Jordannah Elizabeth is a musician, music journalist, author, model and the founder of The Process Records Media Group. Jordannah started Jordan’s River Promotions in 2004 in Denver, CO where she specialized in art and music event coordination, and artist and model management at 18 years old.
In 2007, she moved to Los Angeles and started The Process: Net Label to organize her personal music catalog that was growing harder to manage each year. In November 2010, she started booking events in partnership with Hangman Booking for Fat Baby in Manhattan, NY and other clubs in the Metropolitan area.
Jordannah Elizabeth currently works as an arts and culture journalist and and the editor of The Deli Magazine San Francisco. She contributes to a plethora of reputable websites and print publications. Jordannah’s passion for music, fashion and culture is unprecedented, and her wide range of knowledge of indie, psych, and experimental rock makes her a sought after insider in the music industry.
We met up at Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Parlor (2790 Harrison, San Francisco, CA 94110) Tel 415-550-6971 to indulge in some hardcore ice cream tasting, I opted for the bacon and Vietnamese Coffee, I could tell that Jordannah was going to go for the Banana and Beetroot, whilst we were waiting to be served, we chatted about divine intervention, advice about men and singing in the shower, here's how we got on....
Please introduce yourself and your music in one sentence
My name is Jordannah and I make music that comes from my soul and amazing collaborations.
The Process Records is a label you started up, how did this happen and what musicians would you be looking for?
I was trying to start a riot grrrl record label that supported young female musician. I was in New York City via Los Angeles, and I wanted to be more protective towards young women in the industry after learning what it was like to manage my career on my own. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. I started promoting underground bands in Bushwick. One night I was watching The Runaways biopic and started promoting bands who lived in my loft building and around the neighborhood.
The TPR grew into a popular music blog that covered psychedelic, experimental and shoegaze rock from North America, Eastern and Western Europe and Australia. That blog launched my current music journalism career.
TPR is now The Process Records Media Group, a boutique PR firm. I only work through referral when promoting other bands and manage my publicity through it.
‘The soul of Person in Em’, I really enjoyed this tune, what is the inspiration behind it, and what influenced the guitar sound?
It is a dark song. It is about being cursed out by a friend in a fancy restaurant. Haha. I think he was jealous of my friendship with a mutual friend who was at the table with us. He insulted me harshly and I walked out of the restaurant. He has since apologized and we are fine (it happened 2 years ago), but the pain I felt from that night created “The Soul of a Person in Em”.
A lot of people like that song. I’m a minimalist composer and at the time I was into blues and folk and was listening to Lightenin’ Hopkins, Townes Van Zandt and others, so it was kind of a masculine bluesy song.
How and when did you decide that you wanted to be a performer?
It was kind of divine intervention. I say this because I can’t define where the choice came from. I remember being young and no very beautiful, because of that I wanted to work behind the camera in film and television. I’m not saying that women who have low self esteem should hide their beauty because of their insecurity, but it was how I felt at 11 and 12 years old. A voice just said to me one day, “You’re going to be in front of the camera.” I kind of shrugged it off. Later, I went to junior college at 16 and wanted to major in English. I was not able to major because I was the only one in the entire school that signed up for French and English Literature, so they couldn’t offer me the appropriate course load...so I stumbled into the music department and was classically trained as a vocalist.
What‘s the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
My mother’s advice about men: “16 or 60, they’re all the same.” I don’t blame men for being a little offended by that, but she was really telling me not to put unrealistic expectations on them. I am a feminist, but I’ve learned to be a strong woman and feminist, by working with, listening to and having trusting professional and personal relationships with them.
If you’re in the music industry, no matter what gender you are, you’ve got to get along with them and show compassion because it is a male dominated industry. Also, we much be compassionate and supportive towards female musicians for the same reason.
Would you rather live with a dog that sings lullabies or a gorilla that can do sign language? Explain your answer
I love dogs, I love children and I love lullabies. It would be a pleasure to have a dog that sings.
If push came to shove, what is the BEST album/record ever released and why?
Oh, I love all music. I think of albums and music that way.
Do you own a record that you wouldn’t like to admit you have?
