- Words Elle Evans
We caught up with Tottenham-raised emcee Jordy who recently shared his highly awaited 7-track debut project named ‘SMH’.
If you are a Football fanatic and are familiar with the FilthyFellas show or have heard of the Vibbar collective, you may recognise Tottenham-raised emcee Jordy, who is proving to be one of London’s most exciting up and coming talents. Engulfed in a variety of genres from Garage, Grime, Hip-Hop, and Reggae from as young as 8-years-old, he discovered his love for music when stumbling across music videos from Ludacris, 50 Cent, and Eminem. Having also showed a keen interest in becoming an artist, it wasn’t until 2017 that Jordy decided to step up to the plate and start sharing his music online for the world to hear.
The now 26-year-old has already accomplished huge career highlights from appearing on Ghetts’ project ‘Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament’, JME and Vibbar’s collaboration on “Like Dat”, as well as “Rollin My Sheets” alongside Kojey Radical. Quickly proving a force to be reckoned with, his point-blank, honest, emotional, and slightly comedic pen has offered fans with many memorable and quote-worthy lines, “On the A13, coming off at the next exit / Thought that she wanted me, but she just wanted guestlist”, in-fact I can already picture crowds shouting back his “A13” lyrics word-for-word with their drinks held high in the air at any upcoming shows, fingers crossed.
Earlier this week, Jordy blessed supporters with his highly awaited debut project named ‘SMH’. Spread across 7 tracks, all of which vary in sound and feeling, the emcee boasts his impeccable pen game, bouncing flows and versatility throughout. Opening with the eerie sounds of ‘Cynical’ before journeying through the pre-released ‘Cherry B’ bop and summer-drenched sizzler ‘Feel Right Now’, this introductory teaser of Jordy’s potential and all-round sound is a must-spin this summer.
As we celebrate the release of his highly awaited project, Notion got the chance to catch up with Jordy over the phone – halfway through ironing, may I add – to talk about his influences, ‘SMH’, his journey up until now, and more.
The past year or so has been challenging for the music industry as a whole. How have you found being an artist throughout the pandemic?
I’ve kept calm, man. When the world locked down, I locked down with it. I perfected things, renovated the music, and gave some things a facelift, took my time, and bob’s your uncle, here we are. “Feel Right Now” was originally a Trap-Soul sound, like Bryson Tiller type-music but we gave it a facelift and we came out with this little madness [laughs]!
On a wider scale, you are fairly new to the game. For people who aren’t aware of who you are, could you tell us a little bit more about your journey so far?
My name’s Jordy, it’s my government, I wanted to have a sick rap name but I’m not that creative, I also didn’t want to regret it at 40 [laughs]! I was born in North-West London, I was raised in Tottenham and then moved to Essex where I settled. I started making music because my older cousins are producers and have produced for everyone in the scene, I wanted to produce but I wasn’t good at it so I just rapped instead. My first track was a diss-rap to a kid in school –
Do you still have it [laughs]?
I reckon if I looked around for it, I’d still have it! But yeah, that was my first rap, and I couldn’t believe people liked it! That feeling felt good, so I kept rapping, but I didn’t take it seriously until around 2016/7 and here we are.
Were there any artists growing up, or even now that have influenced you musically?
Oh mate! It’s a long list! I always say the guy that made me want to rap was Ludacris, I can’t take it away from him. He doesn’t rap the same today; early on, it was funny and bars, it kept me locked in. But there are also people like Ghetts, Skepta, Kano, JME, 50 Cent, DMX, Drake, Kendrick, and Frank Ocean – the list is long, man!
I also noticed that you noted Dave Chapelle as an influence which I thought was interesting. What is it about him that influenced you as an artist?
He’s a hero to me! There is a talent in speaking, he used to be funny – don’t get me wrong he is still funny – but now he just talks and I’m still listening, it doesn’t just have to be jokes. There is a talent in speaking and I don’t think he wastes a bar, he’s incredible, man. His perspective and insight on things is class, I have always followed him from when I was a young buck up until now.
I read that you took a break, regenerated, and matured; did you ever feel like you weren’t ready at one point?
I’ve felt that so many times! Sometimes I might be right and sometimes I might be wrong, but when I feel it, I sit down and have a think, or maybe push through and keep creating to see what I can get from it. I felt it in my early teens, I didn’t make any songs and I’m glad I didn’t because I would have come out with some crazy stuff back then. I matured, started making music again in 2016/17, the last year I didn’t make or release songs either and I needed that because I would have made some poor decisions again. It’s important to have a break.
You’ve worked with several big names in the past including Ghetts, JME, and Kojey Radical. Have any stuck out in particular for you? Maybe you learned something from one of them?
