Will Jordan
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Will Jordan

Tacoma, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Tacoma, Washington, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Band R&B Hip Hop





In 2010, Curtis High School alumni Will Jordan and Clemm Rishad formed the songwriting duo, the Writers Block; and by year's end they had scored a huge win when their song “Fly” appeared on Nicki Minaj's hit album, “Pink Friday.”

The songs later became a hit single with pop diva Rhianna singing its inspiring chorus: “I came to win, to fight, to conquer, to thrive.”

Jordan and Rishad had clearly taken those lyrics to heart as they set their sights on their next lofty goal. "We look at the Tacoma Dome from our studio every day with dreams of filling it up," Rishad said last year, staring down at the familiar landmark from Hilltop recording studio Purple Reign.

Their dream is about to come to fruition this weekend as they are scheduled to perform at the Dope Music Festival, a new, locally produced showcase of music, art, fashion and cannabis culture that will take over the Dome on Saturday, Dec. 13. The duo will join some of the country's hottest pop and hip-hop artists on stage that night, with Chris Brown, Schoolboy Q, Tyga, Kurupt, Devin the Dude and emcee Nate Jackson, a native of Lacey, scheduled to perform.

“It's unreal,” Jordan said. “It shows everyone who is doing music that this is possible. There's no excuses. If I, coming from a dangerous neighborhood on Hilltop, and going to school at Stanley Elementary, can do it ... anybody can do it."

“It feels like your first home game in the NBA. This is what you worked for, and you made it,” Rishad said, his mind blown at seeing his name go by on the digital marquee that advertises upcoming acts to Interstate-5 commuters. “To see our name on the teleprompter is just crazy,” he said.

The event is remarkable in that it is being produced locally by the Sky Movement, a label and promotion company founded by Tacoma entrepreneur Richard Penton. Most Dome shows of this magnitude have traditionally been organized by Live Nation, AEG Live or other large conglomerates.

“This seems to be a great entry into doing more live events,” said Darry Crews, Sky Movement's chief of operations. “Hopefully, we'll be able to do something in this vein annually.”

The event is also unusual in that its main sponsor is Dàmà Cannabis Products, a Seattle company best known for its THC-infused oils. It's as big a reflection as any of how the landscape has changed since Initiative 502 legalized recreational marijuana use in Washington in November 2012.

Crews said there would be videos and other material promoting responsible cannabis use, but that no one should expect anything remotely like Seattle Hempfest. “It's definitely not a big activist-type thing,” he said. “The night is really focused on great music, great art, and it's kind of an immersive experience for our city. It just happens to be sponsored by a cannabis company.”

Headlining the event is Chris Brown, a singer that has been a lightning rod for controversy over the years. Most infamously, he pleaded guilty to felony assault in 2009 following a physical altercation with Rhianna, who he was dating at the time. He spent time in jail this year for violating his parole in that case. In 2012, the singer was further criticized for a neck tattoo that appeared to be of a battered woman, though his publicist has said its design is actually inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration.

Brown seems to have rehabilitated his image to some degree, even as various feuds and antics keep him in tabloid headlines. His latest album, “X,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 this year, and he was a main stage artist at KUBE 93 Summer Jam when it took over the Gorge Amphitheatre in June.

Still, Crews said, the Sky Movement proceeded with caution. “We definitely wanted to be sensitive to people who have been victimized in domestic violence situations,” he said. “But we also kind of believe that there's room for redemption in some ways.”

Crews said there had been little to no blow back for booking Brown, in contrast to the controversies that led to the recent cancellation of local appearances by right-wing rocker Ted Nugent and embattled comedian Bill Cosby. “We hadn't heard a whole lot of backlash from the public,” he said. “We took a lot of time thinking about it. We definitely don't want to marginalize anyone.”

Perhaps the hottest artist on Saturday's bill is gangsta-rapper Schoolboy Q whose new album, “Oxymoron,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and has since landed on a few critics' best albums of 2014 lists.

Rapper Tyga will likely preview tracks from his forthcoming disc, “The Gold Album,” which he's said is done but has been delayed by Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment. Stoner rapper Devin the Dude will underscore the evening's cannabis theme; and rapper Kurupt – best known for his appearances on Dr. Dre's “Chronic” albums – will add a bit of old-school, West Coast cred to the bill.

For their part, Rishad and Jordan are excited to unleash a batch of new material. Rishad will perform songs from “Supaflyness,” a free hip-hop mix tape he released last year that can be downloaded at http://www.clemmrishad.com. He said he also plans to perform a few tunes from his forthcoming album “No Rules,” which will be released as a series of singles next year.

“Every week, we're gonna release a single, and then the people can put the project together however they feel,” he said. “I just kind of want to let the fans hear what the experimentation has been, and they can kind of pick how they want the album to go.”

Jordan recently started a Go Fund Me campaign to put the finishing touches on “Land of the Lost,” the follow-up to his ethereal, R&B debut “In Case It Rains.” He said fans could expect the new disc to be more daring and eclectic.

“There's a lot more angst in this project and there's a lot more frustration, but there's also a lot more love and art in it,” Jordan said.

“My goal as an artist is to kind of just get rid of the whole need for genres or break out of those boxes,” he said. “There's a song that has an indie-rock vibe; there's a song that's super Atlanta, down south (with) 808 drums. … The hard thing about it was just tying it all together; but we figured it out, and we got it right.” - Tacoma Weekly

"Nicki Minaj's 'Fly' Video Featuring Rihanna (WATCH)"

Sunday night was one to remember for Nicki Minaj.

The singer took home the Video Music Award for Best Hip Hop Video, excitingly accepting the moon man trophy while dragging the entire cast of Grandpa's Magical Toys behind her. She also debuted her first entry for next year's contest, her dramatic, disaster-focused video for the song "Fly," featuring Rihanna. - Huffington Post

"Nicki Minaj Pink Friday Young Money"

"I got 'em scared, shook, panickin'," Nicki Minaj boasts in her Eminem duet "Roman's Revenge," and anyone who's heard this one-of-a-kind MC knows she isn't kidding. Her mixtapes and guest shots made her massive — she totally stole Kanye West's "Monster," rhyming "Tonka," "Willy Wonka" and "bad bitch that came from Sri Lanka." On Pink Friday, the year's most anticipated hip-hop debut, she's already rapping about the superstar life. In the standout opener, "I'm the Best," she wonders, "Which world tour should I go on today?"

Photos: Nicki Minaj's Best Looks

Friday is surprisingly pop — there's nothing as weird or striking as her "Monster" cameo. Instead, Minaj aims for a Rihanna-style crossover approach, singing R&B choruses over electro floss and toning down her nasty side. Ri herself guests on "Fly," while Natasha Bedingfield does the hook-girl honors on "Last Chance." "Blazin" is a Kanye rematch, except this time he gets all the best lines (especially "I got two White Russians, but we also need some drinks").

- Rolling Stone

"Nicki Minaj And Rihanna Soar On Inspirational New Song “Fly”"

Rihanna is the queen of iTunes this week, as her Loud LP is perched atop the digital retailer’s download chart. Time will tell whether Nicki Minaj can pull off the same feat next week when Pink Friday is unleashed. But ahead of that you can hear the second of RiRi and Nicki’s collaborations, “Fly,” after the jump.
Last week we noted that Pink Friday‘s chart performance may wind up looking as pretty as the Harajuku Barbie’s offbeat wardrobe. And here on the J.R. Rotem-produced “Fly,” she’s wearing the coat of the down-and-out-but-hopeful fighter striving to overcome her adversaries.

“I win, fly, soar, higher, higher, higher more,” Nicki breathlessly raps, while Rihanna croons on the chorus, “I came to win, to survive, to prosper, to rise.” Consider this an “I Believe I Can Fly” for the current generation.

If there’s one thing Rihanna has proven, it’s that she’s the go-to chorus girl with a Midas touch. And if Eminem’s “Love The Way You Lie” and T.I.’s “Live Your Life” are any indicators, Nicki stands the chance of having her first #1 on the Hot 100 with “Fly”—provided, of course, it gets an official single release.

J.R. Rotem and Rihanna previously took a trip to the top of the charts together back in 2006, when “SOS” became the Barbadian singer’s first American #1 single. - Idolator

"Macy's iHeartRadio Rising Star Competition"

A stolen car stereo provided Will Jordan with a blank canvas. The once lively vehicle that Will usually filled with bass heavy medleys, gospel choirs and spacey dance music was suddenly steeped in quiet after thieves looted the vehicle in the middle of the night. Though stung by the offense, Will decided to make the best of the situation and sing away the silence. Countless hours of singing passed in his car, at church and at Tacoma WA's landmark Platinum Regn Studios. His philosophy at this time was: "If I don't have radio, I'm gonna make radio" and it wouldn't be long before the progress he made as a songwriter would shine through car stereos around the world.

