Multi-instrumentalist, producer and writer, Geo Jordan has had a journey with many roads that have led to right here. From writing credits on Doja Cat’s album Planet Her, playing keys for Rina Sawayama’s Tiny Desk, an MD for several artists including Jorja Smith, and also a solo artist – having dropped his EP Technicolour, back in August, he is a man with many talents.
Admittedly, Geo doesn’t get much sleep, making sense as he has an extensive portfolio of work, he is nocturnal, always working on music and his journey through life. As a black Trans musician in the UK, Geo is here for the representation he lacked, a strength that truly comes from within and his newfound openness was due to the entrapment of Covid, forcing Geo to take time to be with himself and who he really is.
It is safe to say Geo has had a life-changing year, the EP acts as beautifully penned snapshots of his feelings leading up to his top surgery, which ironically, Geo sat down with Industry Me one year since the operation. It is a special moment in his life that is noticeable as every word that is said by Geo is coated in the most humble, authentic, and content musician. There’s no stopping him either, as he is preparing for a headline show early next year, joining Jungle on their tour and a heap of new music. We sat down with Geo Jordan to discuss these very central moments in his journey…
Geo! You’ve been busy, how are you?
Good! It’s been a busy few weeks and this release sort of marks a little bit of a break for me before I head to America, so it’s been hectic, to say the least! It’s cool to be out and about and travelling again but obviously, with the current climate it has been a little more difficult and draining than it used to be.
So, you’re someone who likes to travel, where did you grow up?
I grew up in London! Grew up in North, went to school in South London, and then had a little stint in the Essex sides for a bit. Then I studied at Leeds, and then came back to London.
Where is the best place to live then?
London is amazing but it is definitely a hard city to be in, but there is a lot of creativity here despite the expense of being here. It’s a good vibe. The north is different, but they are much more friendly I’d say! You can get those vibes down here, but I think it takes a bit more breaking in here. I went up to Manchester the other day and it was wicked, I forgot how much I loved it. I was doing a few shows up there and we went on a walk before one of the shows, we ended up meeting one of the guys who owns a music shop called Chase, and it was an Indian guy who’d own the shop for 30+ years, had his own brand of guitars. It was just one of those places that just had that nostalgia, it was so nice to see that there.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
Where would you say your journey began for you?
When I was young. I grew up in a musical household, they encouraged music. Which is lucky because often your family members want you to be an accountant or a lawyer, particularly from my culture. I started learning classical music when I was 5 years old until I was 18, and then went to university and studied Jazz. I was always a bit of a nerd, so much of my taste in music came from video soundtracks. And I’d go to the studio sometimes with my parents and be fascinated by all the equipment by all the stuff. So, that in the works with having a classical music background, kind of fuels a lot for me. I kind of just knew music is where it is at.
Games like Final Fantasy, and the more American stuff like Tony Hawkes Pro Skate, they licensed music instead of composing music for that game, like FIFA now. The music is almost as important as the game, if the music is bad you can’t play it properly.
What is Geo Jordan’s your secret?
Drink lots of water! Be happy! Do things that serve you and make you feel good. I’ve gone through a bit of a transitional process through lockdown, that changed my narrative on how I talk about things. For example, if someone asks how I am, I am honest with my answer in how I am actually feeling. I don’t want to default things into ‘I’m fine’ or ‘just tired’, just more present and positive. But I am in a place right now where my music is moving in the right direction, I have some other opportunities starting to manifest, so things are good. I don’t have anything to complain about, I’m grateful, I’m doing what I love. Words are powerful, I’m trying to figure it out.
The transitional period you’re talking about also helped create your latest EP, Technicolour
Technicolour was made in the first lockdown, I had stopped touring, so I had time to create. I had all my equipment and through I had weeks to experiment and create, so it was pretty much me locking myself in my front room and making all this music. I look back at that time now and think, that was amazing. I haven’t had time like that since university.
You’ve had a life-changing personal year on top of Covid. You are now navigating being an openly Transgender artist, how have you dealt with that personally?
I would say the pandemic gave me a chance to reflect and breathe. For a long time, people knew, I wouldn’t say I was closeted but I wouldn’t say I was super open with my experiences. And it came to a point where I was able to sit down and reflect on it. also realising how it had affected my career, and some of my relationships personally, and the importance of taking time to share my story. In the industry, I don’t have any role models. In the UK, there’s a lot of queer artists across the spectrum of LGBTQ+, but there are really no black trans artists that I am aware of. There wasn’t really a friend that I could relate to, in many ways that made me want to be more sheltered. But, in lockdown, I went through my top surgery, which was a year ago today.
On this day, I was in my op, so that’s weird – it been an interesting journey. being open allowed me to put it in my music, so it was all around that same time, I had a bit of an awakening of sorts.
It takes real strength to be a person you haven’t had in the world, when reading your song titles from the EP, you can tell the real stages of the journey you went through. So how can you now reflect, even today being one year since your top surgery, how can you look back at this past year?
They say that luck and hard work meet each other halfway, I would say my life has changed profoundly since opening up more. Particularly going through that has changed my life, I wouldn’t be able to be in this position right now if I didn’t open up. And I want that to be the theme in whatever I create, and the experiences I share. It has to be a genuine thing. I know that is not a formula that works for everyone, but that’s mine. Things like my self-esteem issues and depression, I realised they were all linked to this, that feeling of being trapped and not sharing my story. It has been so positive.
Do you have a favourite song you have released?
I remember the time of writing In Too Deep, I remember that one out of all of the songs felt exactly how I wanted it to feel like, damn! If that makes sense? You know when you have the thing in your heart that you wanted to create and then it comes to life, it was that with In Too Deep. I enjoy playing it live as well.