Wrap Up And Watch Out: Rochelle Jordan
Hailing from the same city as The Weeknd and Drake, Toronto-born Rochelle Jordan is a singer/songwriter who has been making major waves for the past year with her acclaimed mixtape release, 'ROJO', her cover of Drake’s 'Marvin’s Room', and her Aaliyah tribute track, 'King A'...
The Wrap Up's No. 1 R&B lover, Kamran Assadi, caught up with the up-and-coming singer to talk about her musical journey so far, her motivations, her musical influences, who would be her ideal dinner party guests and more.
The Wrap Up: Rochelle, how did you get into music in the first place?
Rochelle Jordan: I’ve always been into music since I was little. My parents are musical people, so naturally I was connected. Getting into it and actually doing something about that passion really started when I began posting YouTube videos of myself singing in my bathroom. It began from there.
TWU: What does music mean to you and how would you describe your musical sound?
Rochelle Jordan: Music means everything to me. I honestly don't know where I’d be without it, nor do I see myself doing anything else outside of it – it truly is everything. All of my feelings and emotions are vented through my lyrics and my sound. My sound is based off of feeling and everything I listened to as a kid/teenager. All of my inspirations, jumbled into one, made into my own.
TWU: You've been creating quite an online and underground buzz with your musical releases. Can you tell us about the ‘ROJO’ mixtape project and the premise behind it?
Rochelle Jordan: After releasing my first single, ‘How to Feel’, I quickly realised that I would have to follow through with an EP. I wanted to give the little fanbase more of who I am, as an artist. I promise you, I had no expectations. I didn't know what I was doing, to be honest. It was the team I had around me that helped guide my project. I didn't want to be gimmicky, I wanted to stay true to who I am and what genre touched me the most throughout my life – which is R&B. ‘ROJO’ is who I am and it’s so important that people know that as I slip deeper into the music business.
TWU: Who and what keeps you positive? What inspires and motivates you?
Rochelle Jordan: The fact that I’m doing what I love and that the people have connected with what I’ve done, it lifts my spirits daily. It does get hard sometimes, but I’m grateful that people believe in me and what I’m doing. Being an unsigned female R&B artist is hard, but I’ve come a long way in such a short period of time. I’m just so thankful and that’s what motivates me.
TWU: With musical influences ranging from Amerie to Aaliyah, how did they help pave a way for you and the atmospheric R&B you currently make?
Rochelle Jordan: All those years of watching and listening helped me to develop. Naturally, as humans, we take on what we consume. I never make my music to try and sound like anybody else. That’s wack to me, and people can tell when it’s a forced gesture. This was all very organic, from Amerie’s harmonies to Aaliyah’s soft vocals – I guess it was just something I took to because that’s what I was born to sound like. I have a ton of influences that are definitely the reasons why I sound like I do!
TWU: What do you think of the music scene at the moment, in particular the role that online technology and social networks are playing their part in it?
Rochelle Jordan: The music scene has changed a lot in the last seven years due to social networks, and it’s amazing. Blogs are basically working alongside A&Rs now, making it possible for talented artists under the radar to finally be heard – making it possible for the unsigned to build a nice fanbase, and also giving the world more music to listen to so they broaden their musical minds. Personally, it’s not cool being a radio robot. There is so much more out there. I will forever be grateful to the social networks, as it’s the reason why ‘ROJO’ took off the way it did...
TWU: Your next release, ROJO II, is due for release in March, right? What can we come to expect? Also, are there any plans for a full-length album in the future?
Rochelle Jordan: For sure! A full-length album will come but, as of now, we are currently working on ‘ROJO II’ and trying to perfect it for you guys. It might not be released in March, but it will be well worth the wait.
TWU: If you could have a dinner party with any five artists, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Rochelle Jordan: Michael Jackson and Kanye West, because I would love to get into their creative minds, just a chance to talk to them and draw inspiration from them. Aaliyah, because she is everything I look up to. She was such a nice person with so much talent and light and if I had a chance to be around her that would be incredible. I wish I had been old enough to meet and actually consume her. Tye Tribbet, because his talent is unmatched and he made a magical movement in gospel music. Last but not least, Deadmau5 because he is a dope producer – I want to work with him asap and I really need to see what he looks like under that mouse mask.
Stay up to date with Rochelle Jordan on Twitter - www.twitter.com/Rochelle_Jordan
Words: Kamran Assadi (@Kamranassadi)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)