Read more: http://macys.iheart.com/macys/entries/profile/25.html#ixzz2PEV8Cmnd - Macy's-iHeartRadio

"Raising the Bar: Award Winning Songwriting/Production Team Writers Block"

Writers Block, the Grammy nominated production and writing team of Clemm Rishad and Will Jordan are especially noted for their contribution to Nicki Minaj’s single “Fly” featuring Rihanna. The single earned them an American Music Award as well as a Grammy nod. The monumental success of the single afforded them a publishing deal with Universal Music and led to a partnership with Beluga Heights, the production home of Super Producer JR Rotem. They have since written for Jason Derulo, and British Virgin Islands phenom Iyaz. - J Kruz On Air (K104 Dallas)

"New Music: Will Jordan “Never Go Home”"

Will Jordan is a vocalist, producer and award winning songwriter from Tacoma Washington. He’s a partner in the Writers Block production and writing team, and responsible for Nicki Minaj’s runaway hit “Fly”. Check out his playful party record “Never Go Home”. - J Kruz On Air (K104 Dallas)

"Clemm Rishad and William Jordan are The Writer’s Block"

I have the Seattle Weekly to thank. About a month ago, I noticed Nicki Minaj vamping across their cover and below, a cryptic title about Tacoma song writers somehow being responsible for Nicki’s mega hit “Fly.” Immediately intrigued, I knew I had to track down these writers.

Standing in the darkening evening chill outside an unassuming office building on 15th and Fawcett, I was nervous to meet William Jordan and Clemm Rishad, the Tacoma duo responsible for Minaj’s hit and who work as the songwriting team The Writer’s Block.

In just one lightning fast year,William and Clemm have become newly anointed, highly-sought after pop and hip hop hit-makers. Would they be snobbish? Ambivalent? Bombastic? Grandiose? Dismissive? With the meteoric rise these two have been riding, really, any attitude would be warranted.

Clemm Rishad and William Jordan model for Rich Kids Clothing

Family Friendly

My worries dissipated when a polite young man led me up to the Platinum Reign studios, and the Writer’s Block manager/promoter and Clemm’s brother Richard Penton greeted me warmly at the door, a baby cradled in one arm. It became clear that Platinum Reign was more than just a studio – this was a place where artists are treated like family, and family is always welcome.

Although the interiors are slick and impressive (dark paint, graffiti-style artwork on the walls, state-of-the-art production equipment and flat screen televisions) the studio brims with friendly, inclusive activity: someone was hard at work in every room, each of whom stopped to say hello when I was introduced, and a toddler was busy playing at the front desk.

William Jordan greeted me unassumingly, with a shy smile and quiet demeanor. Clemm Rishad was friendly and confident. Both were excited to share their experience of diving into the industry.

William and Clemm are young (I’m talking an enviable 22 and 23 respectively) but make no mistake, these two are serious-minded professionals. Clemm held a business license and ran promotions for local shows when he was just 16, both have been making music and performing since high school, and both are serious about finding legitimate success in the music industry.

Although I never forgot I was talking to two young artists both invested in learning and growing, it was clear from the beginning that Clemm and William not only know what they’re doing, they’re confident in their skills and have been working toward this goal for as long as they can remember.

Clemm Rishad (image from myspace)

Clemm Rishad grew up in University Place where his mother owns a boutique and runs a daycare, and his father works for the State and preaches at their local church. His parents had lived in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood but in the 80s, before Clemm was born, they moved the family to the less volatile University Place. He attended Curtis High School and later Foss High School. His family, and specifically his brother have always inspired him. “He always respected me” Clemm says of his experience growing up with Richard who went out of his way to include Clemm and support his ideas.

William Jordan grew up in the Hilltop neighborhood, the fourth of six children, and also attended Curtis High School. Like Clemm, William’s parents are still together and active in the community. His mother teaches middle school and his father is a medical professional and a local preacher.

Tacoma boasts a small but very active independent hip hop scene and although Clemm and William had met only briefly before forming a professional partnership, they were aware of each other’s talents. Both maintained myspace and facebook profiles, both performed locally, and William had produced and sent beats to Clemm for consideration.

