South Jordan
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South Jordan

Utica, Michigan, United States

Utica, Michigan, United States
Band Pop Rock

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"Local band's song featured on Malaysian radio stations"

Few local bands can claim their music has aired on radio stations across the world, but emerging local pop/rock band South Jordan has already had music featured on Malaysian airwaves.

“I went home after we recorded our EP, and I played it for a couple of my friends,� said band member and junior Mike Chan, who is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “And the reaction we got was, ‘Hey, this stuff is really good. You should get it on the radio.’ It was a big shot trying to get on the stations, but we managed to get on some radio stations, particularly Xfresh.�

From there, a domino effect ensued, and other radio stations picked up the single.
Soon, South Jordan is going to re-record its single so that half of the song is in Malaysian.

The band got its start last year when juniors and recording arts majors Bobby Campbell and Chan had to choose one song to publish and record into a “Billboard Top 40� song in an IU songwriting competition.

Sophomore Michael Hall had a voice that stood out to the aspiring music producers. After a few jam sessions, Chan gave Hall the song “Fatal Flaw� to record, and the rest was history.

“Kids in this area are all classically trained, but I think the good thing about Hall is that he grew up trying to have that pop sound,� Campbell said. “His voice just fit perfectly with the type of music we wanted.�

At first, the group had its differences. Campbell and Hall didn’t have the same ideas for the band and needed to compromise.

“Without Mike, we wouldn’t be here today,� Hall said. “Bobby and I really hated each other when we met. We met in the studio and just butted heads.�

South Jordan recorded its first EP with the help of recording arts professor and IU graduate Jake Belser, owner of local Farm Fresh Studios.

All of the band’s songs are original, and Chan and Campbell agreed they strive to have total control of their album. Campbell’s fellow band members credited him for writing most of the group’s songs.

“He hears it all in his head as he writes it, so he knows the direction of the song even before he’s done writing it,� Chan said.

The group’s CD is now available on all major music Web sites, including iTunes, Amazon and Rhapsody. “Fatal Flaw,� South Jordan’s most recent single, is a free download on the Internet.

Currently, the group is trying to line up some gigs. The biggest to date is the IU Dance Marathon. They also plan to expand by playing in surrounding Midwest cities, including Chicago, Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

Following other music artists such as The Fray and John Mellencamp, South Jordan plans to record its newest songs-in-the-making at the local recording studio Echo Park.

“People think pop is something written just for the girls, but each song we write has so much meaning,� Hall said.

Personal experiences heavily influenced the songs of South Jordan. The song “Heading For Mars� was written about Hall’s life before meeting Chan and Campbell, with lyrics stemming from his former doubts about a future in music.

“Hallelujah� was written about Chan’s mother, who died just a few months ago.

“We’re really fortunate our families have been supportive of everything we do,� Chan said. “Our friends and family are very much so the driving force. And, especially in today’s society, people are very driven by money. For us, we just want to play music, and that’s the bottom line." - Indiana Daily Student


"Band has roots in Hagerstown"

While there might be a wealth of fledgling young bands formed and quickly forgetten every year on college campuses across the nation, Hagerstown native Bobby Campbell has loftier ideas for his band, South Jordan.

Campbell is a junior in the recording arts program at Indiana University in Bloomington, and is honing his recording education into a shot at pop music glory.

"The music scene is very indie," Campbell said, speaking to the quirky but sometimes difficult nature of bands more concerned with novelty than accessibility in the college music scene in Bloomington. "Our style is very radio-friendly pop music," he said.

A 2006 Hagerstown High School graduate, Campbell met fellow recording arts major Mike Chan at IU before deciding to start the search for a lead singer to front their refined and polished answer to the Bloomington music scene. Campbell and Chan found sophomore Michael David Hall about six months ago and set out to apply their music production and recording skills with the help of one of their instructors.

"This group, we finally clicked," Campbell said. They took that chemistry into the studio, where Campbell said they "got a great deal from one of our instructors" to record their debut EP "Only Halfway" at Farm Fresh Studios in Bloomington, owned by Indiana alum-turned-instructor Jacob Belser.

Campbell said South Jordan did all their work in-house, with himself and Chan handling the recording, mixing and mastering of their six song EP.

With "Only Halfway" out now on iTunes, Campbell said the band is looking forward to the school year getting under way as they look to move from playing house parties to bars and venues in Bloomington and beyond.

"We're trying to hit the internet crowd really heavily," Campbell said, with the hope of eventually earning some radio play for their "radio-friendly" tunes.

With both Chan and Campbell's multi-instrumental capabilities, their songs are primarily piano-driven ballads, with organ swells and rolling bass and creative drumming in neatly packaged pop songs reminiscent of The Fray. - Palladium-Item


"When geniuses collide"

IT ONLY took five minutes into our conversation to realise that Michael Chan is serious, and more importantly passionate, about his music.

Though at first glance he seems a little timid and shy, talk to him about his band South Jordan and you'd know just how talkative and convincing this 19-year-old musician can be.

"We want to make radio-friendly music, but at the same time, we don't want it to sound just like the rest out there," says Michael as he sipped his iced tea.

South Jordan, formed by Michael and his roomate Bobby Campbell is a spur of the moment band - that is one that was created after one of them said, "I think we should form a band".

Jamming to their hearts' content in their shared room, the students of Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University in Indiana, United States, realised that whatever music they made together can be sold to others.

"We were like, why not do something together and put our musical skills to actual practice?" recalls Michael of the day that they decided to form their band South Jordan.

After sifting through various recommendation from friends for a vocalist, the duo found their perfect match in Michael Hall.

"Michael Hall clicked with the band pretty quickly and soon we were making use of the free recording studio and made demos for our faculty members," says Michael who is back in Malaysia for his semester break.

The band, without a permanent bassist is now complete with Michael playing the drums and Bobby the guitar and piano.

It wasn't difficult to come up with a name for the band. South Jordan is named after the main avenue in the college town where the three members reside.

"We didn't want to pick a band name that sticks out only to be meaningless six months after we were formed. South Jordan is a name we and many students here can relate to," says Michael.

It was during one of its small performances that the band caught the attention of an executive in a recording studio, who invited the boys to cut their first EP, Only Halfway.

"Like I said before, we make radio-friendly, pop rock music and since the three of us have different musical influences, we try to inject our own sounds into the songs," he adds.

Unlike many bands, Michael says that South Jordan does its own producing, sound engineering and other technical works, and the band is proud to claim that it made made its own music from scratch.

Hall and Bobby take on the role of songwriters but when it comes to producing, the work is mostly done by Michael and Bobby.

"I'd rather give the overview point when it comes to writing. There's no point in three of us focusing on the same thing because in the end, we'd be nitpicking on things that don't even matter," says Michael.

So far, the response from the crowd has been good - especially among young women.

Living in a college town has its own benefits, especially when it comes to introducing their music out there.

"It's a really good place to test your music, and you'd know almost immediately whether the crowd likes your sound or not," says Michael, adding that the experience so far is a stepping stone for them, an adventure that one doesn't embark on everyday.

The band has only been active for less than a year and they already booked to perform in various venues in August - a testament to how much the crowd enjoys rocking to their songs.

If comparison is a must, South Jordan's music sounds a little like One Republic and Fray, says Michael.

"As Bobby and I did the production and arrangement for the six songs in our EP, everything else fell in line with one another, making it easy for us to get our music out there. We were initially shocked at how fast people are catching on to our music," he adds proudly.

Sticking close to technology, South Jordan put its music online (Facebook, MySpace, iTunes) for the listeners to download. Soon, they'll be selling their music on Amazon as well. (They do print out CDs for distribution at various shows for promotional purposes).

When asked if he'd be bothered by illegal downloads of South Jordan's music, Michael shrugs nonchalantly and says: "Illegal downloading of our songs will be a sign of success and that people actually want to hear our music!"

People do want to hear their songs, and from what Michael stresses time and again, their live performances is where you can witness just how much the crowd likes them.

"It's a good feeling to be performing live in front of a crowd. We treat the audience like another 'member' of the band, including them in our set and make them a part of our show. We gel with them well," says Michael.

South Jordan has been performing in smaller venues, like bars and clubs, so far and when they move to a larger crowd, Michael is sure that it'd be an experience like none other.

"Our main goal is to get our music out there and get more people to listen to our songs," he says.

Their songs are basically about life experiences - love, joy, loss and every other emotion three teenage guys go through in their lives.

"We spend a lot of time writing the lyrics because we want to be proud of them. We can take the easy way out and write something cheesy but we don't want to," he says, adding that South Jordan members want to look back at their songs and remember the particular time of their lives.

Michael will be graduating in 2010, which gives him at least two more years to spread South Jordan's music.

"This is what the three of us want to do in our lives, regardless of whether we're studying music or not," he says.

All the members of the band have been classically trained in music. Michael has been playing the violin since he was very young, and took percussion lessons at 11.

"Bobby and I can play multiple instruments, though we don't play them in our live gigs. But we do play some of the instruments when we record in the studio," says Michael, who can also play the guitar and piano.

There's no lack of musical creativeness in South Jordan, for sure, and this sometimes does lead to differences in the band.

"We do have battles among ourselves but at the end of the day, it's just us seeing how far we can push ourselves," he explains.

The band is serious about not producing cookie-cutter music, with much emphasis given on the originality of their sounds.

"The six songs in our EP are fairly contrasting to one another. We're trying to develop our own sounds thus the experimenting and different sounds," he says.

Its music has been out officially for a month now, and the trio is working hard to promote its music around the US. It also has plans to perform in Malaysia.

"Right now, we're focusing on making our music on a bigger scale, getting more radio time and working on getting more exposure.

"South Jordan is doing pretty good and if everything goes well, this is what the three of us will be doing for a very, very long time," says Michael. - Rage Section - The Star (Malaysia)


"South Jordan - Small Town Band Makes Big"

South Jordan comprises of Michael
David Hall, Bobby Campbell and
Mike Chan. The band from Indiana,
USA formed in March of this year
and has already an EP out that's
currently being sold on iTunes and
Amazon.Titled OnlyHalfway, those
who want a taste of the band's music
can download their single 'Fatal Flaw'
for free from the band's website
(www.southjordanmusic.com). The
six-track EP is filled with pop, rock
and alternative tunes that are not only radio-friendly, but also reflects their musical background and training.

What's so special about the band
that caught Junk's attention? Well,
aside from their success in getting
an EP out so early in their career,
one of its members, Mike Chan, is
Malaysian. Mike and bandmate Bobby are students in the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where
they were writing songs and needed
a vocalist. They found Michael Hall,
who recently won a song writing
competition, and the three found that they shared the same musical vision. Thus, South Jordan was born.

Surprisingly, Mike's parents
are supportive of his musical
undertakings, unlike a lot of parents
in this part of the world. In fact his
mum, who is a music teacher, was
the one who pushed Mike towards
his goals. "I am thankful for my
parents and family in giving me the
space to explore this interest and turn it into a future. It's certainly not a risk- free career option but then again, few things are.
Having a career in music
is something I have envisioned since
I was 12. This is part of the message
of what I had in mind when we wrote
'Heading To Mars', which speaks of
pursuing our goals and making sure
we enjoy whatever we choose to
pursue in life:' he explains.

While Mike is back in Kuala Lumpur
for a break, South Jordan plans to
perform all over Indiana and the
Mid-West in the fall. "We're mindful
that we are still very much a new
band and our main purpose will be to
gain a larger fan base and as much
exposure as possible," enthuses
Mike. The band is also looking for a
chance to play in South East Asia
and is planning to work with local
promoters. We wish the boys good
luck!

.Words Jolyn - Junk Magazine (South East Asia)


"South Jordan to take on Asia"

THINGS look promising
for up and coming band,
South Jordan.
Hailing from
Bloomington, Indiana
in the United States,
South Jordan - which
includes Kuala Lumpur
native Mike Chan - has
attracted several fans
who have found their
music easy to relate to.

Speaking to Malay
Mail recently, Chan,
who is the drummer
in the band, said judg-
ing from the response
so far, the band was
confident their music
would be well-received
the world over.
"We received expo-
sure through various
media and radio as well
as iTunes sales of our
songs," said Chan, who
is still an undergraduate
at Indiana University.
Chan was back in
Malaysia recently and
took the opportunity to
promote the band.
"It's amazing to see
how receptive the crowd
has been to our music.
We managed to get on
some radio stations,
particularly, Xfresh
FM," he said.
Now, he plans to build
a credible Malaysian
fans base. Once that is
done, the band will per-
form in Malaysia.
That could hap-
pen next year with a
Southeast Asian tour.
But for that to happen,
they will need to secure
the necessary sponsor-
ships.

Following the suc-
cess of their first single,
Fatal Flaw, the band
will release a couple
of new songs as free
downloads in November
this year.
"We have completed
recording our second
single, Take Your Time,
which will be released
as free download soon,"
said Chan.

South Jordan was
formed in March after
a song-writing com-
petition at Indiana
University.
They submitted one
of their songs for the
competition written by
Michael David Hall,
who invited Chan and
Bobby Campbell to per-
form with him. And
that was how the band
was formed. Chan was
the drummer, Hall the
vocalist and Campbell
took on the piano and
guitar.

The band's CD is
now available in vari-
ous major music web-
sites, including iTunes,
Rhapsody and Amazon.
For more information
on South Jordan, log on
to www.myspace.com/southjordanmusic. - Malay Mail - 15Oct 2008


Discography

"Only Halfway EP" - Released June 2008. Available online @ iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Napster.

Radio Airplay in Malaysia (XFresh.FM / Fly.FM)
College Airplay (Midwest and East Coast Universities)
B.97 / Z.103 (Indiana Airplay)

Five Free Downloads at www.southjordanmusic.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/southjordanmusic
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Jordan/15524401217

Photos

Bio

Take four guys who devote all their time to creating music, throw them in a leaky house that smells like old soup, make them inseparable, and tell them to write songs that will ignite every audience they perform for This is South Jordan.

This pop/rock band thrives on raw talent and uses its blind ambition to its advantage as it consistently grows into its potential without ever looking back. With influences such as U2 and Coldplay, South Jordan has given itself gigantic shoes to fill. Both pianist Bobby Campbell and frontman Michael David Hall write songs that hold honest emotion and truly represent the highest and lowest experiences people go through in life. Behind strong lyrics must come equally powerful instruments, and South Jordan is no exception to this.

Drummer Greg Olsten, from Long Island New York, is the powerhouse, delivering a dependable backbeat to every song. Also, being a highly trained jazz musician, Olsten brings a unique approach and level of musicianship to the band. Mike Chan, from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, is South Jordans synth master. The elaborate parts on keys he has developed give the music a cinematic quality while opening the overall sound and taking the live sound to the next level. Bobby Campbell, from Hagerstown Indiana, is simply the father of the four. He keeps the band stable and pushes both the group and the songs to their limits. The gifted hands playing his keys produce the core of the piano driven band. Lastly there is Michael David Hall, SoJos frontman from Chicago, Illinois. Hall has trademarked his vocal style with crude emotional swells and an unmistakable presence on the stage. One of the most passionate singers around, he captivates audiences of all ages and casts the influential message South Jordan offers to its listeners.

Together each member is exceptional at his personal craft. Personality wise, they are young, sensible, and quite goofy on and off the stage, but also get serious when its time for the music to take over. These young guys are aware of their purpose, and are more than certain theyll be together making music for years to come.