New Nostalgia: An Interview With Majid Jordan (With Full Audio!)

It’s always a nice surprise to hear that one of your favorite groups is coming to town. What can be even better? How about a phone conversation with them a day before they go on stage? This week, I had the privilege to speak with Majid Jordan, who were on their way to Montreal to perform the first show of their 2018 North American Tour. Here are the highlights from our 20 minute conversation.

Akeem: Welcome to Montreal. You guys have been here in the past, what do you look forward to when you get to Montreal?

Jordan: Just energy. Singing. Dancing. The crowd is incredible here. I always say one of the best crowds in the world

Akeem: I am a big fan of the OVO sound. You guys have brought a much needed sense of pride towards Canadian music, especially R&B. Now that people have grown accustomed to your sound, did you feel pressured when making this album to stay true to what you have already put out, or did you seek to experiment?

Jordan: Majid and I share music a lot, so I think for this album we started at that point like we always do, you know; just playing each other music and seeing where we wanna go with it. I feel like we're just trying to make… What the space between represents is really what Majid Jordan represents, still... to this day. It's the second album but it's very close to us, just like the first album, just like A Place Like This. So I feel like there's never a pressure.

Majid: I think staying true more so than staying true to the sound and staying true to ourselves and a part of ourselves is always excited by experimentation and equally excited by nostalgia, so when you feed both of those things into one another, you get new and old.

Akeem: How does feel to be a part of what is, a shift in how Canadian music is perceived around the world?

Jordan: It's a blessing. It's crazy to even know that we're even part of something that big. We just love music. We love connecting with our fans. When we go on tour, it's so exciting for us because we make this music so we can make that connection with our listeners and that inspires us to make the last album and those sounds. So, it's a mutual respect between us and the fans.

Akeem: Jordan, do you sometimes have the urge to add your vocals to songs?

Jordan: No! [laughs a lot] I let my boy Majid do the vocals.

Majid: [jokingly] No, no, no! You never know. It might come true. You never know.

Jordan: [reciprocating the joke] Majid on some keys, you know! I might be in the background box one day.

Akeem: The lyrics are often personal, detailing stories of relationship both current and maybe past. Are they based on both relationship experiences?

Majid: I would say they are relatable maybe to the both of us but sometimes lyrics will come and it's… I have no idea… I'll sing. Sometimes Jordan will be like, “just go on the mic and sing something.” And sometimes I'll sing something and it's this idea that maybe I have in my head, but the words that form in the sentences and the order in which they do sometimes are unpredictable. It's just a feeling that is built on an impulse, on improvised moments and then it becomes something.

Jordan: I feel like the way Majid is kind of describing some of those lyrics is the way we look at music. Life is crazy. Sometimes you haven't gone through an experience that you are talking about but it's provoking you to think about something you know and provokes you to further to that. Because a lot of people… if Majid and I are in the room relating too, we know that people are going to relate to it around the world.

Majid: And sometimes it's not even like a situation that went like A-B-C. It's like you felt A and it's led you to feel B and then now you have ended up from this viewpoint and that becomes C. And one feeling, it's amazing what a feeling can do when you latch on to it, which is why music for us is a therapy because it releases us from holding on to these feelings.

Akeem: What makes better music? New love or heartbreak?

Majid: New love or heartbreak? Equally good, equally good man. It's like we said right? We get excited by experimenting and nostalgia they’re both amazing. It’s like saying what do you love more, the sunrise or the sunset? When you look at it at a certain time and you wake up at a certain point of day with no clock and you see the lights in the sky you don’t know what time it is because that… it’s just beautiful.

Jordan: It’s all relative to your mindset you know. So it’s very much how you wanna look at things and you know sometimes, yeah, I’m blessed to say I went through a heartbreak knowing that I’m going to write a lot of music. That’s my therapy. Music is therapy, so regardless if it's a new love or a heartbreak it definitely seeps in to our music because that’s what we’re going through. We wanna tell stories of our lives and other people’s lives.

Akeem: Now as far as the album is concerned, you guys don't really have any features outside the OVO camp; are there some artists outside the OVO roster that you would like to work with?

Majid: So many! Too many to name. It's just a matter of us meeting them and building a relationship with them, because we want the music we make and the collaborations we make to last beyond the time sample when the song came out. We want to build a community. We want people to be able to communicate over time, for a long period of time. So like, we have a generation which  you are able to trade ideas.

Jordan: I think anybody that we collaborate with would respect that. That's just the way we move.

Akeem: What can people expect from a Majid Jordan concert? How has live show evolved since the first time you guys have been on stage together?

Jordan: I think that people should expect a brand new show. I feel like Majid and I have just improved the live performance so that it's more… there's definitely a synergy of the audio, the visions and that's very important to us. We were talking about our visuals and how much we're a part of it. We're in the rehearsal spot, you know, for the last month, making these two things really together and that's really important to us. And we want to meet people. We want to give people a show that they deserve. We're coming to their city and we have new music and you know? We're so excited. I don't want to give too much away.

Check out our exclusive interview in FULL with Majid Jordan on SoundCloud below!