William Jordan (image from writersblockworld.com)

“Will was young and dope” says Clemm, but it wasn’t until he began seriously considering putting together a writing team that he sought someone out. Clemm was strong as a rapper and writer but lacked a reliable producer, and William’s skills as a versatile vocalist, musician, and producer made them a good match. It was on the recommendation of their now manager and promoter Richard, that the two finally met up to consider working together.

When William and Clemm sat down for the first time, it was clear they were on to something: their ability to collaborate came effortlessly and once they had material, they knew they had to get it out there. Richard hit the ground running, leveraging industry connections he had built since college, and got Clemm and William’s work in front of the right people at Beluga Heights. This Los Angeles-based record label, only formed 3 years ago, was already well known for working with top artists like Rihanna and responsible for discovering and developing artists Sean Kingston, Jason Derulo, and Iyaz.

The Initiation

Their collaboration piqued interest and the pair, now operating as “The Writers Block” were i - Post Defiance

"William Jordan Releases 2 Singles From His EP "In Case It Rains" (Audio Inside)"

Vocalist Will Jordan drops his self produced EP In Case it Rains. Check out 2 tracks off the EP, “Never Go Home,” and the title track here: - DJs Doing Work

"Tacoma R&B Artist William Jordan Is Finalist In National Competition"

Tacoma native and R&B singer William Jordan is one of 25 artists from across the United States competing in the Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Stars Competition.

The artists were selected by radio giant Clear Channel Communications. The competition is based on votes.

Jordan’s contest site (where you can listen to his music) is: http://macys.iheart.com/macys/entries/profile/25.html

Jordan, along with fellow Tacoman Clemm Rishad, co-wrote the Nicki Minaj hit “Fly.” - Tacoma News Tribune

"Writers Block Hits The Road On National Promo Tour!"

Just got some new promo for a dynamic new duo Writers Block ~ Clemm Rishad and Will Jordan. Currently on a national tour promoting their new music. Receiving critical and consumer acclaim for their work with Rihanna and Nicki Minaj’s Fly, it seemed like a perfect time to hit the road and embark on sharing the sounds of Writers Block separate from their talents behind the pen.

Will Jordan’s is a vocalist, and provides most of the production for the team. His self produced EP In Case it Rains is a collection of his work recently released on iTunes. Thriving to expand upon the groundwork of other Northwest greats like Quincy Jones, Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix, Will crosses all musical boundaries. He makes the easy transitioning from the EP’s title track “In Case it Rains” to the playful club banger “Never Go Home”. Check out his single below.

Will Jordan – Never Go Home (Audio)

Clemm Rishad has a distinctive sound and flow that pulls from west and east coast greats. With his EP Supaflyness, he offers well crafted records that mirror the roots of hip hop, as well club anthems for his current generation. The beats throughout the project are universal and Clemm glides in and out of them effortlessly. Check out the video to his single “I Think I Love Her’ below.

Clemm Rishad – I Think I Love Her (Video)
http://youtu.be/abEkZVfvQxc - BET.com

"The Writers Block: Tacoma's Hitmaking Ghosts"

"There's no cool way to say 'Hey, everybody, I wrote that!' " laughs Tacoma's Clemm Rishad in a now- private recording studio called Platinum Reign that overlooks a piece of Commencement Bay. The 23-year-old is recounting a recent trip to the mall, where a song called "Fly" came on over the public-address system, and the store's staff and customers started singing along while he was in the dressing room. It was a funny moment, considering that he and 22-year-old William Jordan wrote the song; Nicki Minaj and Rihanna took it to the top of the charts.

With "Fly" soaking up a considerable amount of national pop-radio airtime, it's a situation the two are getting used to. Rishad says it makes him feel a bit like Santa. "People never see you, but you're giving gifts all the time," he says. "That's the world of the songwriter, though. That's why they call us ghostwriters: We're there, but we're not there."

Under the moniker The Writers Block, Rishad and Jordan have seen their stock jump over the past year, first by placing "Fly," followed by tracks on albums by pop artists Iyaz, Jason Derülo, and Travis McCoy. Their resume got another bump when Minaj's Pink Friday (on which "Fly" appears) received a Best Rap Album Grammy nomination. And it's looking more and more as if "Fly" is only the start for the duo, which has been hired to work on material that could find its way onto upcoming albums by Minaj, Christina Aguilera, Drake, T.I., and Dr. Dre.

"Placing" songs on high-profile projects is how a songwriter makes a name. For Rishad and Jordan, this entails either sending a song they've written to their label, Los Angeles–based Beluga Heights, to shop around to artists, or being asked to record specifically for a project by the artists themselves. Both approaches have yielded fruitful returns, and The Writers Block's situation could get a lot better very soon. Rishad says that at the moment they have 15 placements pending.

"We knew that this was only the beginning," Jordan says of "Fly." "If this does happen, and things do go the way they're saying it will go, it will just be a door. If you get drafted to the NBA, you're not done; you haven't accomplished anything you need to accomplish. That's your entry, but you still have a lot more work to do."

As two aspiring musicians in Tacoma's developing music scene, Rishad and Jordan were drawn together by necessity. With the help of his older brother, promoter/manager Richard Penton, Rishad had grabbed the ear of the Beluga Heights front office, and the label had expressed interest in his songwriting talents. A rapper by trade, Rishad saw this as an opportunity to get his foot in the music industry's door, but he needed a producer to bring his work to life in the studio. Rishad contacted fellow Tacoma resident Jordan, a versatile producer and smooth-voiced vocalist, with whom he had worked on his first solo record. The two meshed on professional and personal levels immediately, and The Writers Block was formed.

The duo's first placement, a song called "Pretty Girls," was picked up by Iyaz and Travis McCoy, which led to more and more freelance work. But when the label heard "Fly" and landed a big placement with Minaj, they decided to sign The Writers Block to an official deal.

Soon after, Beluga Heights brokered a deal with Universal's publishing branch, Rondor, on behalf of The Writers Block, which put them on the conglomerate's payroll to write music to be used by Universal artists—names like Lady Gaga, Eminem, the Black Eyed Peas, Mariah Carey, and U2—or be placed in films and on TV.

Beluga Heights CEO Zach Katz says the duo is making moves in all the right directions and has the promise to do great things. "With the industry being super-competitive and saturated with up-and-comers, the key for an artist trying to break in is to have as many skill sets as possible, all of which lend to the artist's ultimate identity," he says. "An artist who is also a good writer is perceived much more favorably than an aspiring artist who doesn't write their own music. And an artist who writes their own music and can write hits for outside artists is at the top of the hierarchy. That's what Will and Clemm are."

Label co-founder J.R. Rotem, who produced "Fly"—not to mention hit tracks for everybody from 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg to Britney Spears and J.Lo—is also quick to praise the team's talents: "As a producer, I'm always looking for singer/ songwriters that inspire my creativity and imagination," he says. "I felt an instant connection with the unique quality of Will's voice, as well as an honesty in their songwriting."

Now that their names are - Seattle Weekly

"Grammy-nominated songwriters from Tacoma"

Will Jordan and Clemm Rishad from "Writer's Block" co-wrote Nicki Minaj's "Fly," featuring Rihanna. - King 5 (NBC Affiliate)



In Case It Rains (April 2013)
Electric Ill (November 2010)


Nicki Minaj "Pink Friday"
5. "Fly"

Jason Derulo "Future History"
12. "Dumb"

Iyaz "Pretty Girls"



If you listen to the radio long enough, you might begin to think that everything you know is wrong. Between the pages of clever lines and the notes of explosive beats, theres an emptiness. Its the emptiness of people wearing masks, the emptiness of people desperate for fame and the emptiness of stories that long to be known. When an artist stands on a platform and removes a mask, it inspires and indulges our hunger for authenticity.

New Years Eve 1993 was such an occasion. On this fateful evening, a four year old William Jordan caroused the streets of downtown Tacoma to bring in the new year with his family. Downtown avenues that normally oozed with danger were transformed and decorated by people dancing to the music of steel drums. Unmasked and unmistakably human, those steel drummers poured their hearts into a city and revealed to William the power of music.

17 years later, William found himself as a fledgling artist and newly expectant father. After a long discussion with his fiance, William decided that he would give a career in music one last try before returning to work full time to support his family. Stepping out on faith, William gave himself a 3 month deadline but caught the ear of Beluga Heights A&R Tommy Rotem within weeks of making his decision.

Entering the Beluga Heights fold as a songwriter, William was given the opportunity to collaborate with famed producer JR Rotem on several high profile projects. The most successful of these was Fly by Nicki Minaj. Featuring Rihanna on the hook, Fly went platinum, won an American Music Award and was nominated for a Grammy.

Currently, Will is performing in support of his recent Journey To The Land of The Lost series of EPs and providing writing and production for both major and independent artists. Will invites the world to see him unmasked and share the genuine passion he has for music.

Band Members