We had the pleasure of interviewing Jordan Fletcher over Zoom video!
The Jacksonville-born and Nashville-based artist conveys his story with play-by-play urgency and intense attention to detail over authentic country spiked with rock spirit....
We had the pleasure of interviewing Jordan Fletcher over Zoom video!
The Jacksonville-born and Nashville-based artist conveys his story with play-by-play urgency and intense attention to detail over authentic country spiked with rock spirit.
You’ll get to know him not only as a songwriter, but also as a dad, a husband, a surfer, and a believer. After racking up millions of streams independently and canvasing the country with the likes of Muscadine Bloodline and Kip Moore, this approach defines a series of 2021 singles and his forthcoming full-length debut album for Triple Tigers.
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What's going on. It is Adam. Welcome back to bring in a backwards, a podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had the opportunity to talk to Jordan Fletcher over zoom video. Jordan was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, and he talks about how he got into music. Started playing drums at a very early age, started around six years old, did that through middle school, high school was in the marching band and drum line around 15. He picked up the guitar and was way until like Jack Johnson. So he was trying to learn some of the Jack Johnson songs, but didn't really stick with it. As far as songwriting went, he didn't really pick up songwriting until he attended college. 5 (1m 54s): While in college, he had a couple friends that were songwriters and he reached out and was like, Hey, can you kinda help me write some songs that led to them writing about five songs together and Jordan deciding, you know what, college ain't for me, I'm moving to Nashville. So he ends up moving to Nashville. He starts off by just trying to get some gigs in local bars, attending writer's rounds and eventually lands a publishing deal. So he talks to us about that. Putting a song up on his Instagram, being contacted by the highway, Sirius XM, and then asking him like, Hey, like, yeah, are you signed? You have a manager. What's the deal with the song song ends up landing him a new publishing deal and a record deal. 5 (2m 40s): So we hear all about that experience with his song called rather be broke writing and releasing his first EAP, true stories and all about his new record, which is also autobiographical much like true stories. His record is the story of his life. And he tells it as he recently had a son, his son wants to find anything about them. He just hands them. The album goes here. Here's my story, which I love you can watch our interview with Jordan on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It would be awesome if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik TOK at bringing back pod. And if you're listening to this on Spotify, apple music, Google podcasts, it'd be great if you follow Sarah as well and hook us up with a five-star review, 6 (3m 25s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 5 (3m 31s): We're bringing it backwards with Jordan Fletcher. 7 (3m 35s): So man, 5 (3m 35s): Hey Jordan, how are you 7 (3m 37s): Doing great, man. How you doing? 5 (3m 39s): I'm doing, doing well. I appreciate you doing this 7 (3m 41s): Dude. Thanks for having me. I appreciate you having me, man. How's my, is the lighting and sound good? 5 (3m 46s): Yeah, it looks great. 7 (3m 47s): Cool, cool. Yeah. 5 (3m 48s): Carseat mirror. You have back there. I had one of those. My kids. 7 (3m 52s): Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Now I was going to do it outside. Cause it was kind of nice this morning, but it just, the rain came down and so it was either in the truck or with the baby screaming the whole time. So The truck was in the 5 (4m 8s): Nashville. 7 (4m 9s): Yeah. Yeah. Old Hickory, like 15 minutes Northeast. 5 (4m 12s): Okay. I'm in Nashville, south. 7 (4m 15s): Okay, cool. Yeah. 5 (4m 16s): Out by like down by Franklin, it was snowing. Like my, I think within the last hour, was that, did that happen in why your house 7 (4m 22s): Snowing 5 (4m 24s): Naked? No, I got yet my wife texted me and she said it's snowing. And I looked out the window and I didn't see snow. So maybe it was melting, but yeah, bizarre. 7 (4m 35s): The whole world is doing its thing right now. I mean, holy smokes. The other day I got a sunburn Mellon, the lawn and then, you know, a little casual snow. 5 (4m 46s): It's just, I was like, no way I look out the window. I'm like, I don't see snow, but who knows? I've seen 7 (4m 51s): Weirdest variety anyways. You know what I mean? 5 (4m 53s): Exactly. Exactly. 7 (4m 54s): I'm not going to complain. 5 (4m 56s): Well, my name is Adam and this is about you and your journey and music. And we'll talk about the new record. 7 (5m 1s): Sweet man. Sounds great. 5 (5m 3s): Cool. I saw you're born and raised in Florida. 7 (5m 6s): Jacksonville. 5 (5m 8s): Tell me about that. 7 (5m 10s): Well, I lived in the same house until I moved to Nashville. So I mean, I was surrounded by family cousins, all that, you know, big family grew up playing music in church. And I started drumming when I was like six. So man, it was, it was, it was good. It was a great environment. And it was also kind of as far as like the musical journey is concerned, it was never really on my radar. So it was always just something I did for fun. And especially songwriting. I didn't get into that until college, but yeah man, it was, it was cool. Like 30 minutes from the beach. We, I mean we were right near to the river, the St. John's river. So we kind of got best of both worlds, you know, but yeah. 5 (5m 52s): Your surfer. 7 (5m 53s): Yeah. I mean, when I'm around waves, obviously Percy priest lake isn't for surfing. 5 (5m 60s): I figured as much, but yeah. So when you you're growing up though, you're surfing I'm from San Diego originally. So I thought that was cool. I didn't surf though. I had friends that did, but The water is too cold for me. I was, 7 (6m 15s): I get that. That's one thing that the Atlantic has gone for it as far as like surfing's concerned generally you don't need to wear a wetsuit. 