Nick Jordan
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Nick Jordan

Minneapolis, MN | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Minneapolis, MN | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo R&B Soul




"Nick Jordan's investment in himself pays off with 'Dividends'"

“Who are you?” Nick Jordan asks on the introspective “Shades,” a track on his new EP Dividends. The 23-year-old seems to be seeking the answer through each song on that colorful, meditative R&B collection, and he explores his growing confidence as an artist along the way. - Peter Diamond of City Pages

"Twin Cities musicians Nick Jordan, Har Mar Superstar groove to new EPs"

After opening for the Suburbs in February when he won the Star Tribune's Are You Local? contest, R&B/electronic thriller Nick Jordan will now perform opposite the local rock vets' main-room show Friday night when he takes over 7th Street Entry to tout his second EP, "Dividends."

Led by the simmering single "Petty," the six-song set blends dramatic synth-pop melodies and innovative, Frank Oceanic beats, all of which should add more spark to Jordan's already electrifying live show. Electronic singer Devata Daun from Pytch Records and Radio Ahlee open (8:30 p.m., $8-$10). - Chris Riemenschneider of Star Tribune

"V.I.C.E. Boys defile an old-money mansion in this week’s Top 5 MN music videos"

One of last year's best surprises was the emergence of singer Nick Jordan, who rose from relative obscurity to capture the Strib’s 2017 Are You Local? prize. Jordan’s music is eclectic and thrumming, seeming to flow from the divine spirit in his voice. But there's an unmistakable humanity to Jordan’s lyrics, an element that undercuts his near-godly allure.

That’s the story of “Petty,” his latest single. In the video, Jordan sits for a “avant-garde, ritualistic tea party” (with dancers Desaré Cox, Christlo Gittens, Albert Conteh, Russell Vernell Smith Jr., Cait Obrien-Baker, Saharla Vetsch, and Christopher Patino) that eventually erupts into a blithe dance party as he confesses his vices. Jordan’s new EP Dividends is out on August 4, but before that, you can see him play Basilica Block Party on July 7. - Jerard Fagerberg for City Pages

"You Need To Know: Nick Jordan, who’s seeing ‘Dividends’ this summer"

If there was such a thing as Performer of the Summer, Nick Jordan would be a Twin Cities shoo-in. Everyone from Billboard to Newsweek to New York Times podcast Still Processing is debating the candidates for this year’s Song of the Summer (which could be Calvin Harris’s “Slide,” DJ Khaled’s “I’m The One,” or any of the new Lorde singles), and each feature notes that the winner must be ubiquitous and, overall, fun. Few exemplify those qualities like Nick Jordan, the soul/R&B artist with serious performance chops and big plans for this summer.

Jordan (whose moniker comes from his first and middle names), 22, has been in the spotlight before. After releasing his silky debut EP NJ in 2015, he featured on Ness Nite‘s breakout single, “Yes.” City Pages awarded him Best R&B Artist in 2016. This year, he won the Star Tribune‘s Are You Local? contest, and he played First Avenue’s Mainroom pursuant to that win.

But summer 2017 promises to buoy him like never before. On August 4, he’ll release his second EP, Dividends, which has the potential to make him an essential headphones artist on top of the live draw. First single “Petty,” produced by Jordan and moonsidr_dlux, intertwines Jordan’s taffy vocals with Tinashe-wispy coos by Maxee. The repeated MIDI note, also heard in Foster the People’s “Call It What You Want,” loses its harshness once it’s folded into a lovely dance break. - Cecilia Johnson of The Current

"The Suburbs debut new songs and Gramma's Boyfriend drape themselves in the flag at First Avenue"

The Star Tribune’s Chris Riemenschneider and Andrea Swensson of the Current emceed, letting us know we were in for something special with the winner of the 2017 Are You Local? competition. That would be Nick Jordan, and there was a sizable crowd for him. He let us all have it with a full-strength body blow of grooves and Princely theatrics. A song early on called, maybe, “What You Say,” was funky as shit. It sounded like the Revolution.

Everything was in lock step for the 23-year-old’s performance. The musicianship was tight, the dancers from Intermedia Arts were crushing it, and Jordan’s own vocals and maneuvers got the crowd hopping. He introduced “Flavors” as his favorite song; it rained down on the crowd, and we were sexier because of it. And “Petty” was on. Just on.

“I just have to stop and take this in,” said Jordan as he scanned the crowd. He seemed genuinely appreciative and awed by where he was. As he eased into the slow jam “Radio,” it was hard to imagine him on a smaller stage. - Chad Werner for City Pages

"Review and photos: Are You Local? 2017 Showcase with the Suburbs, Gramma’s Boyfriend, and Nick Jordan"

The celebration of local music appropriately started off with an enthralling performance by Nick Jordan. Friday night’s performance marked the first time being on the Mainroom stage for the 23-year-old singer-songwriter, and it probably won’t be the last. Accompanied onstage by a full band behind him as well as two backup singers and a host of dancers, Jordan put on the most sensual and sassy performance of the night. The moment Jordan stepped on stage, flanked on either side by his two dancers, it was clear he was going to make the most of his set.

The range and power of his voice, as well as his unwavering energy throughout the set, made it clear why Jordan had emerged triumphant as best new act. Not only does Nick Jordan know how to sing, he also knows how to put on an entertaining show. Nearly every song that was performed, the majority being from his debut LP NJ, had detailed choreography. The dancers, who are apart of the Energy Dance Collective, were meticulously in time with each other and the music, captivating the audience.

As an introduction to his last song, “Old School,” Jordan shared a personal revelation: “I wrote this when I was 19, I’m 23 now. That was when I realized songwriting was a superpower, and that it’s my superpower.”

Star Tribune music critic and co-host of the night, Chris Riemenschneider, certainly seemed to agree. After Jordan’s performance, Riemenschneider made a point to mention how the set made him think of Prince’s attendance at last year’s Are You Local? show and about how he wished Prince could’ve been there last night to witness Nick Jordan’s performance. - Lillian Speakman of The Current

"Meet Nick Jordan: Delano-raised R&B/pop singer won our Are You Local? contest"

He took the stage like a tornado, his billowy white shirt twisting in the wind while two male dancers got swept up in his rapid movement.

It turned out, though, that the night Nick Jordan won the Are You Local? best-new-band contest at the Turf Club, he felt like he’d been run over by a bulldozer.

“I slept in the [club’s] green room for a little bit before the show, and that was about it,” the high-energy, electro-poppy R&B singer recalled of the Feb. 6 contest.

Just a few hours before, he’d returned home from a whirlwind trip to Amsterdam, Paris and London — with a layover in Iceland. “At one point, I realized, ‘Oh, and I haven’t eaten for eight hours, too.’ ”

The jet-lag story was this soft-spoken, sweet-natured and otherwise humble small-town kid’s polite way of saying, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” - Chris Riemenschneider for Star Tribune

"Nick Jordan tops the 2017 Are You Local? contest"

The Star Tribune’s 2017 Are You Local? best-new-band search came to a frenetic conclusion Monday night at the Turf Club in St. Paul.

Twenty-three-year-old R&B singer Nick Jordan, just off a flight from Amsterdam, won the eighth-annual contest on the strength of his crowd-pleasing late-night performance — which, in addition to his powerhouse singing, featured dazzling dancing by Jordan and collaborators Albert Conteh and Christlo Gittens.

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Nick Jordan's energetic and heartfelt R&B/hip-hop songs brought down the house during the finals of the Are You Local? contest. He will perform at First Avenue on Friday.
GalleryGallery: Nick Jordan's energetic and heartfelt R&B/hip-hop songs brought down the house during the finals of the Are You Local? contest. He will perform at First Avenue on Friday.

The Star Tribune’s 2017 Are You Local? best-new-band search came to a frenetic conclusion Monday night at the Turf Club in St. Paul.

Twenty-three-year-old R&B singer Nick Jordan, just off a flight from Amsterdam, won the eighth-annual contest on the strength of his crowd-pleasing late-night performance — which, in addition to his powerhouse singing, featured dazzling dancing by Jordan and collaborators Albert Conteh and Christlo Gittens.

As this year’s AYL? winner, Jordan will play First Avenue on Feb. 17 with the Suburbs, Gramma’s Boyfriend (featuring Haley Bonar) and DJ Shannon Blowtorch. He also won $2,000. - Mike Madden of Star Tribune

"Best of the Twin Cities 2016: Nick Jordan"

Best R&B Artist
Nick Jordan

Nick Jordan is to the Twin Cities as Frank Ocean is to New Orleans. Jordan put out his debut release, NJ, this past fall, and has been on the hustle ever since, frequenting shows at the Cabooze, the Dakota Jazz Club, Acadia, and the Bedlam Theatre. Self-described as "soul food," Jordan has a sweet croon that vibes with the nostalgic '90s production by friend Luke Darger a.k.a. moonsidr_dlux. Having moved to St. Paul at age 18, he says he finds inspiration from Prince, Q-Tip, and Jhene Aiko, among others. Jordan, still in his early 20s, doesn't shy away from grand performances, either. His live shows and music videos add a new layer to the already funk-infused music; he carries out detailed choreography with a multitude of back-up dancers. - City Pages

"Lizzo was 'Good As Hell' in 2016 with Minnesota's best song, best live act"

Best live acts

1. Lizzo (41 points)

2. The Blind Shake (22)

3. (tie) Har Mar Superstar, Nick Jordan, the Revolution (18) - Star Tribune

"Nick Jordan's freshman debut NJ strikes soul gold"

“I have a mind that races too much,” says Nick Jordan. We're catching up by phone before he heads off to rehearsal, in the final days of preparation for tonight's big show.

Nick Jordan's NJ EP release performance this evening at Honey is the culmination of his entire career thus far. The 21-year-old has taken great care in curating his debut, a seven-track saunter of soul seen through young yet retrospective eyes.

Jordan will be joined by singers Nyasia Arredondo and Maxee Whiteford, both of whom lend their vocals to the intriguing and excellent audio sculpture. Dancers Albert Conteh and Christlo Gittens will lend their choreography. There will be a seven-piece band, including saxophonist Lucia Roccatagliata, bassist Charlie Bruber (of Tabah and Black Market Brass), and drummer Murphy Janssen, all of whom play on the EP.

Jordan's choice to make this EP was a creative reaction to things that were going on in his life, a way of using music to battle his inner demons.

“I was really experiencing coming out of depression,” he tells me. “It was really hard for me that summer. I was anxious about going to school, and life, and it was just like, I felt like, OK, I did this, I don't even know if I'm supposed to be here or if I wasted my time, or spent my time correctly...”

“Take me for a whirl outside / I've been staying in too much so I need something to clear my mind / I feel the tension in my bones,” is the first lolling verse of “Radio,” a song Jordan recorded while he was battling depression.

“'Cause I was like, so tense from just staying in bed so fucking long,” he says, telling me that some days he'd get up in the morning, shower, then wind up back in bed.

“Radio,” which also features Maxee on vocals, is a slick track. The lyrics include nostalgic references to artists like Ja Rule, Ashanti, and Jill Scott. “Play my favorite song, play it all night long,” Jordan commands, while Maxee's falsetto hovers above. It's seductive, and a sweet thought. Listening to “Radio” reminds me of late summer nights, driving somewhere, trying to pick a radio station.

Jordan sees everything in life as cyclical. He says “Radio” came to him as if he was daydreaming, creating a brighter reality than the one he allowed for himself.

“That's the cool thing, and what is so neat about music,” Jordan says. “For me, I have that back story with that song, but that's not the only way to experience it. With music, it doesn't come with a handbook."

He admits, in retrospect, he wasn't in the right environment to create something like NJ at 18.

“I wasn't in environments really conducive to any artistic growth," he remembers. "I was in bad relationships; I was just in bad everything, pretty much."

The process of creating NJ was more than just making an album — it was growing up.

“By the time I was trying to get my head right and get out of that, I had a lot to write about,” he says. “It was very therapeutic to go into a practice room by myself on a Sunday afternoon and just play and sing and freestyle whatever would come out.”

Listening to NJ is a little like spying on Jordan's daydreams. He wrote all of the music and lyrics himself except for “Fantasy,” written with Nick Kiekenapp. The EP is produced by Luke Darger (production alias moonsidr_dlux), who plays keyboards and whom Jordan calls “brilliant.”

Darger is also a member of Lunar Bedrooms, opening at Honey tonight. The EP truly began to form when the two met. Jordan had been writing songs by himself for about a year, but together they spent all of 2015 cementing the production aspects of the songs. NJ was mixed and mastered by Robert Frost III.

Jordan admits he's heavily influenced by the Neptunes.

“I really started taking writing music seriously when I was 18, and when it came to re-learning piano, and learning what chords I like. I attribute that a lot to listening to a lot of Neptunes productions and being like, this is so tight to me, what makes this so tight?”

NJ doesn't follow any musical rules, though. Every track occupies its own space entirely, drawing on different influences sporadically and maintaining unpredictability while still staying smooth.

Jordan doesn't want to pigeonhole himself to any genre, but tends to prefer the word “soul” when describing his music.

“It was important to me that every song had a little something different sonically about it,” he says. “My song 'Destiny' is kind of a slower ballad but then halfway through builds up into this almost pseudo-rock vibe, like I'm basically just shouting in the background."

On “Fantasy,” he borrows from garage and even house music. There really aren't any boundaries.

The last song on the album, “Again,” is a dreamy nod to traditional soul music.

“It's kind of my personal philosophy of sorts, because it's all about embracing change and embracing that nothing stays constant forever,” Jordan says. The instrumentation is very minimal and relies mostly on keyboard and synth. It's a satisfying ending to the EP, and is fitting in relation to Jordan's journey so far.

“There's going to be sour times, but there's also going to be times like right now, where everything makes sense and is worth it,” he says. “I hope that it motivates my beautiful people around me to keep going.”

He speaks very highly of the collective of performers on NJ.

“Nyasia is next. Maxee is next. All of my beautiful, beautiful people," he says. "We're going to just keep sharing."

For now, Jordan is happy to revel in the fact that the EP is actually completed, and, two years later, he can hold the finished product in his hands. He recently presented his mom with a copy of NJ. They listened to the songs together.

“She likes it!” he exclaims. “Maybe we experienced the moment differently, but I think it was a cool moment for both parties involved. It was like, see Mom, I actually finished this! I actually did it!”

The excitement for tonight is palpable in the grateful and talented 21-year-old's voice.

“I just want to celebrate like, look at these little seven songs that so many special people got to touch and experience with me,” he says. “That's why I'm not alone anymore. That's why I could never ever feel lonely, because I've been able to foster a community around me that sincerely believes that we can do this.” - Sarah Stanley-Ayre of City Pages


Dividends (EP) — Nick Jordan
Released Aug 4, 2017

NJ (EP) — Nick Jordan
Released Oct 2, 2015



Nick Jordan is a Minneapolis-based singer, songwriter, producer, and mover.

Incorporating elements of funk, soul, and house, his debut EP NJ was released in the fall of 2015.

Six months later, Jordan was named 2016's Best R&B Artist by City Pages.

Often accompanied by his fellow movers, Jordan's live show is a one-of-a-kind experience. His energy and attention to detail also landed him in the top 3 of 2016's Best Live Acts via the Star Tribune, tying with Har Mar Superstar and the legendary Revolution.

Most recently, Jordan was crowned the winner of Star Tribune's 8th annual "Are You Local?" Best New Band search. He released his sophomore EP Dividends in the summer of 2017 to local acclaim.

Band Members