Rochelle Jordan is not your average singer. The songstress, who was raised and made in Toronto, has some sweet vocals with a retrograde twist. The singer has naturally found her middle-ground this year, moving between 1990 and 2014, with organic songs & lyrics to vibe out to. Jordan is quite daring in her song choice and her songs allude to an underlying struggle between innocence and guilt, along with pain and pleasure.
The young singer released her mixtape KILLAH with DJ Kitty Cash not too long ago and is gearing up for the release of her next project 1021. Read our exclusive interview below.
Alexis: Let’s dive right into your Killah mixtape. So we’ve been listening to it and some of the remixes on there are pretty damn cool. How did that project come about and how did you link up with DJ Kitty Cash?
Rochelle: Killah was just a project that came out sporadically and randomly. Throughout the year I had been playing around with different remixes and having a lot of fun creatively. So I was thinking why don’t we just put the songs out together for the fans who have been waiting to hear from me. We decided to include Kitty Cash and it just came together naturally and the fans liked it. She’s actually one of my biggest supporters out there in NY and she actually included me on her mixtape a couple months ago. So I was so grateful for that opportunity and I was like you know, let me just throw it back that way.
Alexis: Every artist has that point where music becomes more than just a hobby. When did you really decide it was time to pursue your music career?
Rochelle: Damn, when did I realize? Well, I’ve been singing since around the age of 8. Growing up I never took it too seriously. As I got a littler older, I thought let me try to make something of it. I decided to take it seriously and then I finally packed up all my shit from Toronto and just moved to LA to pursue music. I actually recently moved out here last year but since then things have been going in the right direction.
Alexis: Anyone whose been studying the music scene knows that Toronto is definitely coming up. How has Toronto played a role in your sound and aesthetic?
Rochelle: I was actually born in England and raised in Toronto. In terms of Toronto, It’s a very multicultural and diverse place. There’s everything from hardcore West Indian culture to Latin influence – it’s just an openly diverse vibe. I love Toronto for that. I also pull inspiration from my roots. My background is Jamaican and European. All of that I incorporate into what I make.
Alexis: A few people have compared your music to a more modern Aaliyah. It was a legit comparison once I listened to your 4-page letter re-work on Killah, which was dope I must say. What artists have you been influenced by?
Rochelle: I’m highly influenced by what I grew up listening to. That goes anywhere from Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, and Missy Elliot, to Aaliyah. But then there’s the Paramores’ and Avril Lavignes’ I grew up listening to. I kindof just go with whatever vibes I tend to be attracted to. Also, my boys from Canada – my brothers that I grew up listening to like Drake and seeing him rise. That was definitely a big influence for me musically and just inspiring overall and creatively for my career. The Weeknd and those guys too. I’m kindof just a merge of everything.
Alexis: Where else do you pull inspiration from outside of music?
Rochelle: Ha, my friends’ dramatic life stories. A lot of their bullshit goes into my music. Also, travelling since I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. Being home is definitely a place where I can pick up inspiration too. I haven’t been home in over a year so I’m kindof urging to go back home. Just real life shit, you know, just real life things.
Alexis: If you had to describe your style of music, how would you word it?
Rochelle: It’s definitely R&B. I like to call myself a futuristic throwback. I’m trying to push music forward but then also continue that certain vibe that music had when I was growing up in the 90s. It’s that feeling of taking it to the next level and keeping it pushing.
Alexis: Are you independent right now? If so, is it something that you see being more beneficial than being signed?
Rochelle: Obviously, the creative control and freedom are pros. There aren’t any rules and I’m just doing things off of my gut. It’s definitely not an easy thing being an independent artist but it’s do-able. If you’re passionate about it and consistent, something great will come from it. There’s nothing wrong in this day and age with being independent because social media has opened up such a world for us to be seen. Right now I’m in a good spot. But I’m not saying I don’t want to be signed. Whatever opportunities come my way will be ones that we’ll plan out at that time. Right now though I’m independent.
Alexis: Some of our team members are from the Bay Area in California and we heard you have some collabs with HBK. What have you guys been cooking up?
Rochelle: I just released a song with Iamsu titled “Playa 4 Life” so you can hear that collab from me and him. The song was produced by Jay Ant – who produces with Iamsu and is an artist on his own too. Those guys are just mad cool and extremely supportive. I really like what came out of the collaboration and I hope everyone does as well.
Alexis: What can we expect from Rochelle Jordan within the near future?
Rochelle: I actually have my album 1021 that’s going to be dropping on November 11th. I have some really dope collabs on that. I’m just mad excited about my new project. I can’t wait for everybody to hear it.
Alexis: Last but not least, we have one last question that we need to break out for old time sake. What are your “addictions”?
Rochelle: Music and love. Definitely love because I’m a Libra.
Interview by Alexis Davis
Listen to Rochelle Jordan “Playa 4 Life” ft. Iamsu! (Produced by Jay Ant)
Stream KILLAH below: