Special Interview: Jordy Maxwell

THEAUSSIEWORD.COM catches up with Jordy Maxwell.

How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?

It all began at a David Bowie concert in 2002. I went with my Mum, and it probably changed my life. It was more than music, it was a performance, it was so special. It was my first concert and to see people react and sing to songs they’d heard millions of times before was so inspiring.

It took until 2016 for me to pursue any kind of music career if you’d call writing sad songs at home pursuing a career. Music became an outlet for me to share my feelings. I could almost mask my feelings through songs, but it also brought up questions from people about my life which helped me talk more about how I was feeling.

What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?

What motivates me is the chance to play in front of as many people as I can. I say this for the reason that I love sharing my stories and my music with people and when I receive some of the messages I get about life struggles, losing friends/ loved ones and how my music has helped them, that is a feeling that is so rewarding and motivating to keep sharing. 

What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish?

I guess my goals are always to focus on what I can control. In saying that, I want to keep writing and performing for the love of music and not turning it into a grind or something that I have to do. If that turns into playing bigger shows and reaching a wider audience, then that is amazing. If not, then I’ll still be pretty happy.

What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?

I’m heading on tour with Jack Botts in April and having my own national tour this year for my ‘Drunk Darts & Broken Hearts’ EP. There will even be a few shows in Europe/UK to be announced!

Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?

The latest release, ‘Let Me Out’ is a delicate song that builds so much tension and ends in a euphoric release to represent the unshackling of being or doing something you don’t love.

My music has always been about writing from the heart, being open and vulnerable and creating an imagery for my songs that are wholly relatable for anyone listening.

Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?

Very unconventional. Almost all of my songs have been created under pressure. I like to book a week or so in the studio a few months in advance, but I won’t write anything until 2 weeks before hand, sometimes the night before. I’ve written 4 songs the night before I’ve recorded them, and they’ve become my favourite songs I’ve released. I guess for me it the pressure that makes me pour out more of what’s in my head rather than crafting and changing words over time. I also have a wonderful relationship with my producer who helps create all these ideas in my mind (Andy Lawson – Debaser Studios). 

Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music? 

Not so much of a hidden message as such. But I write a lot about one past relationship. A lot of people thought they were all about different people. But the day I lost my Nan was when I realised my songs weren’t about one person and the songs were more about loss and moving on with life. 

There’s a lot of songs where I know exactly what they’re about, but people can use them for their own life experiences and I think that’s the beauty of music. 

Success, what is the secret to it?

I wouldn’t know. I think the unfortunate thing with playing music is the bar you set yourself always gets lifted. If I were to tell myself in 2016, I’d have played the shows I’ve played and the number of people that have listened to my songs, I would have told you I’m done. I don’t think you can measure success in this industry, it’s very individually dependent.

For me, success is when playing and writing music is still fun and enjoyable. Very easy to compare yourself to others and get down on yourself. 

What has been your biggest career highlight so far?

As the music career has progressed the highlights have also done the same. My first highlight was having 12 people dancing to a new song of mine back in 2017.

Then there’s moments when 400 plus people are singing your own song back to you. I think that is a huge highlight for me. Whenever a crowd sings my own words back to me, that is such a beautiful feeling.

In terms of achievements, being the triple j Unearthed Feature Artist was a great experience and having a song of mine played on the final episode of the drama series ‘Love Me’ was incredible. (‘Love Me’ was aired on Binge).

Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?

By far right now it is Leif Vollebekk. His song writing and imagery through song is so inspiring. He’s also so amazing at creating a unique and beautiful sound.

Like most Australian artists, Angus and Julia Stone are always at the forefront for inspiring singer songwriters around the country.

As a performer and songwriter, Gang of Youths are my current favourites 

Are there any new projects in the pipeline?

I am releasing my 4th EP, ‘Drunk Darts & Broken Hearts’ this April. It is by far my most vulnerable work. 

As of this last week I’ve just finished recording a new single which will feature in my debut album that is being recorded in the backend of the year.

The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself a few years?

What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?

Favourite is performing in front of people, sharing stories behind the music, and playing live. Also, that feeling when a song is finished in the studio and you get a mix back is so special. It’s like something you’ve created has come to life.

The worst part is comparison. The classic saying, “comparison is the thief of joy” rings true sometimes, especially with how music is promoted these days. It’s so easy to get downhearted because of what someone else is doing. But once you realise there’s so much more joy to be had in this industry, it’s such a better world to live in. 

Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.

Gang of Youths, The Slingers, Angus & Julia Stone, Big Scary and Ball Park Music

The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?

It’s a weird old world isn’t it. As mentioned earlier, it’s so easy to compare to others and “what works” for them. The fact that certain outlets can choose who sees what you post is worrying and sometimes disheartening. But like most generations before us, this is just part of the world we live in and the way we showcase our music and passion. It’s forever changing. So, if that means we need to adapt then so be it. It’s very easy to throw hate on social media, but it’s also a lovely way to share with people and fans special moments.

How will you continue appealing to the international market?

More music, more live videos, more stupid promo videos and just more loving the process. 

Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?

I haven’t collab’d with anyone as such. I’ve had friends come in to sing with and play in the studio. I’m quite an individual artist. I feel like I’m not the most talented artist, so I’m still a bit shy to work with others.

My wish list is Angus Stone and Leif Vollebekk. 

What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Small goals and enjoy the small moments. And don’t try and force it, it will come. 

A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?

I love my fans, the singalongs, and the interaction I receive at the shows. I love seeing faces at shows and having a yarn. And thank you for listening to the music and the stupid Instagram videos.

Any last words?

There is a lot of new music and shows coming – maybe with a band!!

Website: jordymaxwell.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jordymusic3/

Instagram: @jordy_maxwell