- Words Stephanie Bergvelt-Vassileiou
- Photography Mabdulle
- Styling Adele Cany
- Styling Patrischa Humm
Jordan Comolli has shaken the electronic dance scene and launched his own label, HOLY. Records. We speak with the young producer about his new single, "BLAME", what soundscape he's drawn to, how music and fashion interlink, and much more.
Combining energetic performance with raw talent, up-and-coming producer, Jordan Comolli, has a plethora of releases under his belt through key tastemaker labels such as Trap Nation, Lowly, Tribal Trap, Elysian and Quality Goods Records to name just a few.
Comolli primarily uses a cinematic exploration of dark tones and sultry bass-lines that electrify listeners across the globe. He took the underground scene by storm with hit singles “Contrast” and “Alone” which stacked over 25,000,000 streams combined across all platforms. Now, Comolli has amassed over 30 million views on YouTube, over 10 million plays on SoundCloud, and over 25 million plays on Spotify for his releases.
Aside from music, Jordan has also been making his mark in the world of fashion, being part of Paco Rabanne’s A/W campaign as the brand recruited the producer ‘s music for their recent online fragrance launch. But it’s not only Rabanne that’s come knocking – Comolli’s music has been used by the likes of Adidas, Comedy Central, UFC and even the trailer for the Eminem-produced movie BODIED.
It’s no exaggeration to say Jordan Comolli has broken boundaries with his unique, powerful sound. Whether you’ve been to one of his live shows or heard one of his heart-racing songs, you’ll see why he’s renowned for his technical capabilities and musical versatility.
2021 sees Jordan release “BLAME”, the second release of the year for the electronic music maverick. It’s also the debut release on his very own label, HOLY. Records. His new venture aims to be a tastemaker lifestyle label that specialises in electronic music culture, born out of passion, energy and vision where artists have a home to create, grow and thrive.
Speaking on the release – Jordan was sent an acapella by the 21-year-old Canadian musician dzyre. With the lyrics being about a breakup, the song really resonated with Jordan, having gone through one recently himself. He began creating an instrumental around dzyre’s vocals with no real direction other than letting the heartache fuel his creativity and express his tribulations through the music. The more he built the track up, the more it echoed with his emotions and mindset, taking the listener on a journey of the questions you ask yourselves as well as the doubt, anger and upset you encounter when going through heartbreak.
Jordan wanted to drop “BLAME” around Valentine’s day in the hopes of reminding people not to feel alone or to blame themselves, that we are all in this together and we all go through our own rollercoaster of emotions.
Notion delved into Jordon’s musical journey, working throughout a global pandemic and what 2021 has in store for him.
Let’s start by talking about how you became a producer and DJ?
I’d always had a passion for music in general but was more interested in how the instrumentals were made and how the production/technology worked.
I remember in school when I was finishing my GCSE’s and it was that time to start thinking about what I wanted to do moving forward with my life, what I wanted to study and what college I wanted to go to, that I decided to go to a music college to study music production/technology, to buy some time into making my next REAL life choice…
During the course, I quickly realised that it was effortless waking up every morning to attend classes and my passion rapidly grew and grew. It got to the point where I was putting my own stuff out and getting some recognition, so I decided to quit college and take it seriously full-time and the rest is history!
You’ve launched your own label, HOLY. Records. How did this come to fruition and how important was it for you to have your own blueprint?
It’s every artist’s dream to get to a point where they can start their own movement and give back by helping others with the same passion. I’d thought about it for a while but after long chats with my manager, we decided it was finally time to mature my business and start building. It’s also a great outlet for me to stay busy with music regardless if I’m making it or not. I’m very excited to build this into not just a record label with a focus on electronic music, but a lifestyle brand with avenues into fashion and gaming as well.
Your latest single “BLAME” dropped just before Valentine’s Day – how long were you working on the track?
