In Conversation with Jordeaux
Due to take the UK music scene by storm, Jordeaux has just released his latest single, Ok Then, on all streaming platforms. Born of British and Jamaican heritage, Jordeaux was born in Nuneaton in Warwickshire which is where it all begun for the artist. Though he didn’t spend too long here before moving to Burton Upon Trent with his mum following his parents’ separation.
Jordeaux moved out to London to widen his outreach and connect with a larger crowd than could be offered from Burton. He’s heavily dedicated to music, remembering nights spent sleeping in the studio with his friend, Linkz, with subpar equipment and half broken laptops, determined to make hits. And he credits that hopeless feeling as an artist in Burton to the point he’s at in his career so he will pay homage to Burton so long as he lives, it’s Jordeaux’s home.
Musically, Jordeaux credits the legends as his inspiration, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Tyler the Creator but he doesn’t fail to note his mother as his greatest inspiration above all and he intends to provide her with the world for the amazing woman she is to him. You can see that Jordan is a man that cares about the people he surrounds himself with, constantly checking in with the crew behind set and thanking them too but he cares equally about his fans, saying he aims high when trying to replicate certain feelings he himself has felt before with music. On his latest release, Jordeaux had to say, “for ‘OK THEN,’ I just wanted to get super lyrical on it and have fun with my flow and it turned out just how I wanted it to.”
(Photographer: Naphesa Maynard)
A man of culture, noting Koka’s spicy stir fry noodles (in a sandwich with buttered bread) as his favourite struggle meal and a classic Jamaican Sunday dinner as the first meal he’d want after a rescue from a deserted island, Jordeaux does not fail to celebrate the culture that saw to his upbringing. He’s especially appreciative of the music his mum played on burnt CD’s during school run’s, featuring the likes of Marvin Gaye, Amy Winehouse, Outkast, the Fugues, Ye and Beyoncé.
Talking about his writing process, he said it adapts to the overall goal or aim with the project. Usually, he’ll be sent beats, or he finds them, and it’ll lead to instant inspiration and freestyle ideas. Otherwise, he may write without a beat before finding a drum loop that fits the piece as he desires. But when writing for others, he’ll start by studying their style, language choice and approach it from their perspective. He also noted the importance of freestyling as the first 10 seconds of a beat playing is an experience one captures only once and it’s significant, he banks on that.
Jordeaux doesn’t seem like the type phased by stress, it’s possible that it’s a result of the experiences he’s collated in his lifetime but he’s at peace with turbulences as if he’s certain there’ll be a better work around. This was very clear in person but also through his journey towards music as he’d previously aspired to be a professional athlete; this hadn’t worked out for him due to circumstances outside of his control, but he doesn’t regret this. Nonetheless, he needed a way through which he could channel his thoughts and music provided that outlet.
Jordeaux gave three tips to any budding artist: first identifying the purpose music serves you as an industry that can be difficult to catch a break in. which will help to make informed decisions for their career. Second, he encourages studying the skills necessary to become a good rapper (or whichever sound you aim to produce), enhancing your skillset will add to your value as a writer. Finally, “don’t be afraid of not sounding amazing when you’re first getting started. There’s no rush. Don’t be disheartened by any bad songs or verses. Just figure out why it doesn’t sound good and learn from it. Basically, just keep writing. Never stop.”
Jordeaux doesn’t shy away from the fact that he got into the wrong things, but they’ve shaped the artist he presents before us, especially his effort to evade that lifestyle. He’s a man whose journey means just as much to him as his destination, one of his favourite music memories is the police raiding his main studio in Burton on the wrongful suspicion of illegal activity. He described it as intense because it wasn’t long before that he had been making something of a hit. He also noted it as bittersweet, working hard to avoid a lifestyle that’s so easy to get caught up in and having those efforts be ignored. But he was able to make light of the situation with his friend, Linkz, even directing jokes at the police officers. For Jordeaux, that moment didn’t take away from the success he desires to achieve and, while they can try, he cannot be stopped.
(Photographer: Naphesa Maynard)
When asked what makes him different from other rappers, he was humble in his response but there are few else bringing his twist and flair to the music scene, challenging the sounds we’ve grown comfortable with and rapping his experiences on a catchy beat. As for all rappers that have made it out of a tough spot, beaten the odds that were previously stacked against them, it comes with tales and stories, experiences unimaginable to the ordinary civilian but it’s how the stories are told that makes Jordeaux different, how he’ll leave you laughing, making light of his endurances be it good or bad.
Jordeaux had a smile on his face for the entirety of the shoot, he’s jovial, he’s bubbly, he’s down with the times and he clearly flourishes in the presence of creatives. Going behind the scenes with the budding artist was a warming experience, everybody sees the music videos and hears the lyrics but witnessing how he coordinates his crew, how his crew keep him in check confirms the personality he presents in his music. Seeing the creativity that goes into what the public will see as a “cool video,” even witnessing him crack jokes with the people that love him, and he loves right back too. This is not just an artist, this is a fantastic friend, a good lyricist, a creative and above all a normal guy. Sporting a fashionable scarf, he forges his own path and takes the world with a force we have no choice but to reckon.
Life is going to be very different in the next five years for Jordeaux who spoke on his dreams as if they were premonitions. On a personal level, he aims to give back to the people he holds dearest. We can expect to see him mentioned amidst the best artists named to date with major collaborations and world tours too. Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar and Little Simz were listed as the top musicians he aspires to work with and we’re well aware of the greatness they’ve respectively released, but are they ready for him?
Words & Interview by: Sarah-Dayna Olusegun