Treasured Aussie songwriter Jordan Wilson, of Georgia Fair, has released debut solo single Totem, a moving piece of music reflective of both a past relationship and the sacred process of writing itself. Totem is accompanied by a sweet, nostalgic video, directed by Odin Umeofia. In between launching his solo project, and working on a new Georgia Fair record, Jordan is also set to release a book entitled Some Short, Some Long, in late 2021. We caught up with Jordan to learn more about his music.
Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with Hear 2 Zen, what have you been up to today?
Today I was at work, I’m a community support worker in a day care program for participants with intellectual disability. After this I’ll probably go for a run with my dog, send a few emails and have a beer watching Game Of Thrones. It’s lockdown as I’m writing this.
Tell us about yourself, how long have you been performing/creating music for?
My name’s Jordan, I love nature and art, my family are important to me. I think I started performing around 18. I was writing ditties since I was thirteen but probably no finished songs until I was about sixteen. I was signed in my band Georgia Fair at about twenty. I’m into things that keep me grounded and sane like walking my dog, burning incense and catching up with friends.
Who are your greatest inspirations? Why?
For a long time it was Bob Dylan, something about his performance style, so sharp and strong. He’s the type of guy you can get behind. Eckhart Tolle is more of an essential than an inspiration but I’ll say him anyway, he wrote The Power Of Now and I have been studying his work since about twenty one, it’s as close to the truth that I can find out there.
How do you create music? Are you lyrics/story driven, or does the music/melody come first? Explain your process.
It’s usually a melody, on the piano or vocal. It’s about giving the time to sit down and zone out, sometimes a song comes or sometimes I’ll play an old one. Sometimes I’ll have a whole idea in a story type of setting, but again that usually unfolds after the melody and even surprises me with what it’s about. Reading also helps.
What has been your greatest challenge so far in performing/creating music?
It’s about showing up, sometimes it’s hard to even do that. So pushing myself to show up and be vulnerable even though it feels uncomfortable constantly is the hardest part but thus the most rewarding.
Tell us about your new release, how did it come about?
I was kicking the footy with my mate Daniel Lee Kendall, we exercised and played and talked and talked and eventually we got into his studio and had a crack at some of my songs. Totem was about four songs in one, I had to strip back a lot of verses but there’s something poetic about it that makes it real lovely to play.
What advice do you have to artists who are just starting out?
Step by step, don’t let the end vision put you off. Enjoy the process. Try something new every time you release a song or album. Also, have a good network of friends that will pull you aside and give you a slap or a coffee when you need it.
Tell us your favourite Zen practice.
Playing the piano is probably the best, but also walking my beautiful greyhound Ruby. Actually there’s so many, incense, baths, yoga, chanting. But often, have a coffee and read.