How does one measure their success level when their industry has been stripped of all typical barometers of success? For the current music industry, this is nothing less than an understatement. Devoid of all typical expectations; live concerts, travel, intimate fan interaction, in person collaboration and production, artists have turned to livestreams, social media, producing themselves and becoming their own labels---redefining the industry entirely.
Nothing strikes more true than when speaking with self-defined indie pop artist, Jordan Dean.
“I think the state of art in 2021, the state of what it means to society, I think it’s a little twisted. But I think, in general, it's still important, I like seeing what people have to say through indirect means,” stated Dean, drawing us into his own isolation experiences.
Dean began his music career taking piano lessons with a friend’s grandmother, which eventually led to picking out guitar chords at 15 and songwriting. Pandemic induced isolation consisted of becoming a one-man band, learning to produce and record himself.
“I kind of built it as a band would build it, except I'm just the one playing all the instruments,” Dean, regarding his latest release, “Local”
Removed from typical reliance on outside influences and producer, Dean’s isolation induced skill-building reflects the raw emotions and clean sounds of his latest “Local” release. Dean told us that most of the tracks were written at 18 and 19, reflecting on his Midwestern upbringing.
“The Midwest in general is kind of overlooked, everyone loves to talk about New York and LA and those sonic opposites… but no one really talks about what's going on in the middle. I wanted to pay tribute to the people that were around me growing up, and the kind of things I experienced, instead of trying to make these grand dramatic stories.”
Staying true to his roots has garnered nothing but success for Dean. His single “Local,” which seems to convey Dean’s feelings on the monotony of a night out on the local town as its chorus repeats, “It’s the same old same old every night,” has racked up 44,000 streams since its release. Dean’s passion for representing the beauty in monotony, symbolic of our current collective isolation, seems to have spoken to many listeners.
Dean’s style and taste have never been isolated within his home, however. Citing influences such as Jamie T and The Arctic Monkeys, a majority of his biggest inspirations hail from the UK.
“When I first started playing guitar and like getting into songwriting, Ed Sheeran... he was doing the thing with the acoustic guitar and that kind of got me more into like a London indie scene,” Dean said. His influences encompass many genres, citing a dream collaboration to be UK R&B singer Bakar, known for the hit, “Hell-N-Back.”
Outside of the UK indie scene, Dean quoted influences as older punk, rock and soul generes, citing artists such as The Strokes and Sam Cooke.
“I think it's so interesting, because when you get your license, you have to figure out what you're gonna play in the car so you form your music taste at, 15, 16 years old.” Dean told us, referring to the longevity of certain influences on the development of his overall taste.
Although location plays a large role in the content of Dean’s music, Qore got the scope on the singer’s upcoming move to Nashville, a city known for its musical prowess. Dean stated the move to be driven out of a desire to form a stronger personal community of musicians.
Desire for more in person interaction and community building reflected many of Dean’s future goals.
“I think people are a lot more honest when they can be face to face. You can have better conversations and a lot more constructionist talking points, especially in art, when you get that interactive human to human connection,” said Dean.
Regarding performances, Dean stated he has been primarily homebound since gigging in March of 2020. One of his most memorable past shows was a basement show with Sumbuck and The Wonderfool of the band Caamp.
“We were just, like, partying and playing cards until like, five in the morning. And then they walked out of the house, and we were right behind them and they just disappeared into the night. I don't even know where they went. It was so weird. It was so mysterious”
Dean stated he hoped to someday play a festival Glastonbury, referencing his UK inspired beginnings, as a future concert goal.
For fans hoping to stay up to date on the artist’s development, Dean is releasing an acoustic live session from the “Local” EP on April 6. He can be found on all streaming platforms, as well as on Youtube, Instagram, and on TikTok. Stream the live session on Spotify: