result for Gavin Turek images

Singer Gavin Turek

It wasn’t always that way for Turek, who spent most of her adolescence trying to make sense of her part-Czech, part–African American background. “I wasn’t comfortable with myself, and I was always trying to suppress my curls,” she says of her formative years spent straightening her hair while at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, where she studied alongside the likes of Haim. “There’s just so many people that aren’t highlighted in school and history books that I needed to know about, and see myself in, in order to feel connected and proud of who I am.” Luckily, after “digging through piles of what we are handed in school,” she found black feminist authors Audre Lorde and bell hooks and with them, found “my roots. It was a treasure—and worth the time and effort.”

With that discovery, Turek became more honest with herself not only as a woman but also as a performer, and she began to take her love of music and songwriting more seriously. It was in sharing her work with family and friends and drawing inspiration from iconic entertainers like Roberta Flack and Diana Ross that she found her inner voice as an artist: “I’m different,” she says point-blank. “I [like] making very funk, soul-driven, fresh pop music that has elements of disco. It’s a hybrid!”

And it’s electric, making for a great live experience—“I like spazzing out on stage,” she says, “and I want people to feel like they can do the same”—and an even better beauty look. “My head is turned upside down the entire time,” Turek continues, which results in a mountain of shiny, defined coils that require little pre-performance preparation, save for scrunching her hair’s roots and ends with a little styling cream (Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie is her favorite) and hydrating with a weekly hair mask from Ouidad: “Us curly girls need a lot of moisture,” she says. “We can’t be afraid of doing hydration masks and not just once a month, once a week!”Del Report

And on the days when her curls just won’t cooperate? Turek opts for a slicked-back low bun so she can “get my Sade on.” To smooth her lengths down, she uses the DevaCurl SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler (“it smells really freakin’ good and doesn’t leave a gel residue,” she says) and lets her buttery, caramel-tinted skin shine through thanks to a steady regimen of Tata Harper Illuminating Eye Crèmeand jojoba oil during the day and Derma E’s vitamin C night cream in the evenings. Unless, of course, she’s on stage or in front of the camera. There, the decadent diva in her requires NARS matte lipsticks—in red, bright pink, nude—and a melange of Milk Makeup’s high-pigmented shadows. It’s however the mood strikes her. Still, you can bet on “elements of funk, fantasy, disco, and glitter,” she promises of her act and forthcoming debut album. “It will surprise you.”


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