To celebrate the launch of his debut EP, the Real Songwriters of Melbourne team were delighted to be able to catch up with Melbourne RnB/Pop up-and-comer Jordan Jaarola to discuss his big move to Melbourne, growing up and leaving the teenage years behind, and all things music.
J: So, I read that you’re originally from Western Australia. Why did you decide to make the move to Melbourne, and how long ago did you move?
J: “It was about six years ago that I moved from Perth to Melbourne. So, I moved over here for the music scene basically. I was trying a bit of stuff in Perth, and there was just nothing really happening there. There weren’t many networking opportunities or anything like that, but I just decided to move to Melbourne. I had one cousin who lived here and she said it was amazing and there was just music everywhere and so I thought ‘yeah why not? I’ll give it a go’. It was a pretty impulsive move really, I’d never been before, but I haven’t gone back since.”
J: Do you have a favourite venue to play at yet?
J: “I really like the Workers Club actually. I’ve done a few gigs there now and it’s probably my favourite sound. Otherwise, The Toff in Town also. That was one of my favourites to perform at. I’ve only performed there once, but it was pretty cool.”
J: What drew you to wanting to make music in the first place? When did you realise you wanted to take it further and do it professionally?
J: “Well I’ve been singing since day one, just constantly making noise around the house. I did classical piano as a kid, and from there I just progressed. My parents were always in bands as well, and I’ve pretty much just grown up surrounded by music and the process of doing gigs and writing songs and everything. It probably wasn’t until I was around 20 or 21 when I realised that I wanted to make music my number one focus.”
J: Did you begin songwriting from day one as well, or did that come a bit further down the line?
J: “Probably later on. I have a couple of songs that I wrote as a small child that are probably still somewhere in a box with the hilarious lyrics in there. But I did eventually start taking my own experiences and translate them into songs and writing my own lyrics and playing around with chords. Serious songwriting didn’t really come until I was at the 20/21 mark.”
J: Do you have a particular songwriting process?
J: “I usually always start with the music. So I’ll have a chord progression in mind or I’ll play around with some chords, and then I’ll get a vibe from there and just start working on an improvisation over it until something comes together. I tend to find that the lyrics come later.”
J: Do you find that the lyrics you write are quite personal to you, or do they provide more of a worldly overlook?
J: “I think it’s a bit of both. I’d say they’re worldly, but then also as I’m getting older I’m getting more comfortable with writing about my personal experiences as well. I think the new EP that I’m about to release has a bit of a mix of both. There are some songs that are very personal and about one particular experience, but then there are songs that are a bit broader and relatable to the wider audience.”
J: The EP is coming out on July 6, what can listeners expect from it? What happens after it’s released?
J: “It’s definitely a window into my life, specifically a couple of moments from the past five years of my life moving from a teenager into a 20-something adult. Definitely just the experience of that; and relationships, discovering yourself, unrequited love- all of the good stuff! I’ve developed a bit over time and it’s definitely more of a pop and big-production style sounding EP, compared to what I had originally intended, which was a bit more piano based. I definitely like that I took it in the direction of the kind of music that I listen to, which is a dark-pop style, with an RnB/alternative vibe. I’m glad I took it in that direction. Following on from that, I’m going to keep making more music. I’ve already got plans for another project hopefully some time later this year or next year.”
J: Any plans to tour with it?
J: “Not at this stage. I definitely like to keep appearances few and far in between, just to keep it fresh.”
J: If you could describe your music in three words, what would they be?
J: “Honest. Um, this is hard! It’s not quite dark, but it’s bordering on it. Maybe the kind of late-night music that you drive around listening to!”
Written by Jordyn Hoekstra