October INTERVIEW with Ezra Jordan.
It is my distinct honor to be forwarding questions to the amazing Ezra Jordan.
Welcome to the Wire MEGAzine Ezra, which has been on the music scene for 32 years since 1989.
You dove even deeper into your most real, rawest, and most realized artistic self yet as a Canadian contemporary alt-pop, R&B, and soul artist. Your soul-riched songs land ahead of the Oct. 6th release of your forthcoming sophomore EP, 117. Congrats on your tunes nearing 9 million streams across Spotify and YouTube already! Ezra, you have accomplished so much in such a short span of time with appearances as a finalist on CTV’s The Launch, performing at the 2019 JUNO Awards TD Green Room, and charting at radio across the US,
Fans, Ezra Jordan’s sophomore album, 117, is a five-track EP and follows on the heels of his very successful debut 2020 album, Cheap Therapy which features massive hits like Cliffs that garnered 4 MILLION+ Streams on Spotify not to mention the song Easy which counts 4.5 MILLION+ Streams Across Spotify/YouTube.
His 1st hit single from his newest released EP, 117, was Dollarama, which was released on Aug. 4th with its music video on Aug. 9th, and is the first of a 4 part short film. The 2nd single off the EP is Bitter which was released on Aug. 24th followed by the 3rd single, Heaven Help Me, which was unleashed Sept. 24th. The 4th single, Who I Am, dropped Oct. 6th, the same day as his sophomore EP 117.
Heaven Help Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7uxE6TyX4A
Ezra was fortunate enough to be born into a musical household, as the son of JUNO AWARDED Producer Marc Jordan (American-born Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer, session musician, and actor. Covering a wide variety of genres, he has written songs for a number of well-known artists, including Diana Ross, Rod Stewart, Cher, Bette Midler, Chicago, and Josh Groban, who is also a prior Chair of Slaight Family Music Lab). Also, the son of Amy Sky (Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer, theatre actress, and television host. Amy Sky started classical music lessons at the age of five and plays piano, guitar, cello, and recorder. She has a degree from the University of Toronto in music theory and composition. In 1983, Sky was signed as a staff songwriter to MCA Music Nashville, and subsequently to Warner-Chappell Music in Los Angeles, EMI Music Los Angeles, and Warner-Chappell Music Germany. As a writer, she has penned songs for many artists including Diana Ross, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John, Reba McEntire, Belinda Carlisle, Aaron Neville, Heart, Cyndi Lauper, Mark Masri, Roch Voisine, and Sheena Easton).
DEB: Q. 1. Ezra, what was it like to grow up and now follow in the footsteps of your highly successful and musically iconic parents, Marc Jordan and Amy Sky?
EZRA: “It was definitely interesting. It took me a long time to realize that it isn’t necessarily typical to hear your parents on the radio or have them go on tour for weeks at a time. And now that I’m making my way with my own music career, I’m constantly surprised by how many little things about the business and the lifestyle that I’ve absorbed over the years through osmosis.”
DEB: Q. 2. What advice were you given about the ins and outs of music when you started in show biz? Also, what advice would you give to young artists entering the music realm?
EZRA: “The best advice I got didn’t come in the form of words, but by watching my parents and how hard they work. They work long hours, every day, and not because they have a boss telling them to, but because they’ve learned discipline and they love their work. You gotta dig through a lot of mediocre material in order to find the gems, and I think a lot of people don’t realize that when they’re first starting out.”
You have been surrounded by music since your earliest days taking up piano at the age of 4 and learning guitar and drums while growing up.
DEB: Q. 3. Do you play any other instrument and which would you say is your favorite?
EZRA: “Piano is definitely my favorite and my first love, but I noodle on guitar, drums, and bass. I especially love bass because I feel like it helps me improve my sense of time and groove, which translates to my piano playing.”
At the age of 18, you suffered a life-threatening injury to your leg that ruptured the femoral artery. You required emergency surgery to save your life and avoid amputation and it was an 18-month recovery process, that disabled you to properly sit at a piano. Seeking a different musical outlet, you turned to sing and write songs, which led you to perform with Scott Helman as his keyboardist and backup vocalist. Following his time with Helman, you moved to Los Angeles for a short period of time to focus on your solo endeavors and you then returned to Toronto to officially launch your career in 2017. With deep musical bloodlines and a fresh take on pop music, you are only just scratching the surface of your musical potential.
DEB: Q . 4. Would you say your injury and recovery enhanced your songwriting? As well, in the last, soon to be 24 years since you started playing music, how has your music evolved? As well, is there a different feel to writing music in the U.S. compared to Canada?
EZRA: “I would definitely say that my injury enhanced my songwriting, in fact, it was the single most important catalyst for my songwriting in my entire life. I never wrote anything until I injured my leg, but when I could no longer sit at the piano because of my leg, that’s when I turned to singing and songwriting. In a way I wouldn’t say that my music has really evolved, it’s just now coming to life in the way that I had always imagined it. I always knew in the back of my mind that this was the kind of music I wanted to be making, but it took a lot of growing up as a person to allow myself to go to this vulnerable of a place and finally put these thoughts and feelings to music. I would say there are mega-talented people in both countries, but it seems like it’s easier to find collaborators writing in America (especially in LA and Nashville). I think it’s because those cities attract people for that very reason, so everybody is more receptive to writing songs with people they barely know.”
In addition to being a finalist on CTV’s ’The Launch’ (S1, E4), and performing in TD’s Green Room at The 2019 Juno Awards, you are also a master at creating soulful, refreshing, and authentic sounds that resonate with your audience. Over the course of your career, you have appeared twice* on Mediabase’s US CHR Top 40 Activator Chart, and you have collaborated with internationally recognized talent including Tyler Shaw, Elijah Woods, Aftrhrs (Ian Franzino & Andrew Haas), Robotaki, Grandson, Chin Injeti, and many others. With a strong musical background, killer talent, and a heartwarming story of resilience and strength, Ezra, you are set to top the charts and win hearts over across the world. “This collection of songs is, without a doubt, the most meaningful and vulnerable music I’ve ever released,” he says. “I’ve been doing this ‘music thing’ for a while now, but I think it took this many years to feel fully realized as a writer and an artist. In so much of my other music, I’ve always felt there was a compromise; I was trying to shoehorn the music I really wanted to make into a form that was ‘cool’ or ‘poppy’ or ‘current’ enough. But when I truly faced the thought of abandoning music and finding some other way to spend my life, I felt I owed it to myself to make at least one thing that was as close to my true artistic vision as I was able to get. And that’s the 117 EP,” Ezra shares.
DEB: Q. 5. Take your fans on a stroll through your 2nd EP 117, sharing your creative writing process and how your latest single ‘Who I Am’ came to be?
EZRA: “The whole 117 EP came from a deep depression I fell into during the height of the lockdowns in Toronto. I was sleeping on the couch back at my parent’s house having just had my plans to move to LA derailed by COVID. Things were so dark I was seriously contemplating quitting music for good. It was during this time that I did a lot of soul-searching, and I emerged from the other end of the tunnel with a much more strongly established sense of self. Time away from my friends, my job, and my normal life, in general, forced me to take stock of my relationships and the things that really make me happy, and that was the key to writing this EP, and in particular, my song, Who I Am.
DEB: Q. 6. Have you seen or felt a major shift in the music industry prior to Covid-19?
EZRA: “There’s definitely been a shift because live music has suffered massively and that is one of the largest sources of revenue in the industry. But more than that, the emergence of TikTok has really shifted the balance of power, and I am very interested to see where this takes us.”
DEB: Q. 7. Who would you say, then and now, inspires and influences your music the most?
EZRA: “Growing up, my 3 biggest influences were John Mayer, Coldplay, and D’Angelo. These days, I find myself listening to a lot of Lennon Stella, Kacey Musgraves, and Sasha Sloan. And of course, my parents have taught me so much about songwriting through watching them over the years.”
DEB: Q. 8. If you had to pick one song that you wrote that you enjoy performing the most, what would that be & why?
EZRA: “The song that I like the performing the most live, at least when I’m playing with a band is one that actually isn’t recorded, but we play it live all the time. It’s called Look For Me, and it’s super funky and upbeat, which is something I struggle to write a lot of the time. It’s just one of those songs that the band really gets into, which in turn causes the audience to get into. You can just feel it on stage as soon as the first chorus hits.”
DEB: Q. 9. Some of the most historical and revered music has always played a deep role in the transformation of society. Some consider how their art relates to the current social-political landscape or how their music can address these themes. Does your music touch on social or political issues?
EZRA: “Some of my unreleased music is inspired by the state of the world at large, in particular the impending sense of desperation or hopelessness that a lot of the younger generation feels about the world we are inheriting from people that didn’t understand the damage they were doing while they did it. But the 117 EP touches on some issues that I think are also important for people to consider in their own lives, in particular for men. I know that I personally struggled as a man with managing and being in touch with my own emotions, and I think it’s an issue that damages a lot of men if left unchecked.”
DEB: Q. 10. Contrary to popular belief, making it is the art of music isn’t merely a game of luck, as it requires talent, strategy, dedication, and determination based on your vision and goals. Outside of your new EP 117 released on Oct. 6th, and the Summer and Fall releases of your fabulous singles, share how you have interacted with your fans throughout this new world of COVID -19?
EZRA: “Obviously because we can’t gather for live music in the traditional way anymore, I’ve had to find other methods of sharing my music with my fans. Instagram Live and TikTok have been useful tools, as well as live-stream concerts. I also helped to found, organize, and host a massive virtual music festival called Homebody in the early days of the pandemic in 2020. We raised over $10,000 dollars for various COVID and arts-related charities and had over 60 artists and many many listeners tune in to discover new music and enjoy some semblance of live music performance.”
DEB: Q. 11. What does success mean to you Ezra?
EZRA: “Success to me means having the freedom and ability to make the music I hear in my head come to life in reality, and being able to share it with a group of fans that appreciate it.”
DEB: Q. 12. What is next on the horizon for Ezra Jordan?
EZRA: “Right now I’m still working on the rollout for the 117 EP, but I’m playing a show in LA in October, as well as doing some writing down there for about a month. In addition to getting some more shows together soon, I’ve already begun writing my next project, so once that is finished I’ll be getting back in the studio.”
Thanks so much for your time today Ezra, congrats and cheers on your future endeavors.
FANS you can stay in tune with Ezra Jordan by visiting his media platforms below: https://www.ezrajordan.com