Growing up in a small town just south of Barrie, Ontario, Canadian country artist Jordan Riley upholds the small-town values that are often sung about in country music. “He first realized his passion for the genre after playing numerous shows all across Ontario” (Riley). In 2014 he took up songwriting and a few years later, he was recording his original music. To date, Jordan has released 6 songs including his 2020 single release, “Still Got It”, which was co-written and produced by Taylor Abram (James Barker Band). “It was released to Canadian Country Radio and featured on the Complete Country Playlist on both Apple Music & Spotify.” (Riley). In 2021, Jordan plans to release several singles and his debut EP. His first of many releases is his single “All Nighter”, which is out now.
Produced by Taylor Abram and co-written by Jordan, Taylor Abram and Connor Stephen, All Nighter is a pop-country party anthem that will have fans wanting to kick back and crack a cold one with their friends on a hot summer day. With a strong drum-opening instrumental hook paired with catchy lyrics, you’ll want to turn the volume up from the moment the song comes on.
Recently, I spoke to Jordan about his new single, his upcoming EP & his music goals moving forward in the new year.
KYLA PEARSON: You’ve been a professional artist for over a decade and have played gigs all across Ontario. Have you been in country music the whole time? What drew you to pursue this genre and how has the Ontario country music scene impacted your music career?
JORDAN RILEY: For as long as I can remember, country music has been part of my life. I grew up listening to country music with my dad, however, I wasn’t sold on it until I was in my later teens. When I started playing gigs, county music was always apart of my setlist, whether that be covers or original music. To be honest, for the last 10 years country music in Ontario has been continuously growing, and I think it was natural for me to start playing the music I grew up listening to.
KP: Your last single, “Still Got It” was co-written and produced by Taylor Abram of the James Barker Band (JBB’s platinum-certified single “Keep It Simple” hit #1 at Country Radio in 2019). It was also released to Canadian Country Radio and was featured on the “Complete Country” playlist. What has writing with JBB been like for you? Do you have future collaborations/projects together in the works? What has the single’s success meant for you and your music?
JORDAN: When I first started recording music, Taylor Abram was producing it, and this was before JBB was a band. I am very fortunate to have friends in high places that helped my success more than I could possibly thank them for. My entire upcoming EP will be recorded with Taylor Abram, and my next single is co-written between myself, Taylor Abram, and Connor Brock Stephen of JBB. With the success of “Still Got It” my main goal is to keep pushing forward. I am continuously setting high goals for myself, and I won’t quit until I achieve them.
KP: You recently released your latest single, “All Nighter”. What can fans expect from this new single? What was the inspiration behind the song? What was the process that went into making this song?
JORDAN: Like “Still Got It”, my upcoming single “All Nighter” is going to be up-tempo and pop-country. The difference between the two is that “All Nighter” is a party song, and really makes you want to crack a cold one and turn the music up loud. As far as production goes, this song has the most I’ve ever done. I wanted this single to really show the fun side of my music, and everyone can relate to a good time, especially after the year we just had.
KP: You also have your first EP being released in the first half of 2021. Can you tell us a bit more about it? How has the production/writing process for this EP been compared to writing/producing singles?
JORDAN: 2021 will be a big year for me. I will be releasing a couple of new singles, and my EP come June. The EP is going to be a mix of up-tempo, mid-tempo, and a ballad. I really wanted my first EP to showcase myself as an artist. I love all country music, and sometimes a ballad is what someone needs more than ever. When we first started working towards an EP, I knew I wanted to challenge myself musically. In order to grow, you sometimes need to try things that make you nervous, because the end result is more than you could ever hope for.
KP: Looking back, 2020 was a challenging time for many and it especially hit the entertainment/music industry harder than most. What was one lesson you learnt in light of the pandemic that has helped you grow as both an artist and individual? What is one opportunity you’ve had in 2020 that you may not have had, under normal conditions?
JORDAN: 2020 was probably the most challenging time for anyone, in any type of career, however musically I achieved more in 2020 than I think I could have if I didn’t have the extra time to release new music. I was able to be in the studio more with Taylor Abram not touring, and I benefited from that. As much as I know they want to get back on the road, I was fortunate enough to work with them more so than I normally would.
KP: Moving forward in 2021, what is one goal you hope to achieve with your music by the end of the year?
JORDAN: The ultimate goal would be to have my next single reach the top 40, and I am going to do everything I can to help it get there. At the end of the day, my main focus is to keep moving forward. It really isn’t about how fast I get there, but more so that I am continuously moving ahead. I have high hopes for 2021, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
Listen to “All Nighter” Now:
Apple Music: https://apple.co/37mY6Dl
Riley, Jordan. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Jan. 7 2021.
Unknown. “Featured: Canadian country artist Jordan Riley”. Photo courtesy of Jordan Riley. Accessed Jan. 13 2021.
Riley, Jordan. “Official Cover Art for Jordan Riley’s single, “All Nighter”.” Photo courtesy of Jordan Riley. Accessed Jan. 13 2021.