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Meet Jordan Hawkins

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jordan Hawkins.

Jordan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Growing up taking piano lessons and singing in the gospel choir at my hometown church, I was musically involved from a very young age. I wrote my first song on piano at the age of 13, however, it wasn’t until I picked up a guitar than I began to really develop my musical identity and sound. Teaching myself from youtube videos, jam sessions and guitar tabs, artists like Jimi Hendrix and John Mayer inspired me to hone my abilities on the guitar, as well as my ability to write authentic songs. Combined with the soulful inspiration from the likes of Etta James, Marvin Gaye, and The Isley Brothers to name a few, I am now forging a new sub-genre within R&B called NeoHendrix. NeoHendrix blends soulful singing with out of body guitar playing to create passionate noise.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
While now, I have a clear sense of identity and sense of direction getting to this point has had its challenges. The toughest challenge for me was balancing my passion for music with parental and societal expectations. As a young black male that had the opportunity to attend a prestigious 4-year college and graduate with an Economics degree there was an expectation of me to go get a “real job/career”, that paid “real money” and serve as an example to kids in my community of the importance of college and education as the right choice. Given that neither my parents nor grandparents ever graduated college and that both provided for the family without access to white-collar opportunities there was additional familial pressure for me to be a breadwinner and make the family proud. It was hard for them to understand why I would want to move to a place as expensive as LA, turn down a 6 figure salary, barely make rent, risk destroying my credit, and put my all into something that could never pay off. Seeing the disappointed half-smiles of friends and family back home when I told them I was choosing to pursue my dream was initially tough to mentally overcome. As I respond to this interview, everyday life is still not easy with no car and an unideal 9-5. Yet I still sacrifice luxury to put every spare penny into my passion.

Please tell us more about your story. What do you do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
I want to serve as an inspiration to all dreamers that the road to success is difficult but rewarding in ways outside of financial stability. As an artist, I do my best to exude positivity and instill the belief in others that whatever their dream is it is achievable and worth fighting for. While I make music and give a fire live performance, I have bigger goals of building a fanbase and community of dreamers that will have the courage to take risks and follow their passions.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was shy, reserved and quiet. I was quite the nerd and outside of school, I spent most of my time alone doing homework, reading books, playing my instruments, going to church choir rehearsals and writing songs. Outside of school and music, I played adventuresome video games with my friends like “Skyrim” and “Minecraft”, while also being a member of the generation that ushered in the popularity of “Call of Duty”. Personality-wise, I was very positive, well mannered and smiled a lot.

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Image Credit:
Kiyo Vigliotti – Grass Image/Studio hoodie images, Graham Smith- all other images

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