Jordan T brings island reggae to Carson City on Saturday
Jordan T can’t bring everyone in Carson City to Hawaii, so he’s bringing the island spirit to Carson City instead. His band performs Saturday as part of the Levitt AMP Carson City Concert Series presented by The Change Companies and hosted by the Brewery Arts Center.
Jordan T describes his music as island reggae. The sound is a fusion between reggae and R&B with a little bit of rock, he said. And lyrics are especially important element that he’s passionate about, and means plenty to his culture.
“If my lyrics don’t have a conscious meaning behind it, then what’s the point,” he said.
His culture and experiences shaped what he plays today, and he brings the spirit of aloha with him, in his first visit to Carson City.
“The aloha spirit — it’s more than just a bumper sticker,” Jordan T said. “It’s how we treat each other; how we treat people we don’t know; how we treat our families and how we conduct our business day to day.”
He has a mission as a musician and artist, and by representing his culture, his family in Maui and his heritage, his goal is to bring the aloha spirit to people who need it in this world. With all the crazy things happening, he said he hopes he can spread a positive message.
“When you come to the islands, you feel that it’s a spirit and it’s a real thing,” Jordan T said. “If you don’t walk away smiling after the show then we didn’t do our job.”
Island reggae is kind of a new genre that has it’s own style, Jordan T said. It incorporates more R&B into the sounds, and it tends to be a little more laid back. The lyrics and harmonies are important to the Polynesian people. He said if there was a barbecue going on, it would be common for people to pick up guitars and everybody would sing together with four-part harmonies.
“Harmonies are a big thing for us,” he said.
One of his biggest influences, and the reason they have island reggae, is musician George “Fiji” Veikoso.
“I grew up listening to him, so I always give credit and respect to what he did to the island over here,” Jordan T said. “He’s the biggest reason I can do what I’m doing. He’s the Michael Jordan of our island.”
Jordan T’s first album shows how much his fans appreciate his music. In 2016, he started a Kickstarter campaign with a $23,000 goal to record his first studio album, “Bridges.” His fans crushed that goal, and pledged $30,803 to help Jordan T. There were incentives with donations that included exclusive downloads, merchandise and more.
Jordan T said the song that put him on the map was “Sunset Tonight,” which was released in 2013 and has more than 1 million views on Youtube (bit.ly/2KDjPgc).
“I was very blessed and humble (to know) people shared that around the world,” he said. “That song was kind of a keystone in my career — people love it.”
Jordan T’s fans have grown internationally, as he’s had tours in New Zealand, Guam and Australia. He said it’s a passion to travel and experience new cultures, and he’s able to share all that through his art. He loves being able to go somewhere and connect through music.
“Music is that universal language that can connect you,” he said. “No matter what language you speak, music can make everybody feel the same.”
For the future, Jordan T has his second album in the works. “Island Fuse” is the first song released from it. He’s busy balancing touring and working on the album, but his goal is to finish it and have it released by late summer. He reads and writes his own music, and he’s producing this album.
Jordan T is on social media platforms (Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter) with the handle @jordanTmusic. He said he’ll post updates for his new album on them, as well as tour news and upcoming releases. He also likes to do acoustic jams on camera for his followers when he’s offstage. Through technology, he can still share the aloha spirit with his fans across the globe.