Maria Jordan: Rebel with a Cause

Musicians are already charitable, as they give us their music, sure maybe not for free, but music provides a service other than some sounds to listen and sing along to. It helps heal us, gets us through the girls and guys that get us down, brings us back to life when we’ve been to the bottom of the barrel, understands us when it seems nobody else does, and can make our moods change from sad to smiling. Benevolent musicians that go beyond the borders of benefaction are a bounteous breed of human being. Maria Jordan is part of that propitious pack.

With the release of her new album, Landslide, Maria not only raised awareness about good music, but also raised money for cancer research. Released through Pledge Music, not only can you acquire the album in appended ways, but you can also pledge to partake in a crucial cause. Maria has created some interesting incentives to bribe you to buy her cd and be a part of something bigger than the music. Not only can you purchase practical things like signed albums and guitars, but once you make a pledge you get her full album as a free download, have access to an array of exclusive behind the scenes music and videos that Maria has made available, and you can also hire Maria to perform at your wedding or dine and have dinner with the band.

Once the target goal has been reached, which in this case it successfully has, 10% of the money raised goes towards the artist’s chosen cause and the rest goes towardfunding a tour for the eclectic entertainer. With the help of her favorable fans, Maria has reached her remarkable goal and is currently on tour. Her song “Soldiers Arms” has been chosen by a UK charity to help raise money for injured and homeless British troops and she has started her own record label. One thing is overwhelmingly obvious: contributing to Maria Jordan is a donation that’s worth your dollar.

SF: You seem to really take advantage of opportunities. Where does that drive come from?

MJ: I have always had a strong desire to succeed. That desire mixed with my love and passion for music, songwriting and performing – after working in the music industry for so many years you realize that you have to make your own opportunities and when a good opportunity comes along I grab it with both hands.

SF: You’re very self-sufficient – started your own record label, JTC Records, being an independent artist – that shows a great deal about how confident you are in your abilities and music and how passionate you are to not sell yourself short. Have you always been a do-it-yourself-er, or was that something that you grew into and got better at? What is your earliest memory, or your favorite memory, of yourself being stubborn and independent?

MJ: It’s funny you should say that about stubborness. I was always the child who didn’t like being told what to do and always spoke up if I thought something was unfair. So much so my aunty gave me the nickname “gobby”. If I felt something should be done a certain way I did it my way.

Dave and I started the label out of frustration with the industry. We knew that we had something great and grew impatient of waiting for someone else to back it. I think if people can’t see something you have to lead and show them the way. It has worked out to my advantage though because I have an album that I am so proud of. It sounds like me, it is honest and passionate. I could never have been pushed in a direction that was not me.

I have just signed my first publishing deal with Warner too.

SF: Your description of rock music in one of your blog posts, or just music in general, what we as fans relate to, is something written from the heart, by a member of the band, that play their own instruments, that you can sing along to loudly. That made me knowingly smile. There are those songs that as soon as you hear the opening riff your
whole body perks up and even though it’s a rock song the lyrics are still genuine and vulnerable. For instance, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” comes to mind for me. Or “Wish You Were Here.” Great riffs, great beats, and “she’s got eyes of the bluest skies, as if they thought of rain” – that’s very poetic. What’s that song for you – that song that
you immediately know from the first note that always brings a smile to your face?

MJ: Wow, there are so many. I was hugely inspired by the melodies of 80’s rock bands such as ACDC, U2, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Journey, Toto etc, but “Boys Of Summer” by Don Henley for me is the song that makes me feel so good as soon as I hear the opening riff.

SF: It all started for you at fourteen with a 12 string and three chords? Do you still remember the first song you ever wrote – can you still play it?

MJ: Yes it was called “Daddy’s Little Girl” and was very young and honest. It had a great melody so I have reworked it with a fresh set of lyrics.

SF: Your inspirations seem to be women that are more known and respected for their songwriting as equally as their music and have depth and honesty– Alanis Morissette changed my 7 year old life, haha – what song was the song that made you say “I want to make music like that?”

MJ: Alanis changed my life too! I think for me it has to be Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill Album. For each song you feel its happiness, sorrow, pain & anger and the production is sympathetic to each song. I love how Alanis’ voice goes from soft falsetto to full on belted out passion. She is also a very good lyricist. I love its rock sound. One of my dreams is to work with Glen Ballard who produced this album. This album definitely
showed me the way.

SF: At 17 what did you think would happen, what was your impression of “the big time,” and how has reality compared to your hopes?

MJ: I recorded my first demo tape at 17 and started sending it off to all the major record labels. I naively thought that someone out there would hear the potential and call me but all I got was rejection letters. It took a while to learn that some people get lucky and things like that happen for them but for the majority it takes years and years of hard work and plugging away, recording, working on your craft, performance etc, but that’s good right? Having to work really hard for something gives you a thicker skin and makes you appreciate it all the more when you get there. I don’t think I was ready at 17.

for my ideas of the “big time” I am armed with lessons learned the hard way, a great understanding of how the industry works and a level head, so when I get there I’ll work hard to stay there and enjoy every minute.

SF: It seems that music to you is more than personal and although maybe you write songs selfishly and personally you want to inspire others to pick up a pin and a pick as well. What is your favorite lyric that someone else has written, and what’s your favorite lyric that you’ve written?

MJ: Yes my music and songs are very personal. In the early days writing songs for me was a vent for a lot of hurt and pain that I was feeling but then I started to write about stories that moved me, things that I saw on the news, injustice etc and I think these are the kind of songs that stick with people and inspire them. There are far too many people who just want to be famous or a celebrity so it would be amazing if I inspired others to pick up a guitar or start singing for the love of it and appreciation of songs and songwriting. My favorite lyricists are Bob Dylan, Justin Currie and currently John Mayer. These guys tell you a story with such poetry and imagination. They make me want to be a better writer. My favorite lyrics from my album are “Soldiers Arms,” which is about being afraid to fall in love.

SF: How did you get involved with Pledge Music and congratulations on reaching your goal and kudos for you for helping as you have!

MJ: I saw an article in The Sunday Times about independent female artists and how they made a living from their music. There was an interview with singer/songwriter Kate Walsh where she mentioned her pledge music campaign. I looked into it and thought it was a really nice way of giving your fans new and exciting ways of getting hold of your music whilst raising money for a charity close to your heart. For more on Maria Jordan please visit http://www.mariajordan.com.

Pledge Music Project

Maria Jordan

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