5 (6m 22s): Yeah. You, I, I would be in like a full wetsuit even in the summer, if it was me surfing, like at least in the Pacific ocean, it was freezing. It was like 60. And my friend's like, oh, it's warm, got the spring suit on. I'm like, you didn't realize it's like 66 degrees out there. 7 (6m 37s): Yeah. I remember I went, I went surfing in board shorts Christmas day, one time. 5 (6m 42s): Oh wow. That's pretty impressive. 7 (6m 44s): And I wasn't trying to be tough. It was just like straight up 75 degrees, 80 degrees water was like 70. I was like, no problem, dude. That's got it. 5 (6m 52s): That's amazing. That's amazing. Okay. So you said you started playing drums at early six years old. 7 (7m 1s): Oh man. I don't know. I think I was always a pretty hyperactive kid and I was always banging on stuff. I guess I had some propensity to, I don't know, rhythm or whatever. And I just like was obsessed with drums. I think it was, cause it kind of had like that destructive element or you could just beat stuff as hard as you, as you could, you know? And so I begged my parents enough and they got me a drum set for Christmas one year. And so I just kinda, I kinda stuck with it and you know, band all throughout school, you know, middle school, high school did drum line March and did all that. And then when I got to college, I was playing in some bands and like played for churches and different things like that 5 (7m 43s): Still is counter. 7 (7m 45s): Yeah. As a drummer. Yeah, man. I mean I started, I started playing guitar when I was probably 15, you know, I, my, my cousin, Rick, he was playing guitar. He got a cool guitar one time and he was into it and made a bunch of songs. And like I was really into Jack Johnson back then or I mean, I still am and just came out with a killer song by the way, which I'm just going out today. But yeah, I mean, that was like the first introduction I had to like guitar was Jack Johnson and all that stuff. So big and big Jack Johnson guy. And I was listening to that, Dave Matthews, some different stuff. Cause I was like, all my cousins were older and they were into that stuff. And so kinda got started there with guitar, but I didn't do anything like out until really till I moved to Nashville. 5 (8m 27s): Okay. So you just had me at 15 years, like trying to learn the Jack Johnson songs or whatever, or were you writing music at that point to 7 (8m 34s): No, no, no, no, it wasn't right in squat. I was like just trying to get the guitar parts and like, cause I wanted to do something and, and you know, it's like when you're hanging out with your buddies or your family, when it's like, you know, in like 2002 or 2003, either someone's playing like a video game, Tony Hawk or something, or you're kind of sitting there, you know what I mean? So it was either like, you know, go play manhunt, go play video game. Or if nobody's doing that play, do something else. And nobody had drum set. So I was like, well, I better learn how to play guitar. I'm going to do something. 5 (9m 8s): Did you play in bands? Like as a drummer? I mean, you said near the drum line and marching band, but everyone needs a drummer. That's like the person that's a key to like, I'm sure you had like the pick of everyone you could play with anyone, 7 (9m 21s): Man. I wasn't crazy. Like I wasn't banned crazy. Like I enjoyed playing. Like I worked with a church like throughout college where I played every Sunday and that was kinda my gig. And I didn't, I had a couple bands, like I was in this worship group that, that kind of played around when I was in like middle school and high school and stuff. But man, I didn't get, like, I had a lot of buddies who oddly enough, that guy who plays guitar for me now in Nashville, we grew up together and stuff. And he was like, he was really big. And like he had a bunch of different bands and stuff like that throughout like the beaches area and like around town for whatever reason. I never like went crazy with that. I just kind of loved playing and if I could I'd go. 7 (10m 2s): But yeah man, I just, I did that. So it was kind of that much more surprising even to me when I moved to Nashville, kind of, it seemed out of the blue, even to me, you know what I mean? 5 (10m 14s): Did you move, you didn't move to Nashville to attend college. So did you? 7 (10m 18s): No, I dropped out of college. I was going to UNF. 5 (10m 22s): Oh, 7 (10m 22s): Ah, yeah. Yeah. UNF university of north Florida, otherwise known as you never finished. And it is true. 5 (10m 30s): Is that really the slogan? I don't know. I mean the slogan, but 7 (10m 34s): Oh 5 (10m 35s): Yeah. People say that. 7 (10m 37s): Yeah. Does anyone ask any of my fellow ospreys? They, it takes like seven years to get a four year degree. 5 (10m 43s): That's funny. Cause there is, there was USD university of San Diego that people call the university of spoiled daughters. Cause it was like so expensive to go there. 7 (10m 58s): It was a good school. I just like it. Wasn't my thing. I was five years in. I changed my major three times. I was just like, you know, I had a year left. So it's like, I would have been six years just to get like a bachelor's and whatever. And it was like, I don't know. It felt like God was like, Hey man, go do something else. I don't know why I moved in it to be completely honest. It was just like some weird thing to where I was like, I'm going to move from Florida, which is, I mean, that's all I did. We were, the school is like 15 minutes from the beach. So you go to the beach and surf and do stuff and get to do cool things. And then I was like, okay, I'm just going to leave everything I do to move to Nashville because 5 (11m 37s): Just playing songs at that time, I guess I'm ready to cut you off, but I'm curious, what would Nashville? 7 (11m 43s): The five songs I've written five songs. So I guess I just caught the bug man. I had a, I had a good buddy, Ryan Nelson. He's a great artist in town, in Nashville. And we went to high school together and kinda, he got me started on writing songs. I was like, yo man, I don't know anything about writing songs. Like help me out. And like him and his brother, they were always in bands growing up and they just kinda like, Hey man, come write some songs with us. Did that whole thing kind of coach me in. And I got a few under my belt. 5 (12m 12s): Well, what drew was that? I mean like one day or you're just like, I really want to write songs. There's something called to you or 7 (12m 19s): It was a dude it's like a bug it's like, it'll, it'll catch it. Like you'll catch it. And for me it's like my favorite thing to do, you know, it was like something that didn't exist in my life, you know, six years ago or seven years ago. It didn't, it wasn't even an existing thing in my life. 5 (12m 36s): It's so crazy. 7 (12m 37s): And then now it's my favorite thing to do. It's one of my, like the, the it's like the pinnacle of like personal expression and like therapy and all that stuff. It's like one of the most useful tools that I have is speaking the language of songwriting for whatever that's worth. However, well that is, that's not what it's all about. It's like, you know, that's just like, as my relationship with songwriting is just like that now, which is, which is crazy. You know what I mean? I never would have seen a comment. 5 (13m 6s): Yeah. Wow. So you had five songs, you're your friends, you, well, you've reached out to friends said, Hey, I want to learn how to do this better or whatever. And then you guys wrote some songs. You had a few songs into your belt and then you're like, what I I'm done with, you know, you said just kind of had a calling to be like, I'm done here at school. I'm going to move to Nashville to pursue this. 7 (13m 26s): Yeah. I literally talked to everybody like tried to get my grandpa. My grandpa was paying for my college at time and I was like, we were kind of driving. We were in Georgia and we were, he had this old farm and we were just kind of like driving around and he, I told him what I was thinking and he was like, yeah man, you should probably go do that. And I was like, okay, that's weird that he's cool with that. And then like I told him, I talked to my past saving 5 (13m 52s): For college. 7 (13m 54s): I was like, I'm going to, I'm going to go To do something I've never done before. And I'm like, I like talking, talking to my pastor, looking for him to be like, no man, you should probably. And he was like, honestly, man, it sounds like a good idea. And then like I told my mom and my mom was like, yeah, you definitely got to go. And I was like, what's going to happen here. Yeah. Yeah. But to be fair, I did sell it as I was taking a month off. I was going to do three months. I was like, I'll be in Nashville for three months. We'll see what happens, you know what I mean? And so then honestly the person that gave me the biggest fight about it was the lady at admissions at UNF. I was like, Hey, I just, I just want my associates. 7 (14m 36s): Can I have my AA? She's like, well that's gonna be $25. And I was like, okay. I mean, I didn't know I had to pay for the piece of paper, but sure. Whatever. And she goes, you know, you only have a year left to meet your bachelor's. And she was like really sour about, I was like, listen, I hear what you're saying. Just giving her, Hey, I'm not coming back. I'll 5 (14m 51s): See you. She's just looking at you as a dollar sign. She's like, okay, She's not going to get another one year of money from the sky, 7 (14m 60s): But I didn't even pay for the piece of paper. I still don't have my cars. Twenty-five bucks like, come on, dude. 5 (15m 7s): That's funny. Somebody should pay. They should just buy it for you. Like for Christmas, you know, you just shows up. You're like, oh, there's my AA. That's amazing. 7 (15m 19s): Thanks guys. No, that's hilarious. But yeah, that's it. And I ended up getting up here and you know, there's a million ways to kind of enter this industry in Nashville as I'm sure you're aware. And you know, it was just kind of one of those things that, like I said, I had some buddies that moved up here before me and they, you know, show me around town, got involved with like, you know, the revival at tin roof on the mom brand and like Rob Snyder and Channing Wilson. And then through that, it was back when ward who runs whiskey jam was like one of the main bartenders there. And I got to meet him and then got plugged in with whiskey jam and just kind of like got involved through the songwriting community in that way. 7 (16m 1s): And man, it was just like the, you know, the circle of people that you work with expands. And then you find the, the, the people that want to work with you, you know, longer term and you kind of get partners and all that stuff. And yeah, it's been crazy. Like to see how it, how it evolves, you know? Cause this industry there's like, it's like the wild west. There's really no rules. 5 (16m 20s): Sure. The, the people that you knew that were living here, were they also in the music? I mean, did they move here for music as well? 7 (16m 27s): Yeah, yeah. Yeah. 5 (16m 28s): So you had some sort of ground when it came to, like, you didn't just show up here with your bags and you're like, okay, well where do I go? 7 (16m 35s): Right. Yeah. So I had like, you know, my buddies were like, yeah, man, you go here. And so it was like, you know, it started off with, okay, Tuesday night we go to revival Wednesday night, we go to, what is it? I forgot what it was. Thursday night was threesome, Thursdays at a poor house. Monday was whiskey jam. So it was like, literally you worked. And then that night you would try and get on around or go just shake hands. You know, it was just every night kind of doing that whole meet and greet thing and yeah, man. 5 (17m 8s): So you just show up for somebody listening that doesn't understand what I mean. I vaguely and I get it. I understand what you saying. But like, if, so a writers round is when you can show up there, right. And hope that you can get up on stage almost like a, like if you're at a comedy night, like trying to get five minutes, is that similar to what you, what you were doing there, 7 (17m 27s): They can be like that. Most of them are already booked, you know? So it's like, you're you get, you go there, you shake hands with whoever's, you know, the person that puts it on and really anybody not, not to say it like writers' rounds in a lot of ways, help bars. So it's like if somebody wants to sign up and be like, Hey, I'm going to go the X-bar and I'll put on a writer's round. If you'll, you know, do something and sometimes they'll cut a deal with like drinks for the, the players or whatever. And it's just like, Hey, you do this. I'm going to try and bring in some more foot traffic. And it starts that way. And sometimes the writers' rounds kind of become their own thing too, where it's like, that's why people show up. So it's like, once you get to know the person or people that put it on, you kinda like, Hey man, I got some songs I want to showcase and you'll get the opportunity to play three or four songs in a night when, if it's a popular round, it's like, you could, you know, you could get 30 or 40 different eyes on it. 7 (18m 19s): And it's pretty, pretty helpful, man. It, it helped me a lot. You know, 5 (18m 23s): What was the first kind of moment that you were like, validating moment? You're like, okay, this is working. I need to keep, you know, going forward. 7 (18m 33s): Well, man, there's like a million little victories, but I think the thing that let me, cause you know, you're when you're in, when you start your own business and especially in an industry, that's so, you know, saturated, right. I don't like using the word competitive because a lot of the people are just like really everybody's trying to just trying to help. And you know, it's like, it's not competitive in the sense of like, you're going to steal my fans. It's like, it's just a lot of people it's saturated, you know? And so 5 (18m 58s): It's like 7 (18m 59s): When you're in a second 5 (18m 60s): Here, like really uplifting for the most part, right. I mean, trying to help everyone, 7 (19m 5s): This is a rising tide lifts, all ships kind of deal. And it's like, I mean, you can run into people that kind of might have that attitude or they might have it for a little while and then come out of it. I mean, it's like this, this is a journey for everybody, man. But for me, it's like, I think, yeah, I think it was, it was when I got a, a pub deal when I got my first pub deal with see Gale, that kind of gave me the validation of, okay, first of all, I actually have a timeframe on contract that I'm going to get to work with these people as long as they, you know, if they want to work with me through these different sections of time, you know, and I'm going to get a paycheck, you know what I mean? 7 (19m 47s): And it was like, that was the first time where it was like, okay, I'm not, I don't have to solely do landscape work or delivery work or whatever, bouncing, whatever I was doing, you know, anything you can do. And it can't, you can't really get a good job, you know? I mean, not to say that. Yeah. I mean, no, there, a lot of Margaret jobs, you can't really get a really good job that pays really well because you can't commit to it. 5 (20m 9s): Right. 7 (20m 11s): Cause if you get a show, Hey man, I gotta be gone this weekend. I'm playing, you know, in, in Arkansas, in Texas, I'll be gone from Thursday to Sunday and they're like, well, you're, you know, on schedule. You're like, well I'm gone. And so 5 (20m 23s): You cannot really can't be all in, right. Like nice on the other gigs, if you want to go all in with the music then. 7 (20m 29s): Right. And, but I mean, it's, it's that town. So I mean, people get, it's just one of those things where, you know, you can't necessarily keep a steady job if you're not steady. So I think for me it was, it was cool to get that, you know, I know it's not about money at all, but it's money is a tool and it allows you to do this for longer. And so like when I had something that was coming directly from the music that I was getting to create, that was like, okay, so the, this business is actually starting to feed itself a little bit. And it was, it was really cool. I mean, that was a huge point for me. 5 (20m 60s): And were you able to write with some pretty cool people out of that? Or like at first kind of like, whoa, like I'm so glad I, you know, not only is, am I getting a check, which is not to say that that's the most important thing, but obviously like you said, you gotta have a roof over your head. You gotta have food in your mouth or you're not going to be able to make it, but like, was there a moment that you're like, oh, I get to help write this song or I get to help write a song and it's going to be pitched to X, Y or Z? Or was that like, what was, what did you say that moment was 7 (21m 28s): Man? I think I, for me, it was like when I got in with that crew, because like I really kind of, and I still am a student of songwriting. So like, I, I love getting to pick people's brains that like have experience and confidence and, and, and that are like, you know, tried and trued songwriters, you know, like the, the people that have been here for 30 years and have been able to do it for 30 years, you know? So like crystal ball, one of the owners of see Gale when I got to write with him, like when it was kind of like in that early phases of all that, I was like, this guy's got 20 something. Number ones, this guy, obviously he's got something figured out, you know what I mean? Like writing a lot of the songs that I grew up listening to in country music, you know what I mean? 7 (22m 11s): A lot of that, Brad Paisley stuff, a lot of those other ones, Josh Turner, stuff like that. And it's just like, when you get to sit in those rooms, I, I was thankful that I kind of did have the mindset of being like, obviously do and work as hard as you can to be a contributor to the song, but also like yours open, like these guys, like you just got front row seats to this, like, you know, doctorate level, class and songwriting you're doing it. So it was like one of those things to where it was like kind of surreal, but you still had to keep your wits about you to be able to be like, okay, I'm going to just come in open completely open-minded. 7 (22m 51s): And to like, recognize that these people have a skill set that I really want to kind of choose a lot for myself. And like, that was a big deal for me. And I mean, to this day, like anytime I get in a room with accomplished songwriters and even like brand new songwriters, like I, I now kind of have that comfortability to, to kind of even pick out like skillsets that new new writers have that I'm like, that's great. That's really good. Like I want to do that. You know what I mean? So it's that, that was kind of where that all started. You know, 5 (23m 23s): <inaudible> not only do you guys get to work with certain people, but you can absorb what they're doing and, you know, kind of build your own skillset while working really. Right. 7 (23m 33s): Yeah. And you learn how to learn to write, you know, it's like, it's like when you, when you see people doing it right, and you learn the way to do it, that's the Nashville is such a cool place because it's like, I personally the best songwriters in the world live in Nashville, Tennessee. I think the Nashville way of writing songs is one of the best ways to get good at songwriting. You know what I mean? It's very 5 (23m 59s): Structured, 7 (24m 1s): Very structured. It's got a way of doing it. And depending on how, like the commercial, like center center of commercial commerciality is it changes a little bit, but it definitely has the, the, like the system of like, right, right, right. And it's like, there's no better way to get good at songwriting because then you've got the rule of learn the rules to break them loose, learn the rules to carve your own path. And that takes, you know, getting to know yourself and just kind of putting the reps in. So it was like, for me, that was like, that was a, that was a huge deal to like actually learn. This is right. This person has done this. Right. I'm going to assume this is like true north. And then kind of find your own path after that, 5 (24m 39s): When you're working with a publisher and have a pub deal, are you still writing like a lot of the times, are you you're writing to kind of help other writers, right. Is that kind of part of, part of the deal or writing songs to pitch to other artists? Like, are you also writing songs of your own and continuing to just try to pursue like a solo career at that point? Or is that like frowned upon, like, I don't know how that works in the industry. 7 (25m 3s): I think a lot of ways, it just depends on what your, the intentions are at the beginning of the deal. I was blessed because like Siegel was always like very much a family style kind of thing. And they were always just really generous with time and advice and just like creatively being like very accommodating to like, for me, obviously. So my deal, my actual contract, what was involved in my artist artistry. So me being an artist was kind of assumed and was kind of, it was one of the main points of the deal as well, as much as writing songs for other people. So, and you're kind of in the spot to where you do all of it. 7 (25m 43s): I mean, if you're writing four or five songs a week, I mean, you can kind of cover as much ground as you want. You know what I mean? And so, as long as you have a team that's, you know, supportive of what you're doing and you're, you're able to like, like everybody understands what the intention is. I think for me, that was just a big deal that everybody was like onboard to where it's never felt like there was a pushback to where it was like, Hey, I'm doing this for me. Hey, I'm doing this for me. But like on this side of the genre, this side of the genre or whatever, Hey, this is a pitch for X or this is a, can we try and put this on commercials or sink or whatever. And it's like, they were always willing to kind of chase my attention deficit or 5 (26m 25s): Yeah, 7 (26m 26s): It's, it's, it's per it's per deal. You know what I mean? It depends on who you work with. Because like I said, there are no rules. I just feel like in my situation, I was given some pretty good training wheels because these guys were like, gave me all the tools to like learn, but also definitely got behind me and what I was getting to create. 5 (26m 46s): And then 2018, you got a chance to do a tour. Is that what I read? Like a year? What? Selling merch or something and 7 (26m 54s): Yeah. Yeah. So MozCon bloodline, they're an awesome band around town, like independent killing it, country band. And I got to meet them through a man, my manager at the time it was their manager and I was on the road drumming. Cause when I got to town, I initially, because that's what I knew how to do. I got on the road with a buddy and we were just kinda road dog in it. Okay. 5 (27m 18s): So this is free writing songs and everything or 7 (27m 21s): No, when I got the town, I was, I was right. I was riding, I got a town, but I didn't have like, I wasn't selling that. I wasn't like, Hey guys, I'm a, I'm a songwriter. It was like, I've been drumming for 10, 12 years. However long I've been drumming for 5 (27m 36s): Free pub deal. Sorry to cut you off. 7 (27m 38s): Yeah. 5 (27m 39s): Oh, okay. Sorry. No, but I'm curious because I think this is the coolest story. 7 (27m 43s): Well, so yeah, so I'm in town. I get six months in, I get on the road with Joe Fortner, me and one of my buddies, I grew up with it. I was living with, we all like formed a band around this dude and we just like gotten his Ford Explorer and got a U haul and just ran all over the place in the Southeast and kind of learned what to do and what not to do. And I was like, man, I didn't come here to be a drummer. I want to be a songwriter and an artist. And so I got in touch with, you know, Gary and Charlie from Muskatine and they were like, yeah, man, if you want to, you know, if you can sell some t-shirts and drivers, sprinter van will, you know, keep that opening slot for you. And they basically got exclusive opening for them for like two years. 7 (28m 25s): So we ran all, oh man, it was massive because they were bringing in crowds, even then they were bringing in crowds and some of their like core fan areas, like you're looking at 700, 800 people, like that's huge, like who does that? And they don't live in town for like a year or two or whatever. And so like, I got to do that and really like, you know, to toss in the fire. Cause I'd never done that before. I'd never played 40 minutes, 45 minutes sets and play my own music for like actually like paying customers. And so like I got to learn about all that stuff. And then as time went by, I ended up that's when in 2018 I'd gotten that deal with, with C Gail. And then I also transitioned out of being the merge guy, but we were always good friends. 7 (29m 8s): And so they were like, Hey man, follow us around during this tour. And so I got this truck bed, this camper that I put in the back of this truck actually, and just, you know, ran as far north is, you know, Buffalo, New York as far south as Pensacola actually I think we went down to Tampa and then as far west, as Wichita falls, Texas drove every bit of it, you know, slept in, slept in the truck and kinda learned, learned a lot, 5 (29m 35s): Learned the road. 7 (29m 37s): Oh yeah, man. I learned, I learned a lot. I learned that if you want to, you can save a lot of money. If you have a planet fitness black card. 5 (29m 47s): That's 7 (29m 47s): 20 bucks a month, baby. Yeah. 5 (29m 49s): Yeah. Get a shower and 7 (29m 52s): Get a workout in shower. Go to bed. Yeah. 5 (29m 57s): Oh, that's amazing. Well, okay. So 2020 hits. And how does obviously it affected everyone, but like in your sense, what did that allow for more time to write? I mean, you had a big song last year that I want to get to, but like, so you are what writing and then where were you in? 2020 happens in 2020 7 (30m 21s): The yeah, tornado. And then, then, then the world ended 5 (30m 24s): And I was bad. 7 (30m 27s): It was insane, man. Like I, so I was bouncing at 10 roof checking IDs the day before the shutdown. Oh wow. Remember the flatten, the curve two-week thing. 5 (30m 40s): Oh yeah. 7 (30m 43s): No, not quite. 5 (30m 44s): It's still a little bumpy. 7 (30m 46s): Yeah. It's still on the road, but I mean, it was, yeah, it was scary, man. I was like, I was in a position to where like right, right before, actually right there. Right. When that happened, we found out that my wife was pregnant. 5 (31m 3s): Wow. 7 (31m 5s): And it was at the end. It was like towards the end of my D my first deal with Sega, which was a four year deal. And no, it was a three-year deal. Sorry was the end of my, the three-year deal with them. And it was just one of those times where it was like, nobody knows what's happening. The songs nobody's playing, nobody's putting out music really at the beginning, nobody knew what was going on. And I mean, it turned into like, you know, everybody started putting on music, but at the beginning we were like, okay, is anyone even cutting? Like, what are we doing? Are we writing? And we were all just kind of like in limbo, but we just kept riding. I got on zip, we got on zoom and me and some buddies just like started hashing out and trying to get some songs written and ended up getting my first major label cut off the, I think it was the second zoom song I ever wrote. 7 (31m 50s): It was that better than me song that Riley green cut and had Randy on sing on. And yeah, it was about what was going on. It was like, it was kinda, it was really cathartic and it was validating as dark as that time was. And scary as that time was, it was really validating because that was the moment to where like the conversation was. Do you still write if there is no incentives and we do that, we're commercial writers. Do you write if nobody, if you know, no one's going to cut it. And the answer was yes. And it was very, very therapeutic. It just so happened that the opposite happened. We ended up getting a cut off and that was really cool, but it did kind of turn into a thing to where I was like, man, the deal is almost up. 7 (32m 30s): I might have to move back to, you know, Jacksonville, like, you know, you're making money, but you're not necessarily making the money, making enough money to raise a family. So yeah, man, it just turned into kind of me figuring out how to do that. And then just be like, well, if I am going to leave, I might as well start writing stuff, like true stories, telling my story. Right. Because it's like, you know, I'm a dad, I'm going to be a dad. I'm going to have a son. And he like, you know, my dad passed when I was young and you know, you just kind start having these thoughts of like, you know, what, if something like that happens to me and like all that stuff and it's dark, but you know, you can't not think that way. And I was like, man, I'm still chasing down info about my dad. 7 (33m 13s): I'm 28 now, 27 at the time. So I was like, man, I I'm going to see if I can create something. Just if, if my son goes, Hey dad say I don't pass, but Hey dad, why was I born in Nashville? I go, here you go, bud. It's a journal. Here you go, bass here in this song. It's a song. And it just turned into like weird, like at the end of it being like, man, this is tough. Maybe this is it. See in Nashville, it was a blast and Maverick was born and we're doing nothing changing diapers and not sleeping. And I'm doing nothing for my career. And I get a, I get a 5 (33m 54s): Tired man. I got two kids. I get it. 7 (33m 56s): Yeah. Yeah. So like I get, but I get this message from, from Jr Jr. From the highway. And he was like, Hey man, this song that you posted on Instagram, which is rather be broke, he goes, this song's really sick. He goes, do you have a demo of it? I sent him the demo. And then he goes, you got management, you got cut. You got, do you have a record deal? Any of that stuff? I was like, no, you guys care if I send it around, sends it around at that time, Michael Brian, the guy who runs apple, he's been like a huge like friend of mine for the past few years and has done a lot. He's talking with the guys that are, that run triple tigers. You know what I mean? And that whole thing kind of just like within a month of that DM, I had a management deal, a new pub deal and a record deal. 5 (34m 46s): Whoa. 7 (34m 48s): It was insane. Absolutely insane. 5 (34m 52s): That is so wow. What about like, I mean, that's crazy. That's right. When you think that you you're going to have to pack up and leave 7 (34m 59s): All 5 (34m 59s): These things land in your, I mean, that's huge. That is so huge. 7 (35m 5s): Yeah. I mean, it was a blessing. It was, it was like, and then like my mother-in-law actually brought it up. She was like, Hey, didn't cause it, my initial thing, like when I told my wife, I was like, Hey, give me five years here. If there's no reason to stay at the end of five years, we can leave you on here. People about it. And March 16th, I think, or March 12th, one of those was my five year and I signed that record deal like two weeks prior. And I didn't even think about it cause all that stuff was going on. But it was a, you wanna talk about perfect timing. It was like, I gave him a, you know, it was five years and then it was like two weeks before that. 5 (35m 37s): And then it all kind of came back around. I mean it all worked to keep you here. Yeah, That's incredible. 7 (35m 44s): That was crazy, man. 5 (35m 45s): Wow. And then those songs made it onto the EPE true stories. And so that, that, that records are now. And tell me about, you know, putting out your first body of work and now you have a label like that. Must've been a pretty validating moment as well. 7 (35m 59s): That was huge, man. That was huge. Like I got to work with a couple of different people on the EAP rather be broke. I wrote with Steven Kerry and Ian Christian. And those are two dudes from Jacksonville too. Like I didn't even know him until I moved to town and we wrote that song. And so that was kind of a cool full circle moment. And, and we, and we got to record it with Jonathan Singleton and Austin Nevro and like, it just came out great. And then the other three songs on true stories was with Dave Cobb, which was just an incredible experience as well. And it was just like really, really cathartic cause that like when you're approaching something that is so close to the chest, it is all autobiographical. 7 (36m 41s): You know what I mean? Like, like we've got a lot of songs that are like, I love some really, really great songs that just weren't true enough. They weren't, they weren't literal enough for me to say, this is an autobiography. This is, this has gotta be so true that like you go, are we really going there? And you go, yeah, we're going there. So it's like, like if we're, if we're doing that, it's like you're in this position to where it's like, how do you approach that and put that much heart into something that's like, you, you know what I mean? How do you do that? So it's like getting to do that with people that I, you know, I, I had good relationships and like really good friends, really good friends with was like really helpful in that. And then when I went in to work with Cobb on it with, with Dave Cobb on it, he doesn't do pre-production, which is like, you know, flushing out the songs before you go into record. 7 (37m 28s): He's like really spontaneous with that stuff. You go in, he hears a song day of, and you kind of figure it out from there and was acting like, 5 (37m 35s): Yeah, sorry. Is that to kind of make sure that you catch any bit of inspiration? I might've come through instead of like kind of hashing too much of it out before you get in there. 7 (37m 44s): Yeah. I mean, I think that's what that is. It was, it was, it was, it was definitely like foreign to me. So I was like, you know, like taking notes the whole time, but it was like, I think that that's what that is because you just see it kind of like, it's like once you hit like us, they'll be like, Hey man, don't show me anything. Unless we're going to, we're going, we're going to do it because it's like, once I start, he goes, once I started, I'm not going to stop. So it's like, show me what we're recording today. And then we're going to hit it within 45 minutes. You're recording the, you know, the final thing, you know, it's kind of crazy. So I was like, so what do we do? What do I do to get ready for this? He goes, go back home. He goes, go back home and go, go see your family and go surf and go eat good food and bring that back. 7 (38m 27s): And I was like, 5 (38m 29s): Come to Florida. 7 (38m 30s): Yeah. He goes, go back a little bit, bring it back here. And I was like, Hey man, my favorite homework assignment I've ever gotten. 5 (38m 39s): Yeah. Go home and have fun with your family. Oh, okay. Yeah. 7 (38m 45s): So yeah, man, it was that that's been crazy. Like, and we've got a full album coming, which I'm sure we'll get to talk about, but yeah man, without saying too many words, which I obviously real good at, I that that's, that's kind of been this whole experience with this. 5 (39m 0s): Wow. So is with true stories. I mean, hence the title, but are those just a bit of your autobiography or autobiography and what this new record, like the full length is going to be like more of that or like kind of walk me through this. 7 (39m 20s): It's going to be straight out of my life. It is going to be the most literal body of work anyone's ever heard, 5 (39m 27s): Like front to back. Like, is it, is it like, yeah. Okay. 7 (39m 31s): It's not necessarily going to be chronological, but it will definitely be like, it'll be like, if you found a box of VHS is underneath my mom's bed and put them in the TV, like it's going to be like video stuff. Yeah. It's like super, super literal. And from in your, I mean, I'm sure you're nervous about first of all, if they don't like it, it's bigger than just being like, Hey, I didn't like that melody. It's like, that's me, you know? So that's scary. Right. But then the other part of it is like, yeah. I mean it's yeah. It's just, it's getting to set, getting to tell that story is just like a, a really, a really big deal because you see that there are people who can inject. 7 (40m 18s): Like if you hear a story and, and sometimes when you're writing so much, you forget to be a consumer, but like me as a consumer, like if I hear something, I'll inject myself into the story. Even if it, if it's somebody's full truth, that makes it a lot easier because it is true. And I think humans can sniff that out. So if you've got a true story that is about a Firebird in 1969, Pontiac Firebird, that's black convertible with a Montse four speed manual transmission and a 400 big block. If you're saying that and somebody texts you or somebody messages you and like somebody comments on the video and they go, yo man, like this song is about my grandpa's Jeep to me. And it's like, didn't see that coming. But it's like, you realize that within that humanity people relate. 7 (41m 1s): It's like, they, they can't, they, they, can't not, you know what I mean? So that's like, that was one of the most surprising aspects about even putting the EPE out. You know what I mean? So yeah. The autobiography is just going to be the full thing. It's going to be 10 songs. Yeah. 5 (41m 14s): Wow. And was it, did you start writing true stories before, or, I mean, after you had gone home and was that like the homework assignment or was the homework assignment before this new batch of songs was just going to be the full album? 