JORDAN F | An interview
Make no bones about it. Jordan F is ready to 'take flight' with his hugely anticipated new album 'Memory Collision' penned for release on the 7th August.
Pre-orders for this album have already generated a lot of interest much like the guy himself who's music is celebrated regularly on podcasts, radio stations and playlists the world over.
Hailing from Sydney, Australia his music can be described as 80's sounding with a retro future twist and in the round very appealing for those like myself who dine out on sounds from a bygone age.
Ahead of his new release I grabbed a chance to chat to Jordan about all things Synth..take a look!
Tell us a little more about how Jordan F. came to be?
My gateway into the music scene was around 2009. I started playing at friends house parties and then established myself as a warm-up DJ, doing regular gigs in Kings Cross (Sydney's former nightlife district). I got to play tracks from a lot of my favourite nu-disco, synth pop acts at the time such as Louis La Roche, Lifelike, FM Attack, Bag Raiders, Flight Facilities etc.
After a few years of DJing I got into music production and bought myself Ableton. I really had no clue how to make music or what style I wanted to make so I was just experimenting in all sorts of genres including dubstep, house, nu-disco but nothing really stuck. One day I came across an Italian blog called Disco Champagne, who put out monthly mixtapes from early 80's revival artists including College, Tesla Boy, Cinnamon Chasers etc. I was totally hooked by retro sounds and nostalgic vibes.
From there I discovered all the other MySpace artists including Miami Nights 1984, Mitch Murder etc...it sort of just grew from there. I used the name Jordan F from my DJing days so it has just stuck around!
What is your creative process like? How do you come up with each idea for a track? Is it normally a melody first perhaps?
Usually it starts with a drum loop or playing some chords...maybe a bassline every now and then if it's very melodic or even a dreamy arp can always set the mood. It's all in the box at the moment and I have a couple of go to drum kits or synth patches to get things flowing.
Since Freefall back in March 2014 you’ve had continued success in giving your fans such fantastic tracks with an 80s inspired kick. How do you feel your sound has developed over time?
I think many people would say I write old school Synthwave/outrun but to be honest I don't pay too much attention to genre definitions etc. For me, it's been really important for me not to feel pigeon-holed. Doing a lot of remixes early on was critical in building my confidence to try different things. Nothing is more disappointing than seeing an artist sound exactly the same after 10 years!
My first three albums were largely inspired by the early era of the genre Valerie Collective, Rosso Corsa Records etc. The last few years I have expanded my inspiration and influences, whilst also staying true to my origins. It's all about striking that fine balance...which is what the new album represents.
If you could change anything about the Industry you’re in what would it be?
Royalties for sure. It's crazy to think you need 1 million streams a month to just make minimum wage on some platforms!
What Artists/Bands have given you inspiration throughout the years?
During my formative years it was definitely artists like Flashworx, Lazerhawk, MPM Soundtracks, Mitch Murder, Miami Nights 1984 who really framed my sound/style. More recently I have been listening to artists who are not strictly in the bounds of the 80's revivalist genre but nonetheless tap into some really dreamy atmospheric soundscapes including Tycho, Boards of Canada, Sebastien Tellier, Com Truise, Brothertiger, Rival Consoles, etc.
Honestly, we daren’t dream of a Synth world without Jordan F in it but if this career choice didn’t work out what would your life have been like? Do you have a day job?
I have a 9 - 5 job as an urban planner. It's definitely a challenge balancing full-time work and trying to make an album, plan shows etc!
Is there anyone on the scene right now that you’re listening to that you really like or anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Artists like Duett, L'Avenue, Gunship, Robert Parker, Primo the Alien, NINA, Lucy in Disguise just to name a few. They're all very innovative artists who are constantly contributing something new or untested in the genre - whether it's the actual music or the way they visually present it. I have been speaking to a few of them about collaborations after the album is out so stay tuned!
What is the one guilty pleasure you cannot live without?
That's a tough one but It'd have to be my morning coffee (flat white)...can't get the day started without it!
If you were to open for any act on the scene right now who would it be? Why?
I think it'd be someone like Com Truise, Electric Youth, College or Gunship. In my mind these are some of the biggest artists in the scene and encapsulate the sound perfectly.
I must admit I was pretty gutted to hear that your live event was cancelled in the UK, was so looking forward to that as where you I should imagine, do you have any gigs or tour news for your fans in 2021?
I was devastated for sure. There was so much preparation and planning put into the UK/European tour, with more shows that were to be announced, but unfortunately everyone's in the same position and there's not much we can do.
I'm still planning to complete my UK/European tour (London, Stockholm, Darmstadt and others!) but this will likely be pushed to 2021, given the current conditions.
Taking all your Discography into consideration which track or album are you most proud of?
That's a really hard one...I'm proud of different releases for certain reasons, whether it's the strength of the concept, the production, how it was received etc.
For example, 'Slipstream' was my debut album and has a number of tracks that established myself in the genre like Space Romance, Abandoned Streets. With 'Timelines', I loved collaborating with the likes of Le Cassette and Dana Jean Phoenix and making 80's upbeat synth-pop. For 'Oblivion', it was the strength of the concept and journey that each song told in a world of love-craftian horror.
Single-wise definitely the track 'Final Flash' I released in 2019...I was really happy with the production and style that lends itself to the dance-floor and DJ sets!
I'm actually pretty nervous for everyone to hear the new album as well and only time will tell how it stands compared to the others!
Can you tell us a little more about your current projects and what we can expect from you in 2021 perhaps?
I have my fourth album 'Memory Collision' coming out 7 August 2020. It will be a 12 track album and feature seven vocalists including NINA & LAU, Zealyn, Gryff, JJ Mist, Quails, Tilda and Fluir. Some of these are established in the scene, while others are completely outside of the genre but nonetheless are amazing artists in their own right and contribute something exciting and fresh to the album.
It's the first album I've written that isn't built on a concept or story, so it's a mix of all sorts of moods, styles and genres. The title represents a process of personal transformation and striking a balance between growing as an artist, while staying true to my origins.
For the artwork, Overglow (the graphic designer) and I had a less literal vision of the album title. We wanted to show something new being born...a burst of light emerging from the horizon that gives life to an indefinite landscape. The horizon represents a turning point of personal transformation.
It's the first time I've really gotten into the whole 'release strategy' process. I had all the masters, videos, visualisers, merch design, singles etc ready in January so it has been a real slow and steady build up to this moment!
There are currently a limited run of vinyl and CDs that are beautifully designed by Overglow available on bandcamp!
After that...who knows!
Any message for your fans?
Just a big thank you. This whole journey doesn't exist without your ongoing support and ongoing motivation. I know there's been a wait between releases but I'm so excited for you to finally hear what I've been working on!
Pre-order Jordan F's New album release in digital format & vinyl on the 7th August here: