Spencer Jordan is a pop Singer/Songwriter from Jupiter, Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida in 2016, he began his songwriting and artist career in Nashville, Tennessee. Jordan’s music is a mixture of the music he listened to growing up in his small beach town and the prevailing sounds found in today’s pop, and his writing focuses on the everyday struggles and victories that come with life, love, and growing up.
What drew you from Jupiter, Florida, to Nashville?
On record, Jupiter is my favorite place in the world. I’m not one of those people who has bittersweet feelings towards or even hates their hometown. I love it, and wish I was able to spend more time there. Unfortunately, unless you’re a cover artist, there really aren’t any opportunities for songwriters and artists down there.
After graduating from UF, I knew I wanted to be an artist, but I also knew that I had so much to learn about performing, artistry, the music business, and songwriting. That’s why I picked Nashville over, say, LA. Nashville provided me with the opportunity to be a part of a community of creatives that constantly build each other up and promote growth instead of competition. I don’t love Nashville the way I love Jupiter, but that’s purely for aesthetic reasons. The infrastructure could use a facelift, the nearest beach is 8 hours away, and the seasons range from either “sweating profusely” or “hot-pocket that’s still frozen in the middle” (I’ll let you decide what that means).
It’s the people I’ve met here that really make Nashville home for me, and I really think that’s what it boils down to: people, community, genuine relationships built around support and a love for creating. It’s why I came, and it’s why I stay.
What do you remember about your first performance in public?
My first public “performance” was when I was 8 and I had my first classical guitar recital. I wore a suit and tie and sobbed my way through “Andante.” I’m pretty sure my mom still has pictures, if anyone wants to see my glow-up.
But what I consider to be my first actual performance is my freshman year high-school talent show. I’d never sang in front of people before then and had JUST fallen in love with John Mayer’s music. So I got up in front of what seemed like my entire school and sang “Why Georgia” by John Mayer and didn’t even cry ONCE (take that 8 year old Spencer). It is still, hands down, one of the best moments of my life.
This was one of my favorite co-writes, which comes as no surprise since Sara Davis is one of my favorite co-writers! It was February in Nashville, which means that we were all feeling some type of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and I think we both just wanted to write something happy. So many pop songs had come out that had the “I hate you but I love you, we shouldn’t be together, our love is doomed blah blah blah” and I just was not feeling that anymore. I was in a really happy and healthy relationship at the time, which may have had something to do with it, but I wanted to write a song about just loving the person you’re with, no baggage.
I came up with a bit of the chorus melody and a few of the lyrics outside a CVS and brought the idea to Sara at our write the next day (shoutout to “The Workshop” in Nashville). What came next was nothing short of hilarious, as two DEEPLY awkward people attempted to write a sexy pop song. As so many of my writes turn out, I ended up putting a lot of my own relationship experience into the song, and much to my roommate’s dismay (and disgust) the line “my roommate’s out of town, we ain’t even gotta leave the couch” is definitely taken from a real weekend. She still has that couch too!
At the end of the day we wanted to write something earnest, that still towed the line a little bit in the steamier direction, but was ultimately happy and fun, because healthy relationships should be HAPPY AND FUN. In the end we laughed a lot, the question “can we say that???” was asked more than a few times, and our lil song about “knowing” your significant other (in the biblical sense) was somehow parent approved! Honestly, I think we nailed it.
Who would Spiderman sing your current song to?
What a timely question! On one hand, I don’t believe that any iteration of Spiderman or Peter Parker would ever be able to sing this song to anyone since he is literally the most awkward superhero of all time. But for the sake of the question, my hot take is that right now, Spidey’s most loving relationship is not with the fan-favorite Mary Jane or the OG Gwen Stacy.
As of recent Hollywood news, I think that Spider-man would would be singing to the head of Marvel-Disney, Kevin Feige. After “getting back together” with Disney after being in a toxic relationship with Sony, I think that Spiderman has a lot of positive feelings towards our favorite head producer.
“Wyd?” to “Thinkin Bout” … what’s next?
First off, the fact that my experiment of putting out “Maroon Five” has become a full blown project is absolutely insane to me! That being said, I have one more single coming out in the next few months to finish up the project. The song is called “Shoulders” and I wrote it before I even moved to Nashville. It’s a song I’ve been playing out for 2 years now, and I’m so excited for it to finally be out. After that, I already know what I want to start working on, but that’s a secret for now.
Video in the works for the current single?
Not at the moment! But I do have an idea for a lyric video that I’ll be putting into effect over the next few weeks!
You mentioned wanting to be a writer. Have you kept a journal of your journey as an indie singer/songwriter?
I could be artsy and pretentious and say “My journal is in all the songs I’ve written since I’ve been in Nashville” but I think I’ll just answer honestly and say I haven’t kept up with journaling as much as an aspiring writer should.