I love 90s R&B pop music. I grew up to it. Dru Hill, Jodeci, Keith Sweat, SWV, Excape, I love it all. I love country music, Kitty Wells, Dolly Parton. I’m not embarrassed by that music. I sing Shakira in the shower and I like “Hit Me Baby One More Time.”...it’s a great track. If it’s a good song, it’s a good song. Doens’t matter the genre or demographic target.
Where was the picture taken for your record ‘Bring to the Table’, who by and what made this pose work so well?
Ha, I’m surprised people are so interested in that photo. It was shot by Chrissy Kovacsics in Brooklyn, NY at a shut down music venue called Market Hotel. It was being renovated and it was this kind of this beautiful squat that Chrissy knew about.
I chose the photo because it was me being natural. I’m not an amazing model anymore. I felt this shot was real and endearing. I only really wear dresses in photo shoots. When I’m about town, I try to wear decent fabrics and clothes, but I’m always in jeans.
I thought I would just let my listeners see my legs. It’s a really simple reason.
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
There are so many. I recorded a bedroom recording of Nina Simone’s Baltimore. I would like to make a real pass at it. The current recording gets attention, but it was recorded with plans to do a better version. I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
First gig you ever went to and describe the experience?
I don’t remember. Maybe Stephen Marley in D.C...a free concert. My mom would take us to fly kites in the Mall. I really remember Stevie Wonder at the Ravens Block Party. It was a huge celebration and I was just kicking it with my junior high friends (maybe I was in high school, not sure) but I paid attention to him. That was an honor.
For each of your songs which would be perfect for a first date, a wedding and a funeral?
Ha, I have a huge catalog - Let’s do Bring to the Table:
Six Years - First Date
The Things You Do - First Date
Cello Experimental Two - Funeral
The Soul of a Person in Em - Funeral
Bring to the Table - Wedding
How has social media aided your music and helped people to hear you?
Social Media is amazing. Lately, I’ve been meeting record label A&Rs through my facebook page. It helps me connect with listeners, so when I’m out at a club, people do walk up to me and say they “love my facebook or twitter”. I try to be genuine and real.
I use it to connect with people on an honest level, to let them learn about my interests and thoughts...and also to share my music, essays and articles.
You’re also a journalist and an editor do you feel it is needed to take time away from your music and how does this help you?
Writing is my passion. I am a songwriter, I am a journalist and columnist. Music has been incorporated. I happen to have a nice voice, so I sing my words sometimes.
The music journalism has helped me me some of my heroes. I interview and cover top musicians. It has changed me life. Through my articles and interviews I get inside information on how to be a great artist. I learn so much.
What’s your favourite quote that has always stuck with you?
“True I got more fans than the average man but not enough loot to last me to the end of the week, I live by the beat like you live check to check. If you don't move yo' foot then I don't eat, so we like neck to neck. Yes we done come a long way like them Slim ass cigarettes from Virginia, this ain't gon stop so we just gonna continue.”
Outkast - Andre 3000 - You and Me (Elevators)
How would you describe the music scene in San Francisco?
Fun, young and vibrant.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
IDEA Records is releasing a 7 inch split vinyl of brand new music from me. I’m also going to collaborating with some amazing people this winter. Keep an eye out, I think you will be very pleased with the next few releases.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2014?
I'm going to play some shows. I'm throwing an holiday party in L.A. at All Welcome Studios on December 12th. I'm going to travel a bit and see some friends. I'm enjoying 2014. It's been a great year. I've been blessed.
It looked like Jordannah was really enjoying her Banana and Beets ice cream, so much so, she wanted more....I was just about fit to burst so we headed out and grabbed a coffee, whilst waiting, I asked her a bunch of quick fire questions....
Coffee or Tea?
Coke or Pepsi?
Drum machine or the real deal?
both on the same track or stage
Mac or PC?
Taco or Burger?
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)?
CD or Vinyl?
it’s just good to get music out there...
Candle or Torch?
Car or Motorbike?
Acoustic or electric?
Shower or Bath?
both are a pleasure
Tattoos or Piercings?
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino?
God or Google?
November 21st - Dolores Park Cafe
We'd like to thank Jordannah for sparing her time to answer our questions and wish her every success in the future. If she ever makes it over to UK shores, we'll be sure to arrange a meeting to catch up further, I may even treat her to an English 'Cream Tea' to get rid of the taste of banana and beetroot ice cream!
Interview by Mark Wincott