Amanda Jordan Spreads Her Wings
After turning heads in music competitions throughout her adolescence, Amanda Jordan chased her creative side all the way to Nashville. With a foot between that musical scene and now an acting career too, Jordan has opened up her soul again with her new single "Driving in the Dark." We caught up with Jordan ahead of her show on Saturday, October 19 at Avant-Garde Bar to talk about moving to Nashville, how competition shaped her creativity and what collaborating means to her music.
Ottawa Life: After growing up in Smiths Falls and going to school in Ottawa, what drove you to Nashville?
Amanda Jordan: I visited Nashville several times for co-writes previously and I just loved the feel of the city. People are so friendly and really into music. Everywhere you go in Nashville, people want to talk about music and share their own experiences with it. It could be in an Uber or when you’re talking to a cashier.
Everyone wants to talk and share their music stories and hear yours. Nashville is a great place to learn about music just by living there, writing music, and seeing live shows. I’ve learned so much from being there.
OL: How did this move inspire your new single "Driving in the Dark"?
Well the hook of the song emerged from my first drive to Nashville with Thomas, my twin brother. Driving from Smiths Falls to Nashville is a full 17 hours, so during the drive, he mentioned how he loves driving at night. He has the road all to himself and he loves driving all the way until sunrise. I took that experience and turned it into a song, but made the theme about falling in love.
OL: Phil Barton and Jason Matthews had a hand in that song too from what I understand?
Yes, they did! We had a blast making this song. Phil was an established songwriter in Australia, but now he lives in Nashville. He has a great energy that comes through during the song writing process and in the songs he creates. Jason has over 80 credits and he’s also well-known for his writing. I feel really fortunate that they worked with me on “Driving in the Dark”.
OL: I saw that prior to moving south you also spent a lot of time in the writing contest circuit, so how did you find this kind of competition honed your skills?
I’ve been writing for a long time and whenever I see a competition that seems interesting, I submit a song. That’s what happened with “Silverado Run”, which placed in the finals of the Canadian Songwriting Competition in 2018.
OL: I was also interested to hear about how your video by Jesus Fuentes came together and how you wanted it to expand the track?
I had worked with Jesus Fuentes before on my music video cover of Little Big Town’s “Better Man”. He’s a recent graduate of Algonquin College. He’s creative and talented and a good friend of mine. I really like acting and I think it’s great to have a music video. The actor I had booked cancelled just before the shoot and luckily my friend Matt Martin from Kitchener came to the rescue.
OL: How do you find the lessons you learned in your music degree at Carleton University shaping your current work and how do you feel these lessons compare to what you've learned working in Nashville?
In the singer-songwriter program at Carleton, we had several Canadian songwriters come and teach classes. I did learn a lot from those classes. Otherwise the program is a pretty traditional type of music program with lots of theory and music history. I think it’s a great background to have. So I’ve taken the knowledge of my education with me to Nashville, which has provided me with the inspiration and the people to write songs at a stronger level.
OL: How did you end up breaking into the acting world too, and how do you find that kind of performance compared to music?
I love acting and I submit a lot of auditions. I won the opportunity to do an acting camp in LA a couple of summer ago and I learnt a lot at that program. The ultimate role for me is one where I can sing and act. The movie I was in called “Revenge of the Daughter” was a perfect role for me as I got to do both. That movie is still playing on the Lifetime Channel and others.
OL: I hear you’re still splitting time between Ottawa and Nashville, but I was curious what drove this work dichotomy and how you manage the time?
I’m Canadian and I love Canada so I want to continue to develop my fan base there. I love my family and It’s great to see them when I’m home but I also love the Nashville music community and my boyfriend lives there, so for now I think going back and forth is the best thing.
OL: What can fans expect from your Ottawa show?
We have a great show lined up! We have Juno Award nominee Joey Wright hosting the show and playing some songs as well. I’ll be playing mostly originals, so you will hear my latest work that’s not yet released as well as a few covers.
Photos: Rob Waymen