Growing up with two passions, JRDN (a.k.a. Jordan Croucher) had a love for both basketball and music. From Halifax, Nova Scotia, of Canada’s east coast, JRDN started out as a basketball player, playing for his University team at St. Francis Xavier and professionally for France’s national team! Believing in his dreams and the value of pursuing them, JRDN recently decided to follow his other passion and is going all the way! Headed for the top, his hit single “U Can Have It All” is currently in the Top 20 on the MuchMusic Countdown and in iTunes Top 3 alongside Cee Lo & Usher! On November 9th, 2010 JRDN anticipates the release of his official debut album, IAMJRDN. He has opened up for superstars like Rihanna and Ne-Yo in the past couple of years, and now you can check him out on his own upcoming Canadian tour. In his own words, Jordan shares his excitement, "IAMJRDN is really a representation of just that: who I am, where I come from and all the things that have inspired me on the journey to who I am today. Working with guys as talented as Kuya Productions has been an absolute blessing, and I put my heart and soul into every track on this album and can't wait for the world to hear it!"
You came onto the music scene in 2007 and today, you have a hit single, “U Can Have It All”, but before any of this, you were actually playing basketball and even played professionally in France! When did you realize you wanted to switch up your career and be a musician?
Well it’s kind of corny because I fell in love with my voice before I did with basketball but it was all within the same 6 months and I was younger, I was 11 years old, but I found my 2 passions within 7 or 8 months apart and I knew I had a voice, but at a young age, I had friends make fun of me so I didn’t sing a lot, I just focused on basketball, not really thinking of making a career out of music but I always knew I could sing but it wasn’t until I was in University that I hooked up with this group, a band who is studying in the grad department and they wanted me to lead for the band. They’d heard me sing at karaoke, national anthems you know for hockey playoffs and stuff and it was then that the thought came and it crossed my mind that one day when the basketball stops, maybe try a hand at music so the will started working there while I was still pursuing my basketball career and being in University.
Growing up, what were some of your musical idols or influences?
Initially, it was Babyface. Babyface was the first, a song called “Sunshine” that I heard when I first moved back to Halifax that was an initial inspiration and then Michael Jackson, I was a big fan of Michael and James Brown and a lot of older artists, R&B, but Babyface was my main inspiration. Silence: Sounds like you’re an old soul. JRDN: Old soul? You said it! I say that every day. I am a young man with an old soul.
Already, you’re opening up for stars like Rihanna, Nas, Ne-Yo, and Snoop Dogg across Canada. To what would you attribute this kind of success?
Well I think it’s been a journey so far. I feel like with the new project and the new single doing so well, I have an opportunity to become successful with my music. The new single’s proving that right now, “U Can Have It All”. It’s doing well, Canada’s really supporting it so far.
Now let’s talk about the album. You’ve mentioned that the focus will be a little different from the first one and it will be about the “women in your life”.
Yeah, you know, there’s family to it too though, not just women, but it is a lot to do with my relationships and growing up in relationships you could say.
Would you say that the women in your life have made a great contribution in your life, to who you are, both as a man and an artist as well?
Oh most definitely. Definitely, have. It’s hard to comment on that, but I mean, especially the ones that have been in my life over time.
In talking about love songs, what do you think it is that keeps all of us hooked to love songs? Everyone loves to be in love with love songs.
It’s an emotion. I think everybody wants to be loved and everybody wants companionship and needs love in their life, so when you can share that, as an artist, express that through a song, you relate to it, no matter what it is, especially when it’s about love, cause everybody can relate to love, no matter what genre, no matter what race, no matter your ethnic background, you know, everybody can relate to love, so I think that’s why there’s a special connection to love songs with people in general, you know.
Aside from making music, you also get involved in your communities in Toronto and hometown Halifax, and participate in youth community outreach. What kinds of projects are you involved in?
Right now, I’m involved in poverty events, I’m helping out with that, doing a little bit of stuff, actually you can go to the website, makepovertyhistory.ca and you can probably check me on there. I’ve done some stuff for Apathy Is Boring in Montreal, but most recently, like in the past three years, I’ve been doing little things here and there, but the last big thing I did, I went on a state visit to Central Europe with the governor general of Canada as one of his delegates, that was two years ago, two years ago in December we went out, there were ten of us, he chose ten delegates to go out and represent Canada and before that I was an Ambassador for Democracy 250 in Halifax in 2008, it was the 250th birthday of democracy in Canada. I was an Ambassador for that and did a lot of shows towards high schools within Nova Scotia and did about 8 gigs with a full orchestra and stuff like that. But right now, there’s more focus on the music cause in the last year a half, two years, we really go in and make some trips to Atlanta, LA and New York and just focused on the music and when those things pop up, I always try to give back as much as I can and definitely will continue to do that, but right now, it’s just we have A LOT of work to get ready for this November 9th release date and just excited to get that out.
Everyone has bad days. What helps you de-stress, relax or cope when you’re having a bad day or hard time?
Uhh, a nice bottle of grapes (laughs), some good food, and a movie.
Alright. So what was the last good movie that you watched?
Umm...what was the last good movie that I watched?...Well the last movie I went to was...oh man, it’s been a minute, it’s been a minute, that’s how much I’ve been working I guess. Yeah, I’ve been trying to go to a movie, I’ve been trying to get to a movie for a minute but I’ve been real busy I can’t even remember the last movie I seen. I remember I went with some..oh it was that action superhero one that had everybody in it and it was absolutely amazing – The Untouchables! Yeah! That was the last movie I seen and it was crazy! All the superstars, superheroes and fighters, I loved it, it was dope.
When someone is struggling with mental health issues, it’s very easy to lose hope. What would you want to say to someone in that situation?
Just remember to take one day at a time. I know some people with mental health issues, they don’t like taking their medication and I know how important it is, the initial thing is that you need the medication but I would just tell them to take one day at a time and make sure that they follow their doctor’s prescriptions.
Beautiful. Just a few more questions, random questions rather. What’s your favourite memory from any of the tours that you took this year?
Well I haven’t been on the road in the past year and a half, two years, but the last tour I did was with Classified which promoted my No Dress Code album. Any memories from my shows? Wow there are so many...maybe I met Ne-Yo! And I got to talk to him and he gave me some really good advice in music so I mean that was really cool and the people down there, they sent me to, they gave me an address in New York to go to do an open mic and I went there and things have been going great ever since and that was really cool, but I think the coolest experience was meeting my favourite MC and opening up for him, that was Nas. Yeah, I got to meet Nas and it was just a quick little “what’s up” but opening for Nas, he’s my favourite rapper so...yeah.
Do you have any words that you live by?
Any words to live by...yowza dowza...nah, that’s a joke. I got this little word I use it’s called Yowza, it’s actually a little computer chip, I thought I invented it, and it means “the obvious”. I use it as the obvious but words to live by...umm...yes! Believe in your dreams, never give up trying to achieve them, you may fall along the road of life, but get up! Keep on keepin’ on, you can do it, believe in your dreams! Those are words that my mother gave me in a card when I went to Canadian Idol and I’ll never forget those words and I always live by them.