'My versatility is something that not a lot of artists around me are doing'
Jorday x Evan Dale // April 24, 2020
If his voice is his first weapon, his next is certainly versatile range. With roots extending from the UK to Africa and Canada; from afrobeats to dancehall & R&B, Jorday is a young artist, but he's one of immense breadth and influence. Off to an unparalleled hot start with his first collection of singles, Jorday speaks on his future with confidence and elegance, starting with new single & video, do daily, which can be found after the interview.
RNGLDR: With only four released singles to account for and quite a bit of acclaim and exposure from each, what is it like to be an artist with a small canon still reaching the kind of audience that you’ve been able to?
JORDAY: I’m very grateful and honoured by the reception I have been receiving, it feels good to know the hard work is paying off and to me this is only the beginning. Although my collection of released music isn’t the biggest, they have longevity because even without a huge push they still seem to be listened to and acknowledged.
I’m very grateful and praying that my audience only gets bigger.
RNGLDR: And what is it about your sound in particular that you think is to thank for so many fans jumping on board so early?
JORDAY: I feel like I bring a new sound, or should I say a revamped 90s sound; I blend everything that inspires me into one from R&B to dancehall and some sounds that would even be considered pop. My versatility is something that not a lot of artists around me are doing, as the UK is heavily influenced by drill. This to me means that’s I have to work 10 times harder and keep making sure that every song I release has a world stop effect.
I don’t know if it sounds cliché, but I feel that my voice distinguishes me and makes me unique, I feel like it’s my own instrument even though you can sometimes tell there are influenced elements from my favourite artists.
RNGLDR: Obviously, these four singles don’t define a life that has been largely driven by music. Can you tell us a little bit about your creative and musical background, and how that background still plays a role in the kind of music you make today?
JORDAY: I come from an African background and when I moved to the UK at the age of 7, I got around a lot of Caribbean culture, which I believe has plays a huge role in the type of music I make.
RNGLDR: Closer in particular has been an international hit. And for the most part, that’s because it does a great job of immersing the listener in the range of your sound. Your vocals have always been a focal point, but Closer really takes advantage of a moment in music history embracing the sounds and beat patterns of West African Afrobeat’s and Caribbean Dancehall. Why are you, as a vocalist, drawn to the sounds of those scenes?
JORDAY: As already mentioned, I come from an African background, but grew up around a lot of Caribbean people. I was influenced by old school dancehall and reggae but when I was home there was always traditional Congolese music being played.
Dancehall and reggae have always had a stigma around them, it feels good to see afrobeats be so acknowledged these past few years and I think it will only become more popular.
RNGLDR: As an artist from the UK where the Afrobeat’s and Dancehall scenes are gaining exposure through more traditionally popular realms like hip-hop and R&B, why do you think that quite suddenly, there is a lot of international popularity with those scenes? And why do you think the UK in particular has become a hub for experimenting with those sounds?
JORDAY: The internet has allowed us to create our own platforms, which lets us choose who we want to listen to, opposed to having to wait on the radio to play our favourite artist.
I believe the UK has become a hub for experimenting with these sounds because people are finally acknowledging them, and internet platforms allow artists of all genres to be heard. Music has always been popular within the UK, but social media allows artists to expand their reach.
RNGLDR: As a vocalist from the UK, what do you think is to account for this generation of young UK talent – Ella Mai, Mahalia, Kaleem Taylor, certain tracks by Kojey Radical – that is leading and defining Neo-Soul and R&B at an international scale?
JORDAY: I think they are all representing the UK amazingly, especially Ella Mai, her music is sending shock waves throughout the world. For most artists, it’s a dream to one day be in a position similar to Ella Mia’s, and seeing her attain so much shows it is achievable. On the other hand, I do feel that UK platforms and radio should be pushing more of our music because America has certainly played a huge role in Ella Mia’s success, when she is a British native.
RNGLDR: And other than yourself, who are some UK vocalists that you feel the world should be on the lookout for?
JORDAY: I feel that there are so many UK artist on the rise and who the world should be on the lookout for, but I really enjoy Mnelia, Lotto Boyzz and Wauve. A member of my team, Logan, should also be looked out for, he assists in me executing my sound and has played a huge part of the establishment of my career; he has his own music on the way too.
RNGLDR: As a singer and songwriter that sources inspiration from a lot of different sounds, can you provide us a list of influential, wide-ranging artists that can grant a glimpse into your sound that spans R&B, Neo-Soul, Dancehall and Afrobeat’s?
JORDAY: My sound stems from numerous artist such as PARTYNEXTDOOR, Tory Lanez and Bryson Tiller. Like myself, PARTYNEXTDOOR and Tory Lanez have a huge Caribbean influence but on the other hand the R&B I make is similar to trap soul, a genre created by Bryson Tiller, which is a revamped old school R&B sound.
RNGLDR: And where in particular do you feel that you draw the most influence from?
JORDAY: I feel like my sound is influenced by a few Canadian artists but I am still able to keep it very relevant to popular UK sounds.
RNGLDR: Speaking on artists of all musical backgrounds, we run a series called Collab Elation where we explore hypothetical collaborations that we want to see in the music industry. So, if you could collaborate with any artist past or present, who would you choose, and why?
JORDAY: Currently Burna Boy is at the top my list, I really enjoy the African sound that he keeps in his music, he has a revamped African sound, which makes it very modern and enjoyable. Also, recently I have been enjoying Dua Lipa, she makes fresh, vibrating music with an amazing pop element.
RNGLDR: And if you could remove yourself from the equation and have any two artists of the past or present work together, who would you want a collaborative project from? Why?
JORDAY: Burna boy and Aya Nakamura would be an amazing collaboration because the blending of two different cultures with their own sounds.
RNGLDR: Your first single, Luv U Back definitely has a different textural feeling to it. In many ways, it’s reminiscent of PARTYNEXTDOOR’s moodier, electronically driven work. Has he and artists like him been influential on your sound? How?
JORDAY: PARTYNEXTDOOR has 100% been influential to my sound, in addition to Bryson Tiller and Tory Lanes; Toronto is doing a great job, including its biggest artist, Drake.
RNGLDR: And would you like to / are you planning to explore the more traditional R&B scene – like that from Luv U Back – with forthcoming work?
JORDAY: Yes R&B has been my foundation and is definitely a lane I will carry on exploring.
RNGLDR: Speaking on forthcoming work, is there a debut project in the works? And if so, what can you tell us about it musically, stylistically, and thematically?
JORDAY: There is a project I have been working on for about a year now and most of the songs have an international feel, as I would like to make a name for myself globally and not just in the UK music scene.
RNGLDR: And aside from the prospect of a debut project, what else can we expect from Jorday?
JORDAY: Expect to see me everywhere, doing everything! I have amazing singles dropping back to back this year and hopefully a few more collaborations with more artists. Look out for my next single Do Dat, we’ve just shot an amazing video for it.