top of page
  • Writer's pictureShenead Poroosotum

In Harmony With Uniqueness: Understanding Jordan Ward's Very Own Groove [Interview]

FORWARD, Jordan Ward’s latest musical offering, is not only a testament to his evolution as an artist, but also an ode to his family. It’s a beautiful mosaic of lived experiences, emotions and growth, as well as an unwavering commitment to moving forward in both his personal life and musical journey. The album is a masterful blend of soul, R&B, and pop, featuring Jordan's trademark smooth vocals and thought-provoking lyrics. With a sprinkle of Frank Ocean, the melody of SZA and the groove of Mac Miller, each track is a glimpse into his world, sharing moments of vulnerability, joy, and introspection. As we navigate through the nuances of FORWARD, it becomes clear that Jordan Ward's music is not just about the melodies—it's about the feelings, the stories, and the shared human experiences that unite us all. As we met with the artist in the basement of a studio space, he moved his long, brown locs from his eyes and smiled warmly. We sat next to each other cross-legged on the floor as if long-time childhood friends. During our talk, Jordan Ward enlightened us about his time as a dancer, his experience of seeing colour palettes in music as well as the gradual growth that took him from just a musician to a real time artist.

Journalist: Shenead Poroosotum

Photographer: Zekaria Al-Bostani

New Wave: Hey Jordan Ward! How has your time in London been so far?

Jordan Ward: It's been great and fun. We rode roller coasters this morning at Thorpe Park.

NW: Have you been to London before?

JW: Yes, several times. I came the first four times for shows that I was dancing on when I was on tour as a dancer. And the last few times I came here, my friends were doing a pop-up for a project we were doing. Then, the last time was this year on the Louphoria tour with Smino.

NW: When it comes to your music, can you recollect a pivotal moment that made you realise that you wanted to make music? Or have you always been a musical person?

JW: I've always been a musical person; my mom is a singer within the music ministry at my church, so I grew up going to church around the music ministry a lot. There were probably several pivotal moments I can think of from when I was a kid. I grew up rapping and singing and dancing around my friends. When I was seven, I had a rhyme book which is like a notebook full of rhymes. When I was a kid, I would do freestyle battles with people at my community centre. Lock-ins, like the YMCA lock-ins. So, that was my type of art. By the time I was twelve or thirteen, I had aspirations in, but I ended up getting more into dance. I’d say that the moment I really decided I wanted to make music was when I was twenty-one, when I just started making music for fun when I was on tour.

NW: Can you describe a specific moment or experience that really influenced any one of your songs?

JW: ‘FORWARD’ the first track on the new album is about me and my friends driving to the mall or riding with my mom to the mall circa 2008. Probably wearing a mix of American Eagle and Hollister. I just have vivid memories of that. This other song called ‘Seedalight’ was inspired by this one night when I was on tour dancing and we were in Perth, Australia, and we were just on a rager. We were walking back from this beach party all the way back to our hotel and the sun came up.

NW: You’ve collaborated with a lot of different artists through a lot of your projects, but if you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would you choose and what sort of music do you think you'd make with that person?

JW: Aaliyah would be crazy… Mac Miller would be crazy.

NW: What sort of inspiration do you take from those two artists that makes you think that you two would make good music?

JW: Well, Aaliyah just always had these crazy colour palettes in her music. I experience music with synaesthesia. So, I see colours, or I perceive colours when I hear music. And her music is just so many different colours and I just feel like she's a lot of the DNA to what's going on. Mac Miller would be crazy just because I love Mac Miller. I came up with Mac Miller and it’s just so clear to me that I’m a descendent of that tree in some ways.

NW: Do you remember the moment when you realised that you were really making it as an artist in music?

JW: I’m working every day, man. You know, what does ‘making it’ even mean?

NW: Was there a turning point where you had people recognising you on the street or seeing that you had loads of streams and you were like, damn!

