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Meet Jordan Padilla

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

Jordan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I think like most musicians in their early lives, it was my mum who noticed my interest for music. At around the age of four, I was always stealing pots and pans to play drums on. My parents hated taking me to Chinese restaurants as a kid because I’d always break chopsticks playing drums on the table. It was at eight that my mum asked me if I wanted to start taking piano lessons. My dad  was always extremely supportive and would drive me to every piano lesson and piano exam. I grew to love piano and started to grow an interest for keyboards and synths.

I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. I was exposed to playing in bands at an early age growing up in church but was really able to start gigging on the scene in Sydney at various venues when I was 17. I started to play in many cover bands as well as some original afrobeat/funk bands. While in Sydney, I was able to work with artists such as Polographia, Matt Black, Asta, and BLESSED. Through this time, I was studying at an institution for two years straight after high school. When I was 20, I auditioned for Berklee College of Music in Boston.

I was fortunately awarded a scholarship to attend Berklee, where I started in 2016. While at Berklee I was able to write and record with Jesus Molina on “Reharms, Vol. 1”, write and perform with TEGA on his album “Body”, start my own original project “Jordan Meek” with an EP that is in the works, as well as study under professors like Vadim Neselovskyi, Melissa Ferrick, Christian Li and others. While at Berklee a friend of mine had referred me to audition to play keyboards for artist Danny Ocean. I auditioned and was blessed to be offered the spot. Since then, we have toured and played multiple shows all over South America and the US.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has most definitely not been smooth. It’s been a journey with many hills and valleys and I’ve learnt and grown so much throughout the whole process.

Before coming to Berklee I was working three different jobs as well as gigging to afford moving to the US. I worked in a hospital in food services, Starbucks and even tried my hand at as a phone salesperson. Working all throughout 2015 really built resilience and taught me to hold on. This allowed me to stay at Berklee for two years before going home to work again. While working a job at a factory in Sydney during 2018, loading and unloading trucks full of packages, I developed a 13cm blood clot in my left subclavian vein. This was caused by a rare condition called thoracic outlet. I was told that me lifting heavy boxes overhead for 5 – 6 hours at a time-triggered this clot.

This was obviously a big scare as well as a big blow to my ability to work and to pursue my dream of finishing school. I spent the whole year trying to recover and figure everything out. My physical and mental health was never tested as much as it was that year, as I started fighting anxiety and immense amounts of self-doubt. My faith in God was really huge in me picking myself back up. Not sure how I was going to get back to school I started to apply for grants and scholarships. Fortunately, I earned enough external scholarships to get me back to school, and that semester that I returned to school was the semester that I was given the opportunity to audition for the Danny Ocean gig.

To this day, I am still working things out, but having been through what I’ve been through, I’ve learnt to always stay grateful, never see failure as final, to be better not bitter, and to honestly just trust in Gods plan for my life.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a touring keyboard player/pianist as well as a producer and singer-songwriter. As well as being a sideman, I also produce and song-write/top-line with and for other artists. I love being in the studio or writing room as much as I love performing on stage.

I am currently working on my artist project “Jordan Meek”. I currently have one single out entitled “All Ears”, and am also working on new music now for an EP I will be releasing. Be on the lookout for that.

I am proud of how diverse I am able to be in different situations. Whether it’s being a keyboard player, lyricist, songwriter, singer or producer. I try to adapt to any musical situation I am in.

I would say what sets me apart is I try to approach every situation with an open mind and a willingness to always serve the music. I definitely see music as something that is beyond just vibrations. I think with every sound made there is something powerful underlying, with the potential to move people and influence lives. That mindset definitely influences the way I approach musical situations.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would’ve made sure that I always put my physical and mental health before my drive to succeed. Because you’re only given one body to work with, and one shot at life.

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