I definitely took things away from Ghetts. Before I met him in the studio, if I was in the studio and I had a block, I would tell the producer to save the beat and I’d go back the following week to finish it off. When I met Ghetts, he was like “No. We have to finish it today!” *laughs* we can’t leave the studio with half a song, and I’ve lived by that now. Even if it isn’t good, at least you have a whole song and you can come back to it the next week.
Did you ever feel any pressure to work with people like Ghetts?
Erm. It’s a good pressure, I invite it! I don’t want to work with anyone where I don’t feel that pressure. Anyone I work with, I need them to push me and my pen, if I feel like it’s a walk in the park then I don’t really want to do it.
How would you go about describing your sound?
I think it’s just left of centre, only because they still put me in this ‘Alternative Rap’ category and I don’t get it, I mean, I do but what’s so alternative about it? So, alternative rap, honest and left of centre [laughs].
Let’s talk about your ‘SMH’ project! I’m really excited for people to hear it, it’s sick!
I’m nervous, man!
Really, how come?!
I get nervous before I drop anything! My close circle knows this, when they are around me before I’m dropping, I am MOO-DY – I’m nervous! Nothing I release is like the last thing I dropped, so everyone expects the one thing – because I’ve made ‘Feel Right Now’, there are labels talking to me about the next ‘Feel Right Now’ and I haven’t made that because I make different things! That’s what makes me nervous, will they want 100 more because I’m not doing that for you. I know it’s good but I am nervous, you want it to receive in the best way!
That’s the best thing about you though, you are unpredictable!
I guess so but some people don’t like that!
It’s good though!
I’m glad you think so because I agree. We don’t want the same song 9 times!
Tell me a bit more about the title and concepts behind the project?
‘SMH’ is just a call and response – they were killing me for years! “You don’t drop”, “You’re taking the piss!” and all these things, I just shook my head and said “Here it is” *laughs* It also touches on the last 12 months we’ve had, there has been ups and downs, obviously it was a sad year, but I liked little elements of it. I liked that people disconnected and found themselves, I liked that people connected online through things like Verzuz, there was good things in the bad and I always try and look out for that! ‘SMH’ was a bit of that, there was a lot of shake your head – whether it was good or bad!
You’re very versatile in this project and that shows on songs like “Feel Right Now” which is a summer sizzler! How did you want to approach this project sonically?
For the first project, I just wanted to display my palette and show what it is I can do before I get into a narrative-based project with storylines and voice notes. Here I am introducing myself, this is what I can do, and you are going to hear a lot more of this!
Do you resonate with any of them more now, in comparison to the writing process?
“Therapist” is a big song for me and not just because it’s deep, I made it in 2017 and it’s gone through like 20 different versions – it’s had so many facelifts! For it to finally come out, I honestly can’t believe it! I used to perform it before it dropped, there has been a kid in my DM’s that’s been asking for it since 2018, that poor kid – I don’t even know where he is now [laughs]!
You have one feature on there with Elt Cheekz. How did this come about? I feel like this was more organic.
He’s my little cousin! I kept it in the family. It features my cousin and is produced by my big cousin! Don’t get me wrong, I definitely chased about for features; “Feel Right Now” was SO close to having Miraa May on it. The timing was bad though, she was working on her album, and I was working on mine so we couldn’t get the timing right. I had a Ghetts verse, but my hard drive broke, and I didn’t want to ask him again, so I thought fuck it, man, it wasn’t meant to be!
Oh no! What an L!
I know! Originally, I was going to call my project ‘The Hard Drive Broke’. It’s a howler, I’ve told the story a few times but never the artist! It’s such a stinker! *laughs* But yeah, I just kept my cousin on it and in the family, no bias but I think he’s next up, if it’s not me it’s him…but it’s me.
What’s your creative process like?
It changes all the time! Sometimes I’ll have an idea, voice record it, and go back to sleep. Sometimes I hear a beat that has been made for me and it’s a match made in heaven, sometimes I’ll YouTube search “type beats” make the song on that beat, my cousins will take the vocals from it and build something around it. There is no process for me that sticks, I never want to be in a position where the circumstances don’t fit my process! I want to be adaptable to every scenario, that’s why I can either have 10 man in the studio with me or no one – it doesn’t matter!
Putting the music aside, what do you like to do for fun? I know you’re a Football fanatic…
I’m just out here with the boys! I link the boys in London, and we talk rubbish! But with my geezers out here in Essex, we go to the pub n’ that, but only because they pay! My white friends don’t let me pay; I love them [laughs].
I can’t imagine you in a pub!
See! No one knows that side of me, I can turn into a proper geezer! Some proper laddish behaviour!
What else can we expect to see from you this year?
Of course, after my project, the Vibbar lot are coming! I’m heavily involved in that; I think I’m on every song. Hopefully – don’t hold me to this – I can come back with more music around November, I have songs ready, but I need to see how things play out! There are a lot of Jordy songs this year! I’m fashionably late. I know I’m late but I’m right on time!