Connections Magazine, March 2008. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to read the actual text if the print is too small:
Jordan White is a young singer-songwriter from
When White took those first steps towards his career in music, he never dreamed that his leisure interest would take him down a path of an actual professional career in the industry. He was after all, only in second grade at the time. “Although I think that I would have come into music eventually regardless of who my teacher was, it goes all the way back to second grade. Mrs. Higgins, what a great teacher she was. She had this activity where we could bring in those little Casio keyboards to class so we could play a song as a group. I didn’t have one of my own and I wanted to play too, so my parents bought me one for Christmas and that’s the first time I ever played. I was just lucky to have been exposed to music at such a young age.” White said nostalgically
Growing up in
Eventually, after moving to PA, White became adept with the acoustic and electric guitars as well as the piano and keyboard. And soon after, he began writing his own lyrics and training his voice, becoming not only a musician, but also a singer-songwriter.
With influences such as, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Van Morrison, R.E.M., Counting Crows, The Clash, The Police, and Guns 'N Roses, or in White’s words, “Bands that have a sound that’s immediately distinguishable from others.” he was able to develop his own unique blend of harmony and meaning that gained him regional popularity.
He even made it to the second round in the American Idol preliminaries, unfortunately not quite high enough to make it onto TV, but just far enough to joke that Ryan Seacrest was “Extremely small and not intimidating at all.”
After years of solo performances and membership in several bands White was approached by an agency, “I signed with Media Five Entertainment out of
Soon after signing the contract with his agency White’s crisp, signature vocals were landing him gigs for shows as far away as
“There’s a beauty in the struggle to create music. Music, poetry, art in general, they’re all pathways to connecting with other people. What amazes me is to see people singing the words to the songs I wrote alone in my room sitting on my bed in the middle of the night. It’s something that sort of took me by surprise.” White stated.
White has equal interest in playing his instruments, using his voice, and writing his songs. Yet his wide-ranging singing is the centerpiece of his performances. His tenor vocals have been compared to a “young Billy Joel”, Dicky Betts of the Allman Brothers Band, or even a determined duplication of Axl Rose.
It was that vocal range that caught the interest of the band KineticBlu, which is the group that White is currently working with as the lead vocalist, keyboardist, and rhythm guitarist. “There’s only so much you can do with one instrument and one voice. I’ve always wanted to be part of a band, I’ve never been that interested in having a venue display ‘Jordan White’ on the marquee.” White found a new unity with KineticBlu quickly complimenting his fellow band members on their skills and stating that performing with a band is much different than a solo performance. “So it turned out the drummer Rob Lilly, and his lead guitarist Brian ‘The Brain’, Kibbler had been playing shows with Katherine McPhee from American Idol and Bowling For Soup, and within a week we were getting a new band together in a garage somewhere in
White was particularly happy with how quickly the band blended together, combining multiple music genres into a cohesive form with ease. It was like giving White’s softer melodies a dose of caffeine and an occasional electric shock. The new sound was just enough to attract audiences from both the softer, more melodic rock elements and the alternative rock audience. This new capsule for White’s music helped to bring his lyrics to whole new audiences.
As with many professional performers, White’s emotional and melancholy songs have often left listeners with both a sense of relation, and a curiosity as to the inspiration for the song. “Much of what I write about deals with people leaving or me leaving, and dealing with the fact that leaving is very ambiguous. Leaving someone, leaving from somewhere, leaving something behind - caught between things we want and things we can't have. So if you're watching me sing these songs, you're also watching me trying to figure it all out.” White stated.
He went on to describe his attempts at conveying his most personal memories to his audience, “When I wrote them it was to sort of capture and harness what I felt at that moment in time, like a photograph. So when I play a song I'm just doing my best to deliver that memory, that invisible photograph to the rest of the world that I was lucky enough to trap before it slipped away. Most of my songs are based around the lyrics, because the message is as important to me as the melody that supports it. The audience is given a three or four minute glimpse into my life and how I've decided to deal with it at that moment in time. They're free to decide if I was right or if I was wrong, if I deserved what I got or if I'll deserve what I might get.”
In a rare open description, White went on to explain the inspiration behind one of his most popular songs, “I wrote a song about the very moment on
White stated that he believes in a balance in lyrical writing. He finds that lyrics should be easy enough to enough to understand, but also complex enough to warrant curiosity and thought. “A song that always gets me is one that I have to work for a little. The way I figure it, if someone took the time to write it, rehearse it, and record it, it must be something they really believe in so should at least make an attempt. If it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work for you and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Everything has been said and done in so many ways, but to be unique and approach an old situation that everyone can recognize in a new light… that is my method. There are so many phrases that have become disposable; they go in one ear and out the other. Suppose you wanted to tell a woman that she was beautiful. There's no need to say to her "you're beautiful" - it just doesn't mean anything anymore. Surely the first time someone wrote it, it meant a lot, but now it's just a phrase. But can it be said in a smaller, more sincere way? The same goes for lyrics. You want to say things in a way that lets someone in the audience who hears me sing it know exactly how it feels, because they’ve felt it themselves at some point.”
White looks forward to a future filled with continuing success, but is quick to note that he would gladly continue his work, even if it did not bring him fame or fortune. He finds the energy released through music to be more than simply freeing, “If I saw my future in a crystal ball, and I saw that my career wouldn't progress past a certain level, I'd still do it. As cliché as it sounds, it's my life's work, and I'd do it all for free. Sometimes you'll hear artists discussing how they "suffer" for their art because of the extreme focus and dedication to their goals, as the ‘rest’ of their life becomes neglected. I actually feel the opposite, because I think I'd actually suffer without it. Without music the rest of my life would have less meaning.”
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