Cover and original artist Jordan JAE has just released her first single, “Said No One Ever.” Her music is all about empowerment and being the better person. Despite occasional nervousness, Jordan is confident in her music and style. Above all, she says, follow your dreams to wherever they take you. She sat down with Cliché to discuss all that, and more.
Cliché: Being from NYC, what types of music have had the biggest influence on the type of music that you make?
Jordan JAE: Definitely Pop music! It’s exciting and it’s what my friends and I love to listen to on the radio. I’m not old enough yet to get to go to all the amazing music clubs to hear people, but I love going to big concerts at The Garden. I like to listen to Pop, for inspiration, too. I want to make the kind of music my friends would add to their playlists.
Growing up, who was your idol or someone you looked up to either personally or musically?
My idol is my dad. Not only for the type of person he is, but because he is an awesome musician. My dad has been playing the guitar around the house since the day I was born and hearing him play and how much he loved making music made me want to be a musician.
How did you get the name Jordan JAE? As you evolve do you see this name changing at all?
The name Jordan JAE comes from my first name, Jordan, and my initials “JAE” for Jordan Alexandra Ekstein. My friends and family have nicknamed me JAE over the years, and I have always loved my name Jordan, so Jordan JAE is very natural for me. I don’t really see it changing.
Talk to us about your latest video that was just released. How exciting was that and what is one thing you want people to know about this video?
The video release of my first single, “Said No One Ever,” was definitely amazing! I cannot believe that people are finally able to listen to music that I wrote. One thing I want people to know about the video, and the song, is that it should represent feelings of not only girl empowerment, but also that when you’re hurt be the bigger person. You can have fantasies of revenge, but in the end it’s best to just walk away.
Do you get nervous before a performance?
I have been performing since I was 9. I get nervous every time, but I just keep reminding myself that the audience wants me to do well, that they didn’t come to see me fail or do badly. I just try to put on the best performance that I can and with that attitude I always leave feeling good.
Do you write all of your own music?
I do write all of my own music. I co-write a lot, but I would never release a song that I didn’t write or co-write.
If you could dabble in another genre of music, what would it be?
If I could try out another genre of music, I would love to sing country because it’s very emotional, and the songs I’ve heard have such great lyrics and storytelling.
Who has been your favorite artist to work with thus far?
I have co-written with many other artists. Kinetics and One Love wrote “Said No One Ever” with me so they hold a special place… I mean, it’s my first single! I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of amazing people.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
One day I would love to write with Ed Sheeran. He seems like a really cool guy and his lyrics are amazing! He really speaks to me through his lyrics.
Who do you think is hot right now and what is in your iPod?
Right now I think Pharrell Williams is very hot artist and I personally am listening to a lot of Avicii and Bastille.
Do you have any hidden talents we should know about?
I dance. I have been taking hip-hop classes for a few years and really love it.
Do you have an ultimate goal or are you just enjoying the moment?
I am definitely enjoying the moment. Being 14 years old, I am so happy at what I have accomplished so far. My ultimate goal is to be a successful singer-songwriter.
Tell us what we can expect from you in 2014.
You can definitely be expecting more covers and more originals. Also, some live performances as well. Can’t wait for everyone to see what’s coming next!
What advice would you give to up-and-coming musicians that want to get into the music industry and are still in school?
Follow your dreams! I find that the everyday things that happen at school and home always give me inspiration. Write songs, sing your heart out, and play your music as loud as you can. Do what makes you happy and the rest will fall into place. Try putting your music up online and see if you can create a following. If you believe in yourself, someone else will, too.
Jordan Jae Interview: Photographed by Clay McBride