JW: It's been a very gradual process; I’m going to keep it real. I don't know if there’s really been one moment, but this has been a big year though. It's definitely been a big year of growth. There have been a lot of moments and a lot of people that have shown love. I didn't do this by myself, you know? I mean, we all are still building. So, it's been a gradual process. But I will say it early on, my friends were supportive. Not all of them, but that was probably one of the first moments, when my close friends were supportive of me.

NW: So, I feel like judging by your social media accounts, you're quite a playful person. What are some of your favourite things to do to de-stress and relax?

JW: Guess one.

NW: Smoking weed?

JW: Yessirski! [laughs] I like to smoke weed. I like to go out in nature. I like to wear goofy clothes, travelling the world and listening to music. Drawing, which just helps me unwind, and I love to dance and workout. I’m not a big movie or TV guy. I do enjoy a lot of them but don’t typically follow them.

NW: So, let's talk about your most recent album, FORWARD, and you also just released moreward(FORWARD) as well which was a deluxe album alongside it. How long had that initial forward project been in the making? And why create it?

JW: There's a song called ‘311’ featuring Gwen Bunn, and that was the first song we made, and it was the earliest work that ended up on the project. We made it on March 11, 2021, so that’s why it’s called ‘311’. That was me and Lido's first session and he’s the executive producer of the project. That's when it began, which is crazy because we dropped the album on March 3rd which was almost exactly two years after making that initial song. This album was just really inspired by me feeling like I needed to paint a more accurate and fuller picture of who Jordan Ward is; just to give more context.

I feel like a lot of the music that I released before the album was just kind of in real time. You know what I'm saying? The first EP was inspired by me having musical aspirations whilst being a dancer. Valley Hopefuls was inspired by that journey of being amongst my peers in that environment in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles. Remain Calm was inspired by me dealing with a lot of anxiety of getting into the transition of just being signed so I was transitioning to what being an artist was. Therefore, a lot of songs off the new album come off as love songs, but if you know my discography and go back, you’ll be able to discern that they’re really songs to people in my family, particularly people in my family. I'm just trying to give a little more context.

NW: Was there like a certain theme that you wanted to follow through the album as a whole?

JW: The album is called Forward, obviously for forward motion and evolution, but it's also ‘for Ward’. My name is Jordan Ward, so you know, it's a dedication, a homage to, a letter to, or a symbol to my family, for my family… or just of family, period. I'm an only child so I'm the last Ward. So, everything I'm doing is for Ward. Even this debut album is just a symbol or just a marker of the beginning of a journey that's ultimately Ward, my family.

NW: Is there anything you wanted your listeners to take away from the project?

JW: No, not really. I just hope they like it.

NW: Is there anything that you feel after listening from start to finish?

JW: That shit hard! [laughs]

NW: Since you mentioned that you were doing dance before, do you still dance now?

JW: For sure, I still dance. I like to take classes occasionally. I’ll never stop dancing for real.

NW: Do you think that you would be doing dance if you weren’t doing music? Or is there another creative medium that you would have been doing if music was not an option?

JW: Yeah, definitely dance or be a creative director or something. I still want to go into creative direction, but I probably would do that from a choreography side of things. Before I moved to L.A., after high school, I was applying to colleges and dance programs, and I was damn near a double major in marketing and dance. I was really in marketing and shit!

NW: So, you're going to be accompanying 6LACK on his Since I Have A Lover tour. So how did you and 6LACK get introduced?

JW: I met 6LACK a couple of years ago, just in passing because we had the same A&R, and we were working with a few of the same producers. We had met a couple of times and it was always just cool vibes. About a year before we finished the song ‘MUSTARD’, we were like, ‘we should send it to 6LACK’ but I didn’t know if I really liked that song. Then a year later I was working on it and thought maybe I should send it to him. And it was just great timing for it.

NW: So, what's next for Jordan Ward?

JW: So, after the 6LACK tour we're doing, we're doing our headline tour in Europe. We have seven shows in total: London, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, and Cologne. We’re about to be outside! Outside of touring, I've been working and collaborating with the homies, and you never know what people are doing, you know? I hope people release the music we’ve made together because it’s all dope!

Listen to Jordan Ward's latest release moreward(FORWARD) here!


bottom of page