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INTERVIEW: Jordan Barone

Hi Jordan, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you for having me! Things have been going well! I’m gearing up for the release of my second single, “Up Tonight”, and I am thankful for how things are moving on my last one, “Same Thing”. I’m also trying to find a balance of enjoying life while working to move things forward.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Same Thing”?

“Same Thing” has been doing well. I just reached over 500k streams across all platforms. I had the track for a while, and I am glad we held onto it until me and my team had everything in place. It was hard for me not to share it immediately, but I am glad we waited, as I have now seen the benefits of it.

Did any event, in particular, inspire you to write this song?

The song came from a combination of experiences in relationships and women I was involved with over time. I tried to summarize the feelings and emotions of going through the break-up, and the occasional returns to that person in the song.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

I worked closely with our director, Whipalo, who is an absolute beast. It started as a 2-day film shoot, with the first day taking place in an apartment in the Bowery of NYC for over 10 hours. The second day, we shot in The Royalton Hotel, and then all around New York City guerilla-style for most of the “Used To” shots. That second day was insane, with over 15 hours of shooting. After some grueling editing, we needed some reshoots, so we spent more time in the Bowery about a month later. Then, Whipalo and I spent about 4 days straight editing what we had, and pretty much went delirious from no sleep. My brother, Stefan, came in on the last day of editing, and we wrapped it up. There were a lot of ideas, and scenes that did not make the cut, some really artsy and creative, but we ultimately went with what looked the best.

The single comes off your upcoming EP. When’s the EP coming out and what can you tell us about it?

Yes, “Same Thing” was my debut single, and “Up Tonight” is the second single, both off my upcoming EP. I’ll be releasing the title shortly, and it is expected to drop early 2019. Without giving too much away, the EP is definitely inspired by my time in New York City, and always returning back to my hometown, Staten Island, otherwise known as the forgotten borough. It kind of felt like being torn between two women, with the city in all its lustful promises, and the hometown where everything is familiar.

How was the recording and writing process?

I have been working on the EP since late 2015. I did the production on all the tracks except one, with some really talented people helping out along the way (Ramkuu, DonRique, Braxton Cook, Raheam Adres, Amber Lee, Chris Russo, and more). I wrote most of the lyrics myself, with some help on a few tracks. I worked closely with my brother, Stefan, throughout the process.

When it came to mixing the tracks, I worked with a few engineers, and then finished the mixes myself. I enjoy doing the heavy lifting, and creating almost everything myself, and from scratch. Some songs took some extra mood setting to record. I recorded one song laying down on the floor, so that was fun. Having time to sit with records and adjust them was interesting too. It still amazes me to hear how differently some of the songs sound compared to where they were 2 years ago.

As you gain success – does that put any pressure on you as you release new material or rather the opposite?

Success has helped a little in the sense of leverage. It is definitely a little bit easier to have some of the conversations I wanted to, but couldn’t land earlier on. But, with the success comes the need to outperform the previous work. Especially in the early stages, I want to see a steady incline upward, so, it takes some work behind the scenes to ensure we are putting in the same, if not more, effort.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than in your own?

I like having a clear idea of who the song is going to be for, so I know how to shape the record. If its my song, I have a certain sound. If it is for someone else, I listen to their past work, and try to build on what they do, and add some of my flavor. I was a producer first, so I tend to make the music first, and lyrics second, but working with others, sometimes a lyrical concept can guide the production.

What aspect of love and life did you get to explore on this record?

On “Same Thing”, I wanted to express the ups and down of the break-ups and make-ups, and how that could stunt growth with someone else in the future. On the upcoming “Up Tonight”, I wanted to explore the common approach to pursuing a woman, but offer how time with me might be different. It echoes what I have felt when I was out and single. I was tired of the parties with fake fun and fake people, and started leaning more towards genuine conversation and quality time over some quick fun with physical attraction. I feel people could offer each other so much more, and “Up Tonight” attempts to describe that elevating experience.

Any plans to hit the road?

I just applied to perform at SXSW (South By SouthWest), so we will hopefully be making our way to Austin in March. Also, after the EP drops, we will kick off a tour of the northeast, at small, intimate venues. I want to create unique, memorable experiences for people, so the show will be complete with lights, sets, and more.

What else is happening next in Jordan Barone’s world?

I am co-headlining Projectivity’s Musication 6 Festival in my hometown the same day I drop “Up Tonight” (Fri, Nov 16th, 2018). The annual fundraiser event is held at 50/50 Skatepark (NYC’s only indoor skatepark), raises money for arts and media education around NYC, and always has a great turnout. I am excited to share the stage with another great Staten Island artist, Eddy I.

Leading up to the holidays, we will announce a cover song challenge, where the winner gets a flight to NYC to record at the world-famous Blastoff Productions studios in Times Square. And then the EP is expected to drop early 2019!

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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