Interview with Spencer Jordan
SBS: No joke Spencer – you’ve got yourself one seriously spectacular & single-worthy tune in your latest single “Danny Phantom” – honestly, anyone with at least one functioning ear would be able to hear the passion, dedication, and talent you’re bringing to your music…and certainly the highly addictive results. I don’t spend my time blowin’ smoke Spencer my friend, so take that to the bank – you’ve got a song that by all accounts & measures against any set of standards, should rightly be a hit on a whole bunch of playlists & charts out there – I’m more than impressed brother. All that good stuff being said, this is even my own first experience with you & your music, and from what I can see online, you’ve been rockin’ for at least a couple full years solid now…I see evidence out there that traces back to about 2019 or so. Anyhow – it’s probably better that I let YOU do the talking and introduce yourself, however ya wanna do that, without me giving away all the details I can find online. Where does it all begin my friend – bring us all up to speed here…how did Spencer Jordan find his way to being the artist you are now today? What is it that you believe defines your music the most & why should we all be listening?
Spencer: What an intro! I am severely undeserving of your praise, but I’ll do my best to live up to it. I’ll get the boring parts out of the way quickly: born, raised, and schooled in south Florida. I fell in love with music early (I was a church kid so the choir was my first influence) and over the course of years and a few misadventures in academia, I realized around 21 that I really just wanted to do music. So I moved to Nashville, plugged myself into the community, and started writing my ass off. At first, I was basically writing anything and with anyone who asked me to. So a LOT of country (ugh). It took me a little while longer to really understand what I had to say in my own songs, and if I had to answer the question of “what defines my music?” I think I can finally put my finger on it: my music is defined by my own earnest approach towards life that I had as a kid, with the jarring realities of realizing I’m not one anymore. I think the “reason” to listen is the reason any of us watch, listen, or read anything: we want to be seen, and for our experiences to be validated. I’m here to validate your experience! (insert dry sarcastic laugh)
SBS: Ahem. “Semi-professional attention whore” huh? Am I…hmmm…am I reading this correctly here Mr. Jordan? LOL. You just never know what an interviewer is gonna ask eh brother? Care to explain this? Better yet, help us link the importance of this information to your career as best ya can – how is being a “Semi-professional attention whore” going to benefit you & the music you make in the long run?
Spencer: I think that a big part of my identity as an artist is the fact that I try to be painfully self-aware of what I’m putting out into the world. Like “yes guys, I KNOW that’s my 5th post about my single in a row, I’m annoyed TOO!” It’s just my little way of saying that I’m in on the joke. No one makes it until they make it, and until you do? You’re gonna look like a try-hard. That’s just the truth. So instead of working desperately to pretend that I’m “cool” and everything comes easy to me, I just try to own it. The pros of doing so are that people feel like they really do know me, and they’re in this with me. My victories are theirs, and they’ll know, because I’m a semi-professional attention whore.
SBS: So…jeez man…”Danny Phantom” would be what, like your seventh dedicated single or so, plus about three EPs out there from what I can see…and from what I’ve heard my dude, it seems like you don’t even show up to the studio without a single-worthy song & a bunch of bulletproof hooks in your pocket…the gift you have is radiantly clear. Like, man…I listen to your single “Maroon 5” from back in 2019 and it’s clear you’ve had the magic from day one Spencer…you had to have known you were onto something special, we can FEEL it in your music when we hear it. All-in-all, there’s a real consistency in the quality of your songwriting & what you do that I know people will appreciate – and from our side of the speakers, it’d almost make a person believe you came factory assembled, ready to roll right off the line to the top of the charts were it not for the sincerity & passion in your sound. The point is, the average everyday person out there listening has no idea about all the things that change over time behind the scenes and what takes place in the evolution of an artist – so help us fill that in, because it essentially seems like you started out on perfectly solid ground right from the drop. Everyone struggles with something, everyone grows, every artist (hopefully) challenges themselves to evolve in their craft and make continual refinements to what they do over years. You’re still pretty new to the scene of course, in relation to the lifelong career you’re clearly gonna have – but what changes have you made so far? How is the Spencer Jordan of 2021 already different than the Spencer Jordan of 2019 – or is he?
Spencer: This is a LONG answer that I’m going to try to make short. If you look at “Maroon Five” through “Thinking Bout” that was, in retrospect, an exercise in figuring out what I was resonating with in genre, tone, vibe…. all that stuff. I think my songwriting has definitely remained consistent, but if you listen, the production on that first EP tends to be all over the place. “Bad People” and “Friends Don’t Do That” were a little different in that they’re deeply personal true stories that I knew wouldn’t fit on future projects. So I put out 6 songs that loosely tied together thematically and called it an EP in the hopes that I would gain enough listeners and fans to get behind me when I started putting out the real sh*t.
“Danny Phantom” is my real sh*t.
There was a single moment that I believe changed my writing voice forever, and it’s so dorky, but when I walked out of the theater after “Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse” I was a different artist. I started looking at what made me passionate throughout my life and why, and started drawing lines between those things. The line between me as a kid and me as an adult especially intrigued me. And so a whole project full of “Danny Phantoms” was born. I can’t wait for you to hear it.
SBS: This bio on your Spotify page is short but it is filled with GOLD brother-man…I could write an entire interview around just what I see there alone! And to be fair to me, like, damn, that’s the way you WANT a bio to stand out…believe me when I say, I read these things all day long & the vast majority of’em don’t. I’ll try not to dwell on it from here, but there is one other thing that caught my eye as I listened, this line about how you write “sarcastic songs about deep emotional issues” – that’s a fine line to walk! Mind you, I think from a cut like “Maroon 5,” if people are paying attention, they’ll find you can do this with the professional precision & confidence of a freakin’ tightrope walker. But it’s interesting to me – finding that balance between the two worlds might come naturally to you…in fact, I’d suspect it DOES based on how fluidly your songs tend to flow from start to finish in any tune I’ve heard – but take a step back & look at it from our perspective, it wouldn’t necessarily be easy. Too sarcastic, you’ll push some folks away and break the suspension of disbelief we need when we listen to music with any sincerity in it – and too sincere, you’ll push away those out there looking for something a little more clever beyond just another great melody. Is this all something you actually find you have to keep conscious of when you’re creating your music – maintain that balance? How do the aspects of sarcasm & sincerity end up complementing each other and establish the uniqueness in the songs/your identity as an artist Spencer?
Spencer: ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY that is a thing I’m conscious of. I think the sarcasm is really just a side effect of my own personal dysfunction, but I also know that making jokes is how the majority of people push through in their day to day. I think there is a delicate and important balance in being able to point at life and say “That’s some absolute f*ckery, but it’s also real, and therefore beautiful,” especially in songwriting. Too cynical and you’re jaded, too sincere and you’re boring. Right in the middle? You’re relatable.
On a more personal note, that’s just how I am. I’ve never had an experience or rough patch that I couldn’t turn into a punch line or a lyrical hook, but at the same time I am constantly working on allowing myself to feel things fully instead of analyzing the crap out of them to make something that lasts 3 minutes and rhymes. A lot of this project is about that. It’s about emotional availability and realizing that maybe not everything can be turned into something funny, and that’s also ok.
SBS: Okay. Let’s have this out. “Danny Phantom” is an EXCELLENT tune – I am NOT gonna be the person out there disputing that, and I think anyone out there can clearly hear it. That being said homie – I’ve got a press release here in front of me that also says this is your OWN favorite song you’ve written too! How…on earth…did you…choose? Good lord bro, I know I’m just catching a ride on your bandwagon right now and I’m late to the party & all – but like, everything you’ve put out is literally incredible – I don’t think I could pick a favorite if I tried! Like…”Friends Don’t Do That” is insanely good, “Maroon 5” as I’ve already pointed out, is incredible…and I could go on & on…”Thinkin Bout,” “WYD?,” or the sensational collaboration between you and Natalia Mount on “For The Sake Of The Summer” and ALL of the rest of what’s out there right now…these are ALL incredible tunes dude! You ain’t workin’ with an average set of skills or sub-par results brother, that’s just the facts. So CONVINCE us, that it’s NOT just the hype & excitement surrounding the release of a brand-new song – which arguably, to me, could justifiably be the favorite as much as anything else I’ve heard from ya! Declaring any one song as your favorite as the artist creating it is an entirely different & bold statement of its own though – so tell us, what is it about “Danny Phantom” that makes it YOUR favorite song so far in your catalog? Do you think we’ll all feel the same way as listeners?
