Tickets are now available for Jordan Mackampa at Rescue Rooms!
Textured, open, and studious Jordan Mackampa in 2023 is immersive and exuberant finally at a place of comfortability in himself and his output as a singer and songwriter. He’s quick to point out musical forebearers like Brandy — to him, Full Moon is a seminal body of work for many an R&B artist. Conversations in and around music from his perspective articulate his grip on the art form and ordained vocation within the sector.
Jordan’s aptitude for musical expression was inherited from his mother’s ear. Not a musician herself, she would often fill the rooms of Jordan’s London-based childhood home with a diet of anyone from Curtis Mayfield to Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, and Marvin Gaye, nourishing the ears of an inquisitive, infant Mackampa. But his first, audacious experience with music, which
led with him and was his own took place at a youth center near his home. “I knew I wanted to perform,” Jordan enthuses. Unsure as to whether it was his spirit, God, or a combination of the two forces, he signed up to perform for the first time at this juncture — a freshman in adolescence at the time.
“I knew that if I didn’t perform now, I never knew when another opportunity to do this would come up.” Penning an original production, Jordan Mackampa utilised a self-proclaimed ethos that still remains present in his contemporary musical approach. “I want to create music that adds to what’s missing in the musical landscape — I always write or approach my songs like that.” Jordan’s first original production ‘Angel Like You’ honed in on puppy love. “It was an 800-capacity show and I got a standing ovation,” he proclaims, still quietly confident years later. “That show was the jumping-off point, I had to carry on with music at that point.”
Juxtaposed with his audacity, is a willingness to always work at his craft — Jordan would lock himself in the recording studios at his youth center across his teenage years, also learning to perfect instruments such as the drums and guitars. “I got my first instrument in 2009 and my instructors Pete and H would teach me how to get accustomed to melody.” After years of submerging himself in informal instrumental production, Jordan trusts his ear abundantly.
It was around his latter-teen years that he decided to pursue music on his own terms, studying Popular Music Performance at Northampton — partly to satisfy his mother’s request, but partially for more context around his field too. Jordan forms part of a generation of artists existing in a more democratised climate in music. Part of that involved the emergence of DSPs like Soundcloud, which allowed him to release demos to the masses at the push of a button. To his surprise, shortly into his digital expansion came institutional cosigns in the form of tastemaker Julie Adenuga during her tenure as a Beats 1 host. “Julie was a shining light and so supportive,” Jordan recalls. “I always cherish her consistency, it was my first industry sign of me feeling seen.” Premiering his debut single ‘Same Faces’ six years ago, the communal support extends to recently when the pair ran into each other at the airport. “It’s a full circle moment and a pinch yourself feeling.” The smokey, instantly rustic runs that cushion ‘Same Faces’ ooze of craftsmanship, diligence, and most of all comfort, Mackampa a natural at the delivery of vintage, velvet-smooth vocals.
With guaranteed premieres for subsequent singles, Mackampa developed and signed to AWAL after traction with his second EP Tales From The Broken. Rejecting lucrative major-label offers in favour of this one, allowed him room to retain autonomy which he took seriously. “There was so much time to really record professionally, make the move to London, and become proud of myself.” All of this led to the instrumental-heavy debut album Foreigner. Released amidst a global pandemic Jordan’s voice acted more tempered here, his diligence leading to him blending it with the other arrangement.
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