Jordannah Elizabeth is one of the most innovative and exciting artists in the scene today. Her music never fails to please with its atmospheric and deeply emotional tones. There is something rather profound about her writing style, such that it captures the imagination of young music geeks like me. In the interview we talk about her new record A Rush and the power behind the music. Out on The Process Records A Rush just came out on February 17th, so get into the groove while its still fresh. You know you want to find out more!
So Bring To The Table came out back in July and you already have another album out! How do you manage to get stuff together and ready to be released so quickly?
I didn’t realize how fast the turn around was until people kept saying that. I mean, I’ve done four albums since 2012. Look them up, North Charles Sessions, Harvest Time, Bring to the Table and A Rush not to mention something like 40 bsides, duets and demos, and previous music projects.
I’ve been traveling and playing shows since 2004. People are just noticing now and commenting that I work “fast” or “a lot”. It is a blessing to be noticed, but I had to do all that to get to where I am now. Will I slow down? Yes, but slowing down for me is probably still a fast pace for some. When I buy a house and am able to connect with a good man and have a family, I will slow down. Until then, I am committed to my art and my writing. The benefits will come one day. I am already living better than I used to and am very thankful for that.
This seems to be a continuation on Bring To The Table, how do you feel that A Rush is an evolution on that record?
A number of people have said that A Rush is an evolution or a new level of Bring to the Table as well. I think that is a perception that I am happy to hear, but I honestly just set out to make an honest record. I give myself to my albums and I let them evolve organically. I didn’t push this one. I went with the flow, I let go of some of my creative control and shared my artistic vision with others.
My albums are connected and I guess evolve from one album to another in some ways because they are from the same source. As I evolve, the music evolves.
What direction do you see your music developing in in the future?
I think the music will be thick and atmospheric. Tiny seeds are bring sown, but I’m not saying much more than that right now.
There are a variety of lyrical topics covered on the record, was there any central focus you tried to have?
This album captures a time of protest in my culture’s political climate, a time of love and a time of loss in my personal life. It’s an art piece. I’m a solid songwriter, because I’ve been doing it for a long time, but this album really came from my imagination and from complex experiences that are a bit too hard for me to explain in conversation. The central focus was my heart.
Your music tends to be pretty “out there” yet not inaccessible. Do you think it could have some sort of mainstream success?
Well, I’m an out there woman who easily connects with people. I am an artist. I have creative ideas and a creative way of going about things…but I am grounded at this point in my life. I feel grounded. You can be unique and “out there” and still be sober, responsible, communicative and trustworthy. Not all artists are flakes.
With that said, I have signed with a manager and work hard to be able to reach as many people as possible. If the majority of this country or the world enjoys my music, that would be a great blessing.
You are obviously very busy outside of your music with your journalism. How does your experience as a writer affect your music?
My writing opens doors for me. I have something to offer the music industry. I think musicians should give back to their community in some way. Whether it be volunteering to teach music lessons, mentor or intern at a label or promotions company (and become professional in a different aspect of the music field), we should learn the ins and outs of our industry so we can become more poised and professional artists. It’s not cheating, it’s participating in a field we want to invest in us. What goes around comes around.
I noticed you have some pretty nifty tattoos, could you explain what they mean to you?
Initially, I wanted to have a bunch of tattoos so I could grow old and be an old lady with a bunch of tatts. I was teenager that thought it would be funny and awkward looking. My sense of humor was like that then– I liked to subtly play on people’s perception of how things should be. That’s what artists do.
Now I don’t think about my tatts much. They are just a part of my body like my arm hair and my ear lobes. To me, they mean I made a choice to express myself in a nonverbal way by having ink embedded into my skin. I like how it feels. You have to be brave to get tatts. I guess there are times when I want to challenge myself physically. The symbols – they have stories, maybe I will tell them one day.
You have a pretty distinct visual aesthetic to compliment the music, what inspires that?
The album cover? It’s a black and white photo of a human heart. My music comes from my heart. I give myself to it and I don’t ever want my music to be misconstrued to be a product or as a ploy for people to act like I’m anything but a committed musician, songwriter and spiritual being. While I am on this Earth, my heart will beat. It’s just a symbol telling listeners, potential entourages, lovers, collaborators and close friends to not get my message, motives and methods twisted. It comes from an honest and real place.
To head towards the end now, I want you to finish this sentence for me, “I’ve never told this story before and probably shouldn’t but…“
I missed attending The Black Ryder album release show last night and I wish with everything in me I could have made it.
Any final comments?
Love on another. When someone next to you falls down, pick them up. You never know where your life will take you and who you will need. Consider fellow artists, buy albums, support kickstarters and indiegogos, buy tickets to shows, ect and so forth...and I love you,