Hi Jordan, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Happy that I’ve finally finished this album! I’ve been working on these songs for a long time!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Lover and a Giver”?
“Lover and a Giver” is a response to what’s going on in the world right now. I feel like a lot of people are starting to lose hope, and there’s a lot of tensions and divisions in America at the present moment. I wrote this song to be an anthem of love, hope, and unity; much like the great songs of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. It’s also a reminder to appreciate the beautiful things in life, like nature and watching a river flow, and to realize that we are all connected, and ultimately just want to find something authentic, true, and meaningful. The goal for this song is to turn darkness into light, and to offer a kind of cathartic therapy for those of us who are becoming increasingly frustrated and disillusioned with what’s on the news. I was very influenced by John Lennon on this song, and the messages of “Imagine” and “All You Need Is Love”. I want to bring back that kind of powerful songwriting.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
I started writing “Lover and a GIver” in October 2016 and finished it in March 2017. It was a response to the hateful and divisive rhetoric present in America and I wanted to write a song that’s not quite a political protest song, but that reminds people that love is more powerful than hate, and that unity is stronger than division.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Yes! There’s a big music video in the works which will be filmed on the streets NYC! I’ll be playing some of the Sing For Hope Pianos that are all around NYC this June, and the video will feature different characters like a jaded, angry stockbroker and a Bohemian optimist.
The single comes off your new album Sun Inside You – what’s the story behind the title?
The title “Sun Inside You” exemplifies the theme of the album: turning darkness into light. I was closed off and felt disillusioned about love, until I fell in love with my girlfriend three years ago and realized that she radiated light and warmth, like the sun. The title can be applied to all of us. We all have the sun inside of us, we just have to channel that energy and shine brightly.
How was the recording and writing process?
Really fun and it took a long time! I take awhile before I’m really satisfied with one of my songs, and I usually have several drafts before finishing. Many of the songs on the album were written in a songwriting workshop, and were a result of songwriting assignments. The recording process was extremely fun for me, and I definitely learned a lot from that process. I was a perfectionist in the studio and wouldn’t rest until the songs were the best they could possibly be. Glad to finally be releasing my songs to the world!
What role does NYC play in your writing?
Living in NYC definitely influenced my music in so many ways. New York is such a melting pot of different cultures and musical styles, and I think my music reflects that.
How have John Lennon and Cat Stevens influenced your music?
John Lennon’s messages of love and peace really inspired me. Songs like “Imagine”, “All You Need Is Love”, “In My Life”, and “Nowhere Man” – to name a few – really make an impact on the human condition, and actually make people more enlightened and happier. That was one of the main reasons that I wanted to become a songwriter. John Lennon famously had his own personal demons, but continued to use his fame and songwriting ability to focus on peace, love, and hope throughout his life. Cat Stevens (Yusef) inspired me by the honesty in his song lyrics and the emotion in his voice. The album Tea For Tillerman and the song “Sitting” profoundly impacted me in my quest to find meaning, both personally and musically.
What aspect of darkness and lightness did you get to explore on this record?
I explored the darkness of losing love and the light of finding new love. The darkness of feeling closed off and detached and the light of meeting someone who brightens you up. The darkness of corruption, division, dishonesty, and hate, and the light of hope, love, truth, and unity.
Any plans to hit the road?
What else is happening next in Jordan Siwek’s world?
I’m playing a big album release show at one of my favorite venues in NYC, Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3, on July 13th at 7pm! I’ll be joined by a full band including a cellist and saxophonist! Also, I just wrote a new song based on the Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken”!
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