For artists in the world of country music, the Grand Ole Opry House represents the pinnacle of success. It is a right of passage; a moment of becoming. Only the best grace its stage and Jessie Jordan is determined to stand where the legends have stood, take in the atmosphere, pick up her guitar and share her music with the audience. She’s ready. “Someday, I will achieve my Grand Ole Opry debut,” she says matter-of-factly. “Sooner, if possible.” With a growing Nashville fan base and cherished new songs such as “Mending Fences”, “Damage Done”, and “Wildflower Honey”, she’s on her way to that stage – a journey that has taken over a decade with lessons learned at each step.
“That’s when I realized that if you are not writing your own songs or playing your own music, you are nothing. You have to be different. You have to be yourself.”
Jordan’s journey started on a farm in Swartz Creek and with a love of country music. “It’s always been a part of my upbringing,” she recalls. “My dad is from Chattanooga, TN and country music became an institution in the family. I grew up listening to bands like Dr. Hook, and the Statler Bros. – anything from older country artists and ‘90s country. When I got older, I listened to bands like Fleetwood Mac and performers like Cher. Cher was my idol! That music shaped my songs and the way I write music today.” Even as a toddler, Jordan was showing off her song-writing chops, writing her first song at the age of five. “It was called ‘The Tennis Blues’,” she laughs. She began singing with hopes of landing a spot on “American Idol” or “The Voice”. “I thought, at the time, that it was the only way for me to be a musician,” she says. She was therefore surprised when, at the age of 13, she was approached by people in the music industry. “That’s when I discovered Nashville and I remember thinking it held so much opportunity.”
“My overall goal is to help as many people as possible through my music. No one will silence me. This is the truth.”
Starting her musical pursuits as a young teen, Jordan’s family made constant trips to Nashville so she could work with a representative of Capitol Records. She honed her craft and grew as a performer. At age 16, she headlined the Genesee County Fair. After graduating high school early, she moved to Nashville. Things were going well, but the starry future she envisioned began to fade. For years, she listened to the professionals, put in her time as a performer and worked as hard as she could only to find out that the industry wasn’t everything she dreamed it would be – nor did it have her best interests at heart. “That time in my life pulled my family apart a little bit,” she says. “My parents had cashed in their retirement to support me and they were taken advantage of. There was a lot of negative energy. I almost quit for my family.” It was during her early career that Jordan learned perhaps her biggest lesson. “What I was taught as a teenager is that you have to be what the industry wants,” she states. “You have to look, sound and act a certain way. They dressed me and gave me songs to record. I wrote my own songs, but it was strongly suggested that I didn’t record my own music; that was all wrong. That’s when I realized that if you are not writing your own songs or playing your own music, you are nothing. You have to be different. You have to be yourself.” Jordan made the decision to step away from the recording executives and create her own career path and now, at 24, she’s happier and more confident than she has ever been. “I’m grateful for the growth I have had as a human being,” she states, “and I am proud of where I am.”
Jordan is making her brand of country music on her own terms. Each song, video and performance is done in her own way without input from others or pressure to do anything else. It’s very freeing but can be tough at times. “It’s a struggle. I’ve had to pay my own way for recording and marketing. I mean, you don’t get on Spotify playlists for free,” she explains. “I’ve built a lot of character in the last few years.”
Her most recent single releases are proving to be exactly what she needs to push ahead. They were written to be relatable and to provide help and comfort to those in need. “At 24, I feel like I have already lived a lifetime through my experience and my songs come from that,” she shares. “I want to use my platform for good, to write songs that help people move forward.” For example, “Mending Fences” references her early years. “It’s a difficult one to talk about – I’m very vulnerable when I write these songs,” she explains. “It’s about my time and what I went through as a teenager working in the music industry.” Another new song, “Damage Done”, is a personal account of three years she spent in a physically abusive relationship that she hopes will help those dealing with the same situation. “It’s about domestic violence,” she says. “I wrote it five years ago but didn’t release it until now. My overall goal is to help as many people as possible through my music. No one will silence me. This is the truth.” In each of her songs, Jordan’s voice and melodies highlight a talent that is obvious and will take her as far as she wants to go.
In Nashville, the competition for the spotlight is immense but Jordan is up to the challenge. She holds onto support from her family and was recently joined in Nashville by her best friend Kailey Cook. “She’s my social media guru and my right hand,” Jordan smiles. “The most difficult part for me is social media – it’s such a big part of the business today. You almost have to be an influencer.” Jordan believes that together, she and Kailey make an unstoppable team.
The road to the Grand Ole Opry House is long, but Jordan can see the stage. It’s crystal-clear and it’s waiting. Each small goal attained leads her closer to making history. Each song written, show performed and autograph signed is one more step forward and one more confirmation of her path. “It’s truly an amazing journey,” she says. “In five years, I plan on making my debut.”
Jessie Jordan’s music is available on Itunes, Spotify, Applemusic, YouTube and Iheart Radio.
To help support her quest to grace the grand stage, Like and Follow Jessie Jordan Music on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.