The total project file was worked on for about 29 hours total, I probably spent 2-4 hours on it at a time as I don’t like to spend too much time on the same thing for too long as it messes up my creative process but yeah, about 10 days I’d say! Dzyre sent me the vocals about a month before but I hadn’t had the time to get round to them properly, but once I did, I instantly resonated with the lyrics as I’d just gone through a break-up myself so building a song around them flowed naturally.
“BLAME” is clearly a soundtrack for togetherness, especially during these unprecedented times. Did you have any particularly strong influences when working on the project?
I honestly just let my heartache take the lead. Although I knew I wanted it to be something melodic and powerful to increase the emotional impact so that listeners would also resonate with it more. Crazy what love can do aye?!
Can you talk us through your creative process when creating new music? Has that been altered due to lockdown?
Being in lockdown has been tough on all of us, and I cannot wait for the day that we can attend or play at a show or a festival again.
I’ve upgraded certain parts of my studio, thanks to a partnership with guys over at Razer which has enabled me to improve my workflow as well as work with new equipment.
Not only that but lockdown’s given me the opportunity to take things back to basics, to collaborate and find new and exciting artists to work with personally and also release on Holy. Where I’ve been refined to my home studio, I’ve made the space as comfortable as possible, a great chair and mood lighting is key!
What’s the best environment for making music?
It all genuinely depends on my mood! Sometimes I love to be in the studio vibing out with a bunch of people, other times I just want to work with dim lighting with a few candles on by myself in my bedroom haha.
Describe your sound in three words.
Energetic, Unique, Melodic.
Primarily you seem to use a cinematic exploration lens with dark tones and sultry bass-lines that electrify listeners across the globe. Would you say this is your M.O?
It’s definitely my most recognised sound and the sound that gave me a name getting me to where I am today, but as I’ve grown and with experience, I’m exploring new sounds, I’m honestly loving the energetic melodic stuff at the moment!
At heart, the darker & heavier stuff will always be my bread and butter, and I’ll drop projects with that sound in mind to show the day one fans that I’ve still got it and haven’t lost my touch! To be honest, I always try to include my original style with any type of music I make. For example, if I do make something melodic, I’ll still include that cinematic vibe with sultry bass-lines, so it shows hints and elements of my signature sound shining through. I still have my original sound, but I’m evolving it!
It’s an unfamiliar, incongruous time for dance music, as the context and spaces we’re listening in have shifted dramatically. In a time that demands respite, how do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
I want them to feel like they’re still able to have fun, be free, strong and in-control with their life and how it pans out moving forward regardless of what obstacle life is throwing at them. Music has been the only thing that’s kept me strong and motivated during my darkest times and I hope mine can do the same for other people. Honestly, that’s one of the biggest reasons I make music besides just having pure love and passion for it.
You have strong affiliations in both the fashion and music sectors. Music has always been intertwined with fashion, style and culture since its beginning. Sartorial trends in music evolve like the sounds for artists and fans alike. Would you say that’s a fair assumption? Can you talk us through merging both within your craft?
Yeah, I absolutely agree! Music, fashion and culture. You’ve seen it from musicians such as Keith Richards shooting with Annie Leibovitz for Louis Vuitton, Don Diablo launching his mega-successful Hexagon clothing line, through to more recently DJ Snake partnering with Puma.
Fashion is as much an identity for an artist as the music they create, especially with how music is mostly consumed online. Having an online presence and creating a “brand” around yourself is important, and fashion shows another side to the artist’s personality, and how they express themselves visually. I’ve been fortunate to work with the fantastic photographer Mabdulle and the amazing stylists, Adele Cany and Patrischa Humm, to create some dope new press shots which you guys at Notion are kindly premiering!
What you wear, what you listen to, the scenes you’re interested in and involve yourself in, really showcase your personality, courage, independence and identity.
Your music has been featured by the likes of Adidas, Comedy Central, UFC and even the trailer for the Eminem produced movie ‘BODIED’. How do you bring both sectors to life, can you talk us through the process?
I think the nature of the kind of music I produce tends to lean towards people and brands that have an interest in anything that’s high octane, fast-paced, fitness, gaming or sports-related! I always try to think of the journey a listener’s taken on, the intro to gain interest, the build-up to develop anticipation, into the drop where you let loose and everything becomes clear! But sometimes, you can’t beat a concise brief from a sync agency to follow!
What would you say are the most important things that you’ve learned about yourself as a producer / DJ / artist?
So many things, but the top few I’d say is to definitely not compare your success or progress to anyone else’s. Doing so will always give you unrealistic expectations. Staying in your own lane, being patient and having a supportive team and people around you is always the best way. Be your own biggest fan, count on yourself, believe in yourself, stay focused and trust the process. You’ll soon find out who the supporters are!
Another one is to always stay humble, remember where you came from, who was there at the start, etc. Always pay respect and homage to others as well, especially fellow musicians. Music is like a sport, everyone wants to win and achieve their goals, so show sportsmanship. It will go a long way and be a big factor in future relationships.
What artists and producers have inspired you?
Not to be cliche but I have to put Skrillex and Diplo up there at the top. Musically amazing talents but also as entrepreneurs. Both have built such a successful franchise from their own labels, clothing lines, events, etc. It’s truly the ultimate goal for anyone in my shoes so what better people to look up to than the ones who have done it! On top of that, they’re both great role models in general, they’re both also very charismatic and respectable guys.
Since releasing your debut EP, ‘PROSPER’, how have you grown personally?
Ah, so much! I finished and released this EP a few months after my mother passed away, so this project really meant a lot to me. The whole project was dedicated to her, every song in the project was different styles of music of mine that she loved. I even named a track in it after her. I overcame a lot of darkness and trauma around this time and putting out the project really was the most meaningful piece of work I’ve ever done. I grew a lot emotionally and mentally after it came out and really had a different outlook on life.
As well as supporting pioneering electronic artists such as Marshmello, Slushii, Headhunterz and Jauz on tour in Asia, you’ve created remixes for various artists, including the renowned Trap artist, UZ and was also named upcoming Trap artist of the year by Annie Nightingale on BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra. Are there any other collaborations in the pipeline?
I’ve been speaking to a bunch of artists in the DMs and had a few sessions over zoom. I’m working with a cool rapper based in Asia and have a few West Coast producers I’m working on a few bits with. I’m due a few sessions with my fellow Brightonian, Kideko. So there’s plenty more to come yet!
I’ve recently signed an ambassadorship with the tech brand Razer, we’re working on some pretty cool projects that will come to light in the next few months!
I’ve also been presented with a fantastic opportunity to partner with the amazing children’s charity Barnardos. As someone who grew up in the care system, it’s a brilliant chance for me to share my story with children and young adults. Provide any advice wherever needed and work with the charity to provide the best support for people who are currently in the same or similar situations as what I was in when growing up.
Do you have any specific criteria when thinking of working with someone?
Not at all!! If you’re dope and I really like your sound and image, I’m on board whether you have 2 followers or 200,000 followers. Even if your sound is different to mine, that just excites me more on what the possible outcome could be.
Due to the current worldwide pandemic performing live and touring has taken a backseat. How has the ‘new norm’ of releasing music impacted you?
From an electronic artist’s perspective, someone who’s music is predominantly focused on thinking about what it will sound like to an audience, the builds, the drops, intros and outros, what the visuals on the screen behind me will look like, how the audience will react etc. It has changed the way I release massively, but it’s given me the opportunity to explore a more melodic sound that is focused on someone that could perhaps listen to my music driving along in the car, not just at a show or festival!
Lastly, what’s next?
To carry on developing and growing all areas of being a successful artist. Which means, more music, continue to develop my sound, more collaborations with great artists, continue growing the aesthetic side of my brand to show growth and maturity as an artist. Continue to release some exciting artists and grow Holy to be a well-known competing tastemaker lifestyle brand and hopefully a couple of shows in the not too distant future too!