WHO’S PLAYING?: JORDEN LINDSAY

Over the years, singer-songwriter Jorden Lindsay has dealt with his fair share of troubles. After suffering from vocal issues during the early days of his career, his new music is allowing him to move past that and laugh in the face of adversity. Having recently moved from his home in Somerset, this summer sees him explore previously unchartered waters, one of which being Milford’s Music and Arts Festival. Issy Aldridge spoke to Jorden about his debut single, upcoming EP, and everything in between.

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m originally from Somerset but moved here last year to get a taste of something different. I gig regularly, performing mostly 90’s & 00’s covers in pubs and clubs across the South, however, I have just started working on my original music which I’m so excited to get up and going in the coming months. I’ll be performing some tracks from the upcoming EP at the festival. Having also spent time in Bristol and completing a stint abroad, I’m spending some time in Milford to get my foot in the door of some new music scenes. This is such a beautiful part of the country and I’m really enjoying my time here!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC?
I write ‘moody’ pop music, taking hints of Folk, Soul, R&B and melding them together to create a mashup of sounds similar to John Martyn/Eva Cassidy/Newton Faulkner/Ben Howard. It’s all very rhythm-driven with percussive guitars, dynamic vocals and a bit of live looping.

YOU’VE SPOKEN OPENLY ABOUT STRUGGLING WITH VOCAL ISSUES IN THE PAST. WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE COMING BACK FROM THAT?
So when I was living in the Canary Islands I was gigging up to five or six nights a week. I underestimated the importance of vocal health and looking after yourself when placing that sort of demand on your body all the time. Eventually I’d worn my voice to a point where I couldn’t sing and that’s when I booked the next ticket back to Somerset.

Thankfully there was no permanent damage but it was certainly a big slap in the face and it was something I realised I had to address if I was serious about pursuing a career in music. So, I took some time out to rest up and tucked into some books and other material from vocal specialists; working through different exercises daily, tracking my progress and generally just educating myself about vocals. It’s taken a while to essentially build a new voice from scratch but despite the long journey with MANY ups and downs, it’s been incredibly enlightening. Even two or three years on, I’m still noticing differences week after week and I’m constantly pushing to discover new boundaries.

I’ve still got a way to go but I’m at ease knowing that I’m making regular progress. It was a blessing in disguise and I’m so grateful for it.

AS FOR YOUR MUSICAL HERITAGE, WHAT DID YOU GROW UP LISTENING TO?
My first real love for music came from a CD of Elton John’s greatest hits. It was the only record I could get my hands on and I’d listen to it ritually when going to bed. I remember laying there with my imagination going wild whilst listening to the music and lyrics – I’d be totally immersed in it. That then turned into forming a Westlife tribute band in primary school and standing on the tables with three others belting out ‘Uptown Girl’ – a performance quickly shut down by the teachers!

When I finally had my own pocket money to go out and buy my own records I discovered the Red Hot Chili Peppers and that led me to find a love for rock bands. I soon acquired a taste for heavier rock music and I was expressing my teen angst through bands like Linkin Park, Thrice, Taking Back Sunday, Atreyu etc. Alongside that, I still loved the old school R&B that was present in the charts at the time, like Chaka Khan, Craig David, Justin Timberlake and I think that’s where the R&B influences merge with the melancholy-esque vibes from the rock bands in my own style of songwriting.

I later came across Newton Faulkner and that’s where I’ve gained most of my inspiration. I’ve always preferred the acoustic guitar and seeing how he uses it in a variety of ways. The incorporation of unconventional techniques really appealed to me, so I’ve drawn a lot of influences from him most recently.

YOUR DEBUT SINGLE ‘LIKE A FLOWER’ WAS RELEASED LAST YEAR. WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND IT?
Like a Flower was something I came up with during the vocal troubles. It’s based on a proverb that’s supposedly used in a buddhist culture which reads: ‘The lotus flower blooms most beautifully from the deepest mud’. Essentially, the concept is that a lotus flower starts it’s journey at the bottom of a dark and murky pond, deep in mud, yet blossoms on the surface totally unscathed by its surroundings.

At the time, I was in a low place but reading this had an impact on me and made me to look to see how I could use the situation positively as a means to push me further. So I wrote the song almost as a narrative, describing the thought processes someone might go through when stepping out of their comfort zone and facing their fears to pursue a dream or passion. It took me a long time to release because I was never happy with my voice but I just decided to put it out and was really pleased with the response for it. The studio version is a little darker than the music I’m set to release in the near future, but it’s reflective of my thoughts at the time it was written.

SPEAKING OF NEW MUSIC, WHEN SHOULD WE EXPECT YOUR EP?
It’s still early days but I’m so excited about it. There’s no set date yet but I’m aiming to release it by Autumn ready to promote and use at festivals next year.

SO WHAT WAS IT ABOUT MILFORD MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL THAT MADE YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
As I mentioned, I moved here a year ago to explore a new music scene and I happened to move during the same week that the last year’s festival was happening. I was too late to get involved but I got to see parts of it and thought it looked like a great event! Seeing as I’m living in Milford with the festival right on my doorstep, I made sure to try and get involved in it this year and I was pleased to be offered the place. It’s a great opportunity for me to get my name out to local people and surrounding areas.

WHEN YOU FINISH YOUR SET, WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR AFTERWARDS?
I’d really love to stick around for a drink and watch the other acts but unfortunately, I’ll have to rush off as I’ve got another gig later that night. A little gutted! I will, however, be playing a Sunday afternoon set at The Beach House. I can relax a bit more with that one and stick around afterwards for a drink.

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