You said, “those songs that are taken almost word-for-word from experience are actually my favorite to play out.” How difficult is it, though, to write such personal lyrics?
Lately it’s actually 100% easier to write those songs, and honestly those are the only types of songs I’ve even wanted to write over the last few months. Sometimes I’ll just talk out loud about how I’m feeling and then just edit what I said and make it rhyme. The finished product is the type of honest music I’ve been aspiring to write my whole life. What I’ve learned is that people want to hear specificity, because they want to be able to relate to the human experience, and those songs I’ve written that kinda bare my soul (or at least tell the truth) are the ones that have actually gotten the most positive reception lately. So if you’re wondering about the type of music coming out after this project ends….
Pick the seventh note in your phone for a song and what would you write about it?
This is HILARIOUS. Ok so I need to tell you the story about it first. So I’ve started watching an incredible show called “The Expanse” with my roommate. It’s basically “Game of Thrones” but in space and I’m obsessed with it. One night last week we both stayed in, poured some drinks (Moscow Mules if you must know), and watched 4 straight 1-hour episodes. I got respectably drunk by about the second episode.
So at one point in the show a character started crying in zero gravity, and I thought it was so cool how in space, your tears wouldn’t actually fall down your face, they’d just well up in your eyes for this beautiful glassy look. So drunk Spencer decided that “Tears in space” was a genius song idea and wrote it into my notes for later. So “Tears in space” is currently my 7th note in my phone.
I thought it was super deep at the time, but I brought the idea to my friends on Monday morning and they laughed, very hard. It’s good to be humbled every once in awhile I guess. But my co-writers then suggested that it would be a great name for a. space-opera romance novel instead, so keep a look out for “Tears in Space” by Spencer Jordan, hitting an airport bookshelf near you!
How do you consider the role of the songwriter navigating the complex challenges of today’s world issues?
Ooof. Thats a hard question. Songwriters and creatives in general have always been in a unique position to speak truth to power, and whether or not you prefer to acknowledge the “politics” in your favorite music/movies/media, they still exist. I think that personally (and I can really only speak personally on this) my approach to world issues in general has been to remain actively aware on a large scale, but focus on where I feel I can make the most impactful change. The same goes for my music and attitude as an artist.
As I’m sure you and any listeners would notice, my last 3 singles haven’t exactly been politically-charged 3:30 minute PSA’s. I write what I feel, and what I feel comes from my experiences, and I think that the most important thing an artist can offer to this insane world IS our honest experience. The truth as we see it.
So yeah, if I had to give a concise answer, I’d say a songwriter’s role is to convey their truth, whether that truth is their struggle with the end of a relationship, coming to terms with their own identity, or just wanting to “know” the person they love (see “Thinkin bout” by Spencer Jordan). Whatever that is will have an impact on someone who needs to hear it, as long as it’s honest.
What does it mean to an artist when a fan pre-saves a song?
I cannot stress enough how important Spotify pre-saves, and saves in general, are for independent artists. When a fan pre-saves an upcoming release by following the link posted by the artist, the song distributor (which is the middle-man between an artist and a streaming platform) basically tells the Spotify algorithm *insert sexless robot voice* “people are liking this song, that means it is good, we should promote it.”
If enough people pre-save a song or “like” it after release (to “like” a song once its out, just press the “heart” button on spotify when you click on the song) that song will then have a much better chance of being put onto Spotify curated playlists, some of which have over 500,000 listeners! Since it’s becoming less and less likely to get radio play unless you’re at Billie Eilish or Shawn Mendez level fame, these Spotify playlists are the most common way for new artists to get discovered and for their music to get widely heard, even if they don’t have the resources of a large label behind them.
So if you love an artist and want to support them, pre-save their songs before they come out, “like” them (heart button) when they are out, and tell your friends to do the same. It takes less than 30 seconds, it is literally free, and it makes a real difference.
How do streams ‘translate’ for an artist?
Nowadays, unless you’re getting a couple million streams per song, putting out music isn’t exactly enough to pay rent. That being said, streams are still incredibly valuable. Spotify streams are a metric that take up a big percentage of what labels or industry professionals look at to determine if you’re worth investing in. It’s why there are entire businesses that exist solely to promote artists on Spotify; it’s that important.
On a personal level, streams really just mean that people are hearing my songs, people I’ve never even met. For example, my first single “Maroon Five” is getting close to 240,000 streams. As much as I love my family and friends, they couldn’t do that by themselves, no matter how many nights they played the song on repeat while they slept. That means other people who do not know me or feel obligated to support me like my song enough to listen to it and get it to that number. Insane.
So other than the obvious professional implications, what those streams ‘translate’ to for me is “you’re doing something right Spence, keep going.”
“Mulan” … ‘Swift as the coursing river, All the force of a great typhoon, all the strength of a raging fire, Mysterious as the dark side of the moon’ … Were these inspiration for “Kryptonite”?
