ASBO Meets: Jords
Describing his music as Hip-Hop with an R&B groove rapper Jords who hails from Croydon has been in the music game for a while now. With a number of EPS, an album and a string of singles he has been someone that has been building his career in his own time. Now with the release of his new single Glide off his new project which is coming soon. We sat down with Jords to chat about all this music, him as an artist, the landscape of music, mental health and what else he is working on for 2019.
ASBO: Starting from the beginning, what got you into music?
Jords: I’ve always been into music ever since I was young, my parents were always playing music around the house. My cousin is actually a songwriter having actually co-written the song If You Love Me by Brownstone and so I’ve always been raised around music and my dad was also in a jazz band when I younger and so he taught me a lot about rhythms and it was very much a lot of R&B and Jazz and then around my friends I listened to a lot of hip-hop grime and eventually I started rapping and thought it was something I was really good and as I used to write poetry I really got into it and from there it just snowballed into what it is today.
ASBO: Who were some of your musical influences?
Jords: I would say definitely my cousin, I feel like he really taught me a lot about melodies in like even the way that we used to remember our phone numbers. Also, I would say Michael Jackson I mean everybody grew up listening to Michael Jackson. In terms of Hip-hop and rap definitely Wretch 32, lyrically I feel because I used to write poetry and used to read a lot of Malorie Blackman, when I heard one of Wretch’s freestyles he did I felt like it was like poetry in terms of his lyricism and what he was doing with metaphors and similes so definitely I feel like he was a massive influence
ASBO: How would you describe your style of music?
Jords: If I had to say what it is I would say it is Hip-hop with an R&B groove. However, I don’t really feel like there is a box for it or music in general.
ASBO: Your music is a mixture of different sounds, is that something that you have always done when you started or just came about as you were older?
Jords: It’s always come naturally I would say. I never thought about making a particular type of song for a particular type of situation or scenario it was just a feeling of whatever I feel like making today and whether its something that sounds like Dancehall or is an R&B sample. It is never really thought off specifically and has always come naturally.
ASBO: What is your approach when it comes to making music? Where do you start?
Jords: It depends, because now I produce and so I’ve started to produce the beat before I write to it so I might pick a sample or find a drum loop I like, and I work with that. Or I just hear a cool bass groove and then the melody follows the rhythm. However, in the beginning, I used to write lyrics loads, I used to listen to other people’s songs and without even really listening to the song just write to the beat whilst the person was still rapping to the beat because I couldn’t ever find instrumentals, but now I since I produce or I able to work with producers this has changed the process.
ASBO: In terms of your musical abilities and working with live instrumentation how do you feel this works with your music and adds to it?
Jords: I think live is key, for me I don’t really think you get a real music experience until you watch it live and I don’t think you get the best musical experience unless you are playing with a band. So whenever I make a song I think about how it’s going to sound when I perform it and how I’m able to work instruments into it, whether it’s keys or guitar or saxophone. So I feel like it’s a big part for me.
ASBO: Your latest project you released was your 2018 EP The Ends, what was the process making that for you compared to your previous projects?
Jords: This was the first project I did where I produced it all myself and had a big part I’m leading the production. Usually, I work with producers and write some stuff myself but this process I honed in the production, more so than the lyrics. So I definitely took a lot more time with the production and I think it comes across and you can tell when you listen to it compared to some of the other material before. It really showed me how to craft a project and that I can craft a project from the ground up.
ASBO: You have since released a number of singles including your new single Glide, what can you tell us about the song, and what it is about?
Jords: It’s about happiness, Glide is a happy song I want to spread the love more and be honest with it. I feel like these days when you go on Instagram or social media you see this image of everybody being happy and looking happy, and it’s like I feel like people should be true to their emotions. So if you are sad to be sad and if you are happy to be happy, it shouldn’t be this image that you put out on social which unfortunately I feel is something a lot of people do. In terms of myself, I lost both of my grandmothers last year and I initially sort of closed myself off and took a step back to deal with it. For one of my grandmothers from my mums side I was particularly close too I put something up on Instagram and there was a real outpouring of love, and from that I just feel like with everything I’ve become more honest about my feelings in that if I’m having a good day I’ll let you know and if I’m not I’ll let you know. And I feel like with the music Glide is a song from when I’m having a good day and there are other songs on the project that are the opposite and it’s all about open and honest with who you are rather than selling an image.
ASBO: Why did you feel this was the song you wanted to release for your new project?
Jords: I feel there was a higher power when it came to this song. I made this song in July of last year so I have been sitting on it for a while. I remember I put out a little clip on Instagram which was just me dancing to the beat there was no vocals and people had a very positive reaction to it. And so I made the song and it was at this time where I was falling back in love with making music again and I played it to Rebecca Judd and she was very much like this song needs to come out. I had a bunch of other stuff so we made this project and we were listening through and I put another clip of this on my story as a tease and again people were like we need this song and so I couldn’t really ignore that so I worked on the song a bit more cause I wanted to be in my own time and now felt like right time so yeah it feels like everything is falling perfectly together.
ASBO: Having released a number of projects and music you have in the time frame that you have, do you ever feel there is pressure when it comes to making and releasing music?
Jords: I feel like I used too. I used to feel that when a song was made it was onto the next. However, now I’m learning to make everything a moment, as I said I made Glide in July I made the beat on the 30th of June and only now 9 months later is the song out. I just realised that in a market where everything is such a throwaway with how people consume music so much, I’m trying to go against that and make everything a moment and want a song to last and especially with everything I went through I knew that I had to live that out and feel it out and that when I was ready to put out music it would be good.
ASBO: With the new project what are some of the themes and some of the sounds we can expect?
Jords: It’s growth. I feel like I’m battling my demons on it, but at the same time, I am also celebrating my successes. It’s a lot more honest. I started shortly after my grandmothers funeral and I just remember I went into the studio and had a mad studio session and it was just so therapeutic and I feel like by that following week on a Monday I had written 9 songs and the ball was just flowing so naturally I just feel it was so real and that’s what you are going to get and I do feel it’s my best work yet.
ASBO: As somebody who has been making music for some time, How do you think the current landscape of music is changing?
Jords: I feel like there are no rules anymore. It used to be set rules and regulations and a way that the industry worked whereas I feel like now making music. The music is started to come first, so before it might be radio dictated what people intended to whereas now I feel like the people dictate what they listen to and I feel like the power if coming back to the people which is great.
ASBO: How do feel as somebody that is in the industry and has been in the industry you have been able to deal in terms of mental health and all of that?
Jords: Mental health is something that I am very passionate about. I work with a mental health charity called Key Changers and we deal with the rehabilitation of people that have been in the mental health system and people that have been sectioned off and we help them through music therapy. So we give them studio sessions to give them a mic and give them the opportunity to write and go through what they are going through and live out that thing. And as of recently, I have been leading up operation to turn it into a label because some of the people that have come through are really good and deserve the chance to get their voices heard and so that is something I’ve been working on.
ASBO: How do you think you have grown as an artist?
Jords: I think I’m a lot more responsible for my actions. I feel like before everything that used to happen I used to say was because of other people and other things that that nothing to do with more whereas I feel now more responsible for my actions and what I do and I take my wins and I take my losses the same way I don’t really pass the blame anymore and so I feel that’s the main way that I’ve grown
ASBO: What can we expect from you next?
Jords: I’ve got the project coming out soon and more information will be coming about that. I’ve always got a couple of shows a lot of performances, a couple of festival performances and a lot more production behind the scenes.
Words: Seneo Mwamba