5 Minutes with Jordan T
After several years playing guitar and singing for both Maoli and Katchafire, Jordan T is now exploring music his own way. This has been an eventful summer for the Hawaiian, fresh off his first Cali Roots appearance and a newly released single “Find Ya Riddim” featuring Jemere Morgan; Jordan has been hard at work finishing up his debut solo album Bridges, due to be released by the end of 2016. With his captivating stage presence, bubbly rhythms and voice like butter, I fully expect to see and hear more of Jordan T in the coming year.
AA: You’ve performed with Maoli and Katchafire there in the past, but how is it being Jordan T, as a solo artist, at Cali Roots?
JT: It’s a really exciting thing for me … I’ve been writing music a long time and you always want to start your own solo project, but taking the steps is hard; finding the right niche and path. I got linked up with a lot of good people who were willing to help me out and playing at Cali Roots was amazing! I couldn’t believe the response and we had a pretty solid crowd there for our set … first time you expect the worst and hope for the best kinda thing [laughs]. It was definitely an experience I think I’m addicted to now! I want to come back and do it again next year.
And the vibes though! The people! That’s the most important thing for me, how music transforms people and how it can affect somebody in a positive way. I had people coming up to me saying, “Hey man, I’ve never heard of you before, but I really liked your vibes!” and I was so humbled. I’m glad you guys like what I’m putting out there and I’m just doing the best I can with what I have; representing the islands and the island peoples as well as I can.
AA: You have an incredible stage presence, you really draw people in. You’re pure aloha.
JT: It’s encouraging to hear the aloha is coming through and people are receiving it. I hold myself to that high standard, because if I’m not driven by the right motives to play music and bring something to people I feel like it’s a waste. I don’t want to bring anything to you less than 110% and that’s my philosophy. Anytime I step on a stage I say to myself, “You know what, I’m going to play this show like it’s my last show. Whether there’s one person in the crowd or 100,000 it doesn’t matter”.
AA: So you have a lot of new music coming out, talk to me about that
JT: I’ve been working really hard over the past year, which is a big reason I haven’t been touring as much. I toured for almost two years straight with Katchafire so now I’m beginning my own tours on the west coast and pumping out new music!
I have a new album coming out called Bridges, it is full length with twelve songs on there. I have a lot of cool collabs working with people from all over the world to trying to build the bridges. That’s what this album is about for me, using music to connect people rather than burn bridges. We’re about 90% finished, I have a few more songs to record, but it will definitely be released this year.
I wanted to give people a teaser of the new album, so I dropped a new song at Cali Roots and started to send it around the island. It’s a track with my Jamaican braddah Jemere Morgan, who is the son of gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage kine. I sent him the rhythm and asked him to write a verse if the vibes were right. He ended up liking it and wrote this super sick verse.
AA: Thank you so much for talking with me! Where can we see you next?
JT: I’ll be jamming the Island Vibes Reggae Fest in San Diego with Anuhea and Spawnbreezie on August 6th at Qualcomm Stadium!