Country Next: Jordan Fletcher
We take pride in introducing fans to country music’s brightest new stars through our Country Next series. Here, we chat with Jordan Fletcher.
Jordan Fletcher; Photo by Jeff Ray
Jordan Fletcher was always drawn to music as a kid. At age six, he began playing percussion but eventually found himself immersed in more than drumming. After a short time in college, the Florida native made his way to Nashville, and developed a knack for songwriting, penning tunes for artists like Riley Green and Chris Bandi.
Soon enough, Fletcher realized he was also a talented singer and performer. And although performing came naturally for him, touring life wasn’t exactly glamorous. Working his way up the musical ladder, he sold merchandise for fellow musicians Muscadine Bloodline, and also traveled across the country promoting his music while living out of his truck and a camper top he purchased for $300.00.
Now signed to Triple 8 Management and also a Triple Tigers recording artist, it’s clear that Fletcher’s hard work and perseverance have paid off. Coming off of his recent Grand Ole Opry debut, he is sharing his autobiographical debut EP entitled, True Stories. The project, produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, John Prine), takes a look “at Fletcher’s life as a songwriter, dad, husband, surfer, and believer” and features four cuts including, “Firebird,” “I Know You Are, But What Am I,” “Still Those Kids,” and “Rather Be Broke.”
“It’s an incredible blessing the way this project came out,” Fletcher said in a recent press release of the deeply personal project. “We pulled straight from the veins on these songs and working with Cobb has brought out every bit of what they’re supposed to be.”
Fletcher caught up with Country Now to talk about his road to success, new EP, upcoming shows, and more.
Read on to learn more about Jordan Fletcher in this exclusive Q&A below.
How did you begin a career in country music?
I didn’t necessarily start trying to sing country music. I started as a drummer when I was young. I did that throughout middle school and high school. Then, in college, I played for churches and was in rock bands and stuff. But, for whatever reason, I felt like God was calling me to go to Nashville. So, I dropped out of school and moved to Nashville with some buddies from Florida. So, that’s when I started writing music, and that’s when country music came in. I mean, I always listened to country music, but I didn’t pursue it until I moved to Nashville.
How did you make the transition from being a drummer to a singer-songwriter?
When I got into town, I immediately started getting plugged in with the writers. So, I did start writing right when I got here. Eventually, I knew that I wanted to, at least, write. I didn’t know if I was necessarily going to sing. So, I was doing that, and with everything else, my circle began to expand. As my songs got better and I started to hone my craft, it caught somebody’s interest. That’s how it happened for me.
Do you remember what your first shows were like performing as a solo artist?
Terrifying! It was horrifying. Still, to this day, I have a lot of stage anxiety. But, that usually can go away with proper preparation if I feel like I’m comfortable with what I’m doing and that whole thing. Then, that goes away. But, definitely, in the beginning, when I didn’t know what I was doing, that was scary. I was like, ‘Man. I hope this makes sense and people don’t hate it.’ That was my standard, ‘Just don’t hate it.’ So, I kept doing that until I got a little bit more comfortable.
What was it like navigating your career when you moved to Nashville?
The one thing to remember when you get to Nashville is that everybody who moves to Nashville was that person from their hometown that left. It’s like, everybody takes that risk. Different people have things that make it a little easier to make that transition. I’d say, I had fine resources. I was working odds and ends jobs. But, when I got on the road, I was touring out of my vehicle. I had this camper top that you put in the back of your truck. I got it for like $300.00. Instead of paying for hotels, I slept in the bed of my truck, took showers at Planet Fitness, and did stuff like that. So, it’s a pretty good business model once you get started on the road, and you don’t want to spend a ton of money. All I was paying for was gas. So, that’s what that was. It wasn’t luxurious, but, for me, it was one of the most formative experiences getting to do the music thing. It’s like, no matter what, that’s probably going to be one of the more unique experiences I ever get. It was about three months of me being on the road, going all over the place from Connecticut down to Florida over to Wichita Falls, Texas. I was driving those miles and sleeping in the truck the whole time. So, I learned a lot through that, and it was an experience!
You recently signed with Triple Tigers Records. How has that experience been for you so far?
It’s been incredible! There have been ups and downs throughout the whole thing. You’ll take a couple of steps forward, and maybe something will happen. Or maybe, you’ll take a step back. It can stall out. But I’ve had a good team around me for a while. But, when Triple Tigers got on, it put a lot of fuel in the fire. I signed with Triple 8 Management, and then the next month, I signed with Triple Tigers. It was like a whole lot of change and a whole lot of good happening in a short period because they have an incredible reputation. Their skillset is insane. Then, everyone on that team is top-notch! So, it does everything you need. You can have songs that people might like, but if nobody hears them, it doesn’t do you much good. So, it’s been insane, and if I were to tell myself that this was going to happen in a few years – you know, tell the guy who was in a truck bed, I wouldn’t have believed me to be completely honest.
You just dropped your debut EP True Stories. Congratulations! What can you tell me about that project?
It’s pretty on the nose. It’s a handful of true stories. For myself, it’s cathartic to have a body of work that is so autobiographical. I didn’t realize it until I started listening back to those songs as we were compiling them and seeing what we wanted to record – that it was 100% like a diary that opened up for me. It feels good and exciting. The fans that I already have and the new fans that, hopefully, come won’t have to dig too far to learn about me. After all, it’s right there on their plate. So, it’s cool to get to experience that. But, on the other side of things, it’s pretty personal. So if they don’t like it, it’s hard not to take it personally. So, it’s an exciting time because of what’s at stake. It’s a bunch of true stories, and you can take it or leave it, I guess.
What’s the inspiration behind your current single, “Rather Be Broke?”
“Rather Be Broke” is a lot of fun. It came kind of in the order of this EP being created. So, this has all been a fluid process. I love playing it, and I know that my friends and the people I work with feel like it was a great first move, just as far as what it sounds like and the fact that it is along with the same narrative of this project, which is all so true. So, it just felt like a good first move for us. But yeah, it’s basically about the fact that I was broke when I wrote it. I’m still broke right now, and it’s about the fact that I’m talking to my wife, and it’s like, ‘You know, if I had the opportunity to choose between her and what we have now, which is a great life, or have everything in the world, I wouldn’t change a thing because we have a really sweet set-up, even though we don’t have any extra going around. So, that’s what this song is about. We still have the old couch from my parents, the cars that beat up, and everything. But, we’re blessed to be able to do what we’re doing. And, we’re doing it!
How about “Firebird.” Can you tell me how that one came about?
So my dad got sick and passed away when I was 11. When he got sick, he retired and bought this old Pontiac Firebird. It’s a 1969 black Firebird with a white convertible top. It’s got this big old motor in it. It’s got a 4-speed transmission. So, it was a project car, and while he was sick, we got to work on it together. We never finished it. And, when he passed, I never really spent any time on it, just for different reasons. So, that song talks about the memory I have with my dad. It resides more in that car than at a gravesite or somewhere else. So, that’s the whole idea of that song, the fact that the car brings me closer to him.
Since you also play drums. Did you incorporate your musicianship into this project?
Oh yeah! I played drums, guitar and sang on “Rather Be Broke.” So, I’ve been thankful because the people I’ve gotten to work with and the people who produced these songs have trusted me to step up to the plate. With the rest of the songs, I played acoustic, electric and sang on them, and sang harmonies and stuff like that. So, I got to stretch my muscles a bit with this project. It feels really good. It has that authenticity because obviously, you don’t want to put someone underqualified, meaning myself, on a project that everyone will hear, but if it can work out as it has, I’m grateful that it has worked out that way.
What do you want fans to take away from this project?
It’s very true. It’s 100% true. I want them to take away that. Then after that, I want it to serve them in some way because, for me, music has always made me feel something that I wasn’t already feeling, and I hope it does that. I hope they make them feel something.
You also made your Grand Ole Opry debut last month. What was it like getting surprised by that news?
It was pretty crazy. I mean, it was an honor in general because SiriusXM named me as a “Highway Find,” and they’ve been spinning “Rather Be Broke” like crazy. So, getting to go in and having an in-person interview was exciting in itself. On top of that, to be told that you’re going to play the Grand Ole Opry in like a week and a half was pretty mind-blowing. So, I was reeling the whole time. I almost feel like they should’ve told me that at the end of the interview because I was blown away by the fact that I was going to play the Opry.
How did you prepare for that show?
As far as preparing for it, it was just a matter of finding out how the Opry prefers to do it. Who all is playing? Is it their band or my band? How many songs? You know, just logistics for the show. Beyond that, it was getting my head in the right space to recognize that I’m about to walk into that circle that’s got so much history behind it. All of these iconic artists have come through and showcased music that’s lived on even to this day. So to have my name thrown into that hat is awe-inspiring. So, I’m was excited about the whole thing, and the fact that it was a surprise was even better.
What’s next for you?
So, I recently got off the Kip Moore tour from last year. We did the fall leg. I think we did maybe 15 dates with them. And that was such a great time. Kip and his crew are top-notch. So this year, the whole thing is finding the best place to showcase the music, whether that’s venues for my headlining shows or seeing if I can get shows with other bands or artists out there. So, that’s all in the works right now, but, with Covid, it’s making stuff change around on a dime. So, plans are tentative, but we got plans to get the music out there and in front of the fans.
Fans can keep up with Jordan Fletcher on Instagram.
Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Country Now, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.