Climate change, conflict and humanitarian threats frequent 2018’s headlines, and the world sulks in a seemingly constant state of disagreement. Amongst the madness, Jordan Siwek is a ray of positivity.
Siwek’s debut EP, ‘Sun Inside You’, enforces his feel-good agenda in swathes. Admittedly it’s been a long time coming for the New York based singer-songwriter, who tells me that: “initially I started writing a couple of songs on the album about 9 years ago” but has been revising them since. The recording process began about 6 years ago, scrapping and rewriting content along the way. But, despite the setbacks, Siwek’s refreshing optimism and perseverance resonates throughout the process and shines through his latest EP. Inspired by the likes of The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Billy Joel, and John Legend, Siwek draws inspiration from any genre of music that revels in infectious melodies and lyrics – factors which gleam brightly in his own work.
‘Sun Inside You’ is a buoyant, bounding EP drizzled with spirited piano solos and woozy saxophone licks, pulled together by Siwek’s uplifting vocals that dance alongside the instrumentation – a cheerful reinforcement of his persona. Without a doubt, American politics are getting a tough rap – just a quick glance across the headlines will note that the President’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is in jeopardy – and so it certainly feels an apt moment to introduce the EP to a turbulent world.
Staking its claim as an advocate for unity and a reminder to appreciate the brighter things in everyday life, Siwek expresses that the EP:
“is all about the dichotomy of darkness and light, and the songs themselves represent the highs and lows that I experienced during the recording and writing process.” He continues to explain that: “Each song on the album represents a different powerful moment in my life.”
Opening track ‘Lover And A Giver’ is a direct response to frictions in the US.
He adds: “I feel like a lot of people are starting to lose hope, and that there’s a lot of divisions in America and the world now.” ‘
Lover and a Giver,’ Siwek explains:
“is written to be an anthem of love, hope, and unity; and to serve as a reminder to appreciate the beautiful things in life and to offer a much needed catharsis.”
Bursting with twinkling guitar lines and piano melodies, tracks such as ‘Never Give Up’ and ‘Underachiever (Know Your Song)’, inject optimism into its listeners with melodies that surge with enthusiasm and radiance – pushing home the message of perseverance during times of difficulty. Reflecting on the EP, Siwek takes a moment to consider:
“during these times of division, unity is more important than ever.” He firmly believes in the power of music, and that it is a force which is underestimated: “Music brings us together like no other medium, and music has the power to unite people of all different backgrounds, all over the world.” There’s a clear message that he wishes to convey with his EP, and hopes the album will: “inspire people to live their lives to the fullest, and to never give up hope in what we can achieve when we work together in a positive way.”
Despite his firm stance on the importance of the arts and politically charged music, he believes that there’s a need for tact and subtlety in its delivery.
“I think that music and the arts are an essential means of expression, and in times like these, where everything in the news is so politically charged, it makes sense for art to reflect the times. I think there is definitely a place for politically charged music, but I do feel that there are various ways to make a powerful point, and that there’s a delicate balance in how to get that point across in a positive way to reach the most people.”
In a city as diverse and expansive as New York (and an arts scene that mirrors this diversity) Siwek admits that life as a musician in the Big Apple may be challenging, but focuses on the positive aspects of having such a rich creative scene at his disposal. He muses:
“Sometimes it feels like it’s hard to get noticed here in New York City, because we’re so saturated with great art, but I love the singer-songwriter community here! It’s amazing being around so many creative artists, writers, and musicians!”
Thriving on memorable pop-hooks Sun Inside You is a resplendent and delightful debut – a much needed release of harmony and assurance in 2018.