Spencer: Maybe it’s A) an emotional response to writing a song that is 100% true to me or B) maybe I just really flexed my songwriting muscles on this one or C) it was the first song where I allowed myself to be uninhibited by songwriting “rules”…. Spoiler alert: its D) all of the above.
I love this song. I love cartoons. I love that I took something from my childhood, turned it upside down, and let it grow to become something more layered, flawed, and nuanced (wait… am I talking about the song or me?) This song is like a really catchy apology letter for me, and it’s my first foray into songs where I take a long hard look at myself and life and love and growing up and say “is anyone else feeling like this?” I’m not a rapper, but I rap. I found a vintage keyboard and made it the main riff. I admitted to the world that I’m kinda selfish sometimes and I’m working on it. And to top it all off? It’s SO. F*CKING. FUN. TO. SING.
This is a special song to me. It may not be objectively my best from various perspectives, but things don’t have to be the “best” to be your favorite, do they?
SBS: Where do you see things going from here dude? Short-term it for us, and maybe give us a glimpse into the long-game…what have you yet to accomplish that’s still on your checklist, and what would you like to do with your music over these next years to follow in terms of sound & style? Let’s have some fun with a hypothetical while we’re at it…because your phone is gonna be RINGIN’ off the hook in the future my brother, that I can promise ya – so lay it out there – who would you want to guest-star on one of your songs if you had your choice of anyone, and vice-versa, who would ya want to appear with as a featured guest on one of someone elses? How essential are collaborations in this time of music’s history anyway? Are they important? Just fun? What ambitions have you got for you & your music Spencer?
Spencer: I’ll answer the ambitions & plans question at once! Short term? Honestly, if I can master the not-so-subtle art of going viral on Tik Tok, then I’m basically releasing a song a month until the foreseeable future. I think the next main and achievable goal is to get 1 million streams on one of my songs. I want to look back on what I’ve set up for myself (song list, art direction, general vibe) after a year and think “now THAT’S a legitimate artist!”
Alright so we’re dreamcasting a duet? The obvious answer is John Mayer because he’s basically the reason I started music. But let’s go more achievable, and maybe a little closer to genre? Quinn XCII. 100 freaking percent Quinn XCII. His vibe is just so warm and nostalgic and I usually relate at least a little to every song he’s put out.
I think the question is a little interchangeable as far as answers go because I’m also a huge Chance the rapper fan and would love to feature vocally or have him do a rap on a song someday.
Collaborations look different for artists/songwriters than a lot of people think they do. Almost everything we do is collaborative. We write songs with 3 or 4 people in a room, which may sound like it dilutes genuine creation, but it actually fosters it more so than say, sitting in my room by myself for hours and trying to force myself to write something. It’s not important, it’s essential.
SBS: Open floor for ya brother-man…it’s how we end these things traditionally here at our site, givin’ ya the opportunity to say whatever else you might like us to know, given that no interview on earth could ever cover it ALL in one shot, no matter how long it could be or what it might cover. It has been a massive pleasure to listen to your music Spencer – I ain’t even remotely speakin’ in hyperbole when I say that this whole thang is yours for the taking dude, you’ve got the talent it takes to reach number one with a whole lot of people out there listening…and I have all the confidence that you’ll get there with the dedication you’re putting into your career. You keep all this incredible momentum & music going Mr. Jordan – I’m stoked to see you rise up the charts and can’t wait to be the guy out there that gets to point at a TV screen one day and be like, “I interviewed Spencer way back when!” Take your talent to the limit dude – you’ve got every reason to believe in the talent you have & the success you can achieve. Thank-you for your time & tunes – leave these good people out there on some final thoughts from ya, or something else they should know about what’s coming up for the future and music of Spencer Jordan!
Spencer: Thank YOU, man! These questions were so thoughtful, and I’m so thankful to have people like you, with a platform like this, to take an interest in what I’m doing here. Final thoughts? I feel like if you read this, you got to know me a little. But if you want to know me a lot? Go check out my music. I’m on all streaming services, Tik Tok, Insta. I’m releasing a song a month, so there’s gonna be content coming at ya fast! Um…ghosting is bad? (lol let’s hope that song ages well)
But thank you guys for hanging out, I truly appreciate it, and I can’t wait to give you more to be excited about.
Find more music by Spencer Jordan at his official page at Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4R6OJTttKBCUvl6GGaZHfp
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