Has someone been reading my tweets? Haha. I won’t say much about my song “Kryptonite” because I have a feeling we’ll be talking more in depth about it fairly soon, but I will say that while these are all desirable attributes, “Kryptonite” definitely pulls from a different intellectual property that I was a fan of as a kid.
What is the backstory to “You Can”?
First my tweets, now my instagram! Haha. Ok this is about to get real personal yall. “You Can” is one of the most recent of those “word-for-word-experience” songs I was talking about. The story is that when I released my 2nd single “Wyd?” in July, I threw a release party with my friends to celebrate. I was in for a huge surprise, though, when my ex walked into the kitchen, where the entire party was congregated at the time.
This was surprising since 1) he currently lived in Charlotte and was supposed to be in NYC for work that weekend and 2) he was my EX. Thankfully we’d ended on really good terms since the breakup was based entirely on not wanting to do long distance, but still, I’ve been told that my face resembled a computer’s loading screen when he walked in. I couldn’t process the information entering my brain for, like, a full minute. After the shock wore off the party continued and we ended up having an awesome weekend that I think left us both happy but a little confused. So on Monday when he left, I had a co-write with Knox Morris and Luke Nassar, and the song just came spilling out. The chorus is:
“If you think that you can
Walk into this room and
Just go and assume that
You’re gonna make my weekend
If you think that you can
Come and wreck all my plans
Still be cool with my friends
And act like nothing happened
If you think that you can x2
Fun fact: I sent it to him immediately after we wrote it and he loves the song. Life’s weird y’all.
What? “Ruby Grapefruit”? Does SoBe know about White Claw?
Listen. I love White Claw and I don’t care who knows it. My stripper name would be “Ruby Grapefruit.” Honestly my summer body should’ve been sponsored by White Claw. I like to think that I’m Ross and SoBe is my Rachel and that “we were on a break” but everyone knows that we’re still meant for each other and will end up together in the end. But for now, hydration is key, and there are no laws when you’re drinking claws.
Did lauv pick you for the Los Angeles Flyaway?
So far that’s a negative ghost rider. But maybe he’ll stumble upon this interview and pick me! I’ve been binge-listening to his newest song “Sims” since it dropped last week.
Which artist would you fly to see in concert?
I wouldn’t usually fly out to see an artist since most acts tend to come through Nashville, but if John Mayer played at Red Rocks amphitheater I’d be taking the first flight out to Colorado.
Is your string of ping-pong victories in Nashville still intact?
Undefeated baby, come at me Nashville.
Current video game of choice? Movies? TV shows?
My video game of choice has been the same my entire life. Super Smash Bros! I just got a Nintendo Switch so have wasted a lot of my 25th year over-using Pikachu’s “thunderbolt” attack.
The most recent movie I saw in theaters that I really loved was Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood.” It’s not for everyone, but it was DEFINITELY for me. I’m a sucker for vignette style story-telling and the way Tarantino likes to play with actual historical events.
THE EXPANSE. It’s so good. It started out on the Sci-fi channel but got picked up by Amazon Prime and I binge watched 3 seasons in 2 weeks. Our home security system is named after the main character’s spaceship now. The new season comes out in December and I’ve already started planning watch parties.
Would you choose to star in a movie about “Wolverine” or “Spiderman”?
I don’t think I could handle the pressure of following up Hugh Jackman’s take on Wolverine. He really iconicized that role for a generation, especially in “Logan,” and whoever takes up that mantle in the new MCU X-men films is going to be under a lot of scrutiny.
That being said, nobody wants another reboot of Spider-man, especially after this Sony/Disney drama just got settled. BUT I think it would be so fun to be cast in the animated “Spiderverse” movies as one of the hundreds of various spider-people (think Spider-ham and Penny Parker) especially one of the weirder ones. If I got to pick, I’d love to voice “Covered-in-spiders” man. He’s an alternate version of Spidey that is, you guessed it, covered in spiders. He’s fairly useless as a hero, but is a hilarious concept and would serve as some great comic relief.
Halloween 2018: Post-it Malone & Post-Man Malone
Plans for Halloween? Favorite scary movie?
Every year I try to make my Halloween costume something punny, and this year is no exception. So what I’m doing is I’m getting a group of my friends to all dress up as the green aliens from Toy Story, and one of them dress up as a Whiteclaw, and anytime we see that person throughout the night, we all have the surround them and chant (in the aliens’ voice)
“The CLAWWWWWWWW.” We’ll also do this to any unsuspecting person at the bar who is drinking a white claw. I’m fully expecting to get punched, I can’t wait!
And my favorite scary movie is and will always be 2007’s “The Strangers.” This movie is when I realized how much I love horror movies and that they could be just as well-made as regular films if given the right amount of care.