An Interview with Jordan Mackampa

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By Jack

Singer-songwriter Jordan Mackampa stole our hearts when we caught him in Leeds last year. His personal, powerful brand of soul is unmistakable, and marks him out as one to watch in 2018 and beyond. We caught up before his tour kicks off later this month, to talk inspiration and new music.

HN: We loved your performance supporting Lewis Watson last year. Is live performance something that comes easily to you?

JM: “Thanks! And yes very much so, now more so than before. I’ve made sure that through years of gigging & touring for days on end, I’m confident enough on stage to hold my own and keep an audience entertained, not because I have to, but because I want to make sure that I’m putting 100% into every performance.”

HN: The Tales from the Broken EP has a really diverse sound. What was the inspiration behind the title?

JM: “The title came from a broken vending machine picture I saw on the Internet; with a picture attached to it that said something along the lines of ‘the light inside is broken, but I still work.’

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I felt like that sentiment of being just a little bit bruised & cracked, but still getting on with life, is something we as humans can relate to. Which in turn, made me focus on writing songs, that reflected the idea of dealing with hardships, but continuing on with life and whatever else comes our way.”

HN: What was the inspiration behind your new single ‘Give Into the Dark’?

JM: “‘Give Into The Dark’ was a bit a confessional song for me to be honest, but without the religious attachment. I’m basically saying that the “real world” doesn’t feel like the dream it’s supposed to be but more of a nightmare. So by giving into the dark, even for a few minutes in a day, I can escape to a place where I’m at peace, giving me the chance to run away from the war I’m fighting on the outside.”

HN: ‘Battlecry’ is my favourite song of yours. It almost has a Western vibe. How did you come to write that?

JM: “Ahaha! I’ve never noticed the Western vibe but now you’ve mentioned it I can definitely hear what you mean!

The idea for that song came from me being fed up with all the horrible news stories I was seeing, and not wanting to be quiet anymore, taking into account what Nina Simone said, about how’s it’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times and speak out for what they believe is true.

So by making a battlecry song, it could act as a call to arms, to stand side by side with one another, against the common injustices we share.”

HN: The song you are most known for is ‘Yours to Keep’ – why do you think that track in particular sticks with people?

JM: “Personally, I think because the song itself is very vulnerable – there’s something within the sentiment of not holding anything back, a proud declaration of love for someone, that draws people to the song.

The simple act of writing your name on their shoes, so they know their yours forever is very sweet & underrated, so I wanted to draw attention to those small details – plus people love a good reference to classic film!”

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HN: Have you thought about an album or is that still a ways off?

JM: “I’ve been thinking about an album since the day I picked up an instrument! But now, as a songwriter, I know I’m in a strong enough position to sit down and create an album, with the songs I’ve been writing over the past couple years and release something I know I’ll be proud of.

I’ve been saying to myself for years this mantra of “slowly, but surely” to remind myself that I’m not in a race with anyone so I’m allowed to take my time with certain things & not feel pressured to rush my art.”

We are seeing Jordan in Leeds on 29th November. Catch Jordan on tour through November and December. Tickets here.

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