7 (41m 28s): So all these songs have been written. There's no like timeframe of like, Hey, they've all been written within the last year and a half. 5 (41m 38s): Okay. You just chose just these five for this army four for this piece. And then these other ones will make it onto the record, 7 (41m 46s): Correct? Yeah. So it's like the, the album's going to have three of those four on it of the four on the EAP on it, and then it's going to have seven, seven more. So yeah, man, it was just a matter of just deciding, cause we already kind of had the, the collection figured out and what we're recording and we're, we're still actually going to finish the last couple of songs recording was in the next month or so, but yeah, it was like we had that figured out and then it was a matter of figuring out how do you give a wide enough cased a enough taste to where you go storyline and stylistically, how do you give people kind of an appetizer? 7 (42m 26s): You know what I mean? Without, you know, without, you know, putting two songs in there that are similar, you know, talk 5 (42m 32s): Dinner. 7 (42m 33s): Yeah, yeah. That's kind of the deal. And it was just like, I think it kind of came out naturally that way. So yeah. 5 (42m 39s): What did you go home when you went home and, and, you know, spent that time with your family? What were you doing? A lot of like homework or like looking at old photos or was it just kind of absorbing that, being there and then going home and writing about it? 7 (42m 53s): And we went, I just went back and we burned a bonfire and we ate some food at grandma's and then we, you know, we went surfing, you know, and just kinda got to decompress. And, and I think part of that too, was re connecting with, you know, the guy that moved to Nashville because the guy that moved to Nashville kind of had to take a back seat because I had to go learn how to write songs, you know? And when you're learning that you don't really, you know, when you're trying to learn how to write commercial music, you're just like, what's good. We're writing that. You know what I mean? What, what are people into we're writing that? You know what I mean? Just to learn how to do it, you know what I mean? 7 (43m 34s): So it's like you kind of lose touch with your own, like, you know, consumer preference. So for me it was kind of like being like, what music do I want to hear right now? What music do I want to hear? And not what music is technically like contemporary, because it's like, that's two different ways to approach it either which are wrong. But unlike if I'm putting my name on something and this is an autobiography and I want to know how these songs are going to sound, you know, I kind of have to figure out what I like to listen to in the first place. Cause it's been a few years since I really bothered to even think about that, you know? 5 (44m 12s): Yeah. So was that, I mean, you get back and you kind of, was it more like emotions flowing through you when you got back? Like, okay, you were able to obviously find that person and was that like a difficult task or was, did it kind of just come naturally because you had time to kind of decompress and reflect? 7 (44m 30s): Yeah, I think he came back pretty, pretty, pretty easily, but I also had a lot of other things that were kind of putting me back in that space too. Like having a son. I mean, you, you having kids, it's like, it's not a matter. I think the, one of the biggest things about having a child is like your whole life, you know, it's not all about you, right? Like, Hey, it's not all about you. The world doesn't revolve around you. And then when you get married and you kind of learn like, yeah, you know, maybe, maybe it doesn't all revolve around me. Like, because you have to kind of accommodate another person, but they're an adult that lives their own life. So you're not responsible for them. Then you have a child and the child is fully and wholly responsible or you're wholly responsible for this child. And then you actually have to live the fact that this world doesn't revolve around you, there's bigger things and more important things. 7 (45m 16s): And allowing, and, and that happening kind of put me into like that proper head space and like kind of reprioritizing things to where it was less about the, you know, the rat race of trying to get somebody else to cut your music because it is, it's hard, man. It's like the industry is saturated. Like I said, so it's like getting out of that place to be like, let's see which ones are, right. Which songs are we going to go with? And how is it going to feel? And like, to be able to do that, just required a little bit of detaching, like a little bit, you know, just a little, little hands-off a little back off for a second, kind of get a bigger, bigger perspective, you know, 5 (45m 53s): Amazing. Well, I can't wait to hear the other songs that you have that are going to be on this record at what you have released so far is amazing. And I appreciate you taking time to do this away from your family. I mean, you're in your car. That's awesome. But I, again, I thank you so much and this has been great. I do have one more question. I want to know if you have advice for aspiring artists. 7 (46m 18s): Absolutely. I think right now I'm in the, I'm in the, I'm in this head space of like making sure that you, if you're, if you're an artist and you, aren't writing your own music, that you find music to record, that you feel like you listen to and, and really give no other thought to it. And then if you're a writer do the same thing, except about the way you approach your music. You know what I mean? It's like if you're going to write music only be concerned about whether or not you like it, because I think it's always a shot in the dark, but you have a higher chance of hitting a target that you set up then hitting someone else's that you don't know where it is. 7 (47m 0s): So I think it's important to make sure that you're very in tune with the music that you like, that kind of touches that intangible thing that you just go, I don't know, like in the end of the day, I just love this music.
Jordan Fletcher comes from the marshlands of Jacksonville, FL surrounded by Sawgrass Rivers with black water creeks and beaches with murky green water. Jordan lost his dad when he was only 11, and he tried to move forward the only way he knew how - by surfing, fishing and playing music
All of the songs he sings are 100% autobiographical and delivered as soulful country spiked with a light-hearted rock spirit that brings hard-fought life lessons to the masses through honest songwriting.