London's Rivah Jordan
From Welfare to Wealth, Rivah Jordan talks success, music and his next moves
Thank you for being part of our zine. Tell us more about yourself, when did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Thanks for having me. I'm Rivah Jordan, the big artist and producer with the big label in the UK, Sound Killaz Music. I'm the next biggest thing. Why? I write my own words and music. I'm an artist, producer and engineer. I own and run my independent label Sound Killaz Music. It's just one of the companies I own. I'm an entrepreneur. I love it! It did take me a while to actually realize that I did want to be an artist honestly. I started rapping and doing it from around 16, it was peer pressure that got me started and not wanting to be an artist, I'll be 35 this year. It took around 10 years to realize how many different skills I've learned just to facilitate my desire to sing or be an artist. In 2019 an Artist is just something I am, it's been that way for a while. Definitions of success make a great difference in perceiving yourself as successful. If you are making music then are a you a successful musician? If you judge your ability to make music by your instagram following that's just a bit weird isn't it?
Unfortunately musicians these days are judged more by their social media skills, their ability to source funding or negotiate deals with labels and many other criteria which have nothing to do with making music. So many people have no idea whether they are an artist, they're trying to be an artist or they want to be an artist. Stuff like this makes success increasingly difficult to describe, much less attain. I've made enough great quality music that's resonated with enough people to know, I AM an Artist, it's what I do and how I live. I can make 100 beats and 100 songs, every time I attempt to make music, I'm successful. I might not finish a song but who cares, I successfully made a beat, a verse and chorus before I got bored and went in a different direction. In my mind that ability makes me a successful musician.
Where are you located and where are you originally from?
I'm in the Lewisham Borough in London. I was born in London, grew up in Jamaica, came back to London for secondary school, then went back to live in Jamaica after school, before moving back to London. So my life has been spent between the two places which is what has developed my signature sound. Funny enough I've lived all over Jamaica from Negril to Kingston to Montego Bay, but in London I never leave the Lewisham Borough haha! These experiences are what allow me to move between authentic Jamaican Reggae and UK hip hop vocal styles quite effortlessly. It's pretty cool to see it happen live too!
Top musical influences?
Goals for 2019 and beyond?
I'd like to release 12 products on my independent label. Licence more products to my label from other artists. Earn £10,000 a month. Save £10,000. Buy a property with other people's money. Invest in more businesses. Improve my credit rating and buy some gold bars. Goals are good to have. I'm big on goal setting and planning to achieve. A goal that is not written down with some sort of action plan is a dream. Dreams are for when you sleep. Be a winner, write your goals down, write the steps you need to take down as they relate to each specific goal, have time lines of how long you expect they may take for you to achieve them. Dedicate a day of your month to goal setting, reviewing and revising. Know it's not going to be easy, do it anyway. Do the hard thing now and the rest of your life will become easier. Stick with what's easy now and the rest of your life will be harder. You don't want that. I'm working a lot on the same processes I have outlined here in relation to my goals. I'm going to step down from the goal setting soapbox now.
Which comes first for you the lyrics or the musical inspo?
It's hard to say. Sometimes a phrase or sentence can become a song in my head within seconds, with full words and musical instrumentation. Sometimes a you get a catchy line or hook and everything comes from there. I can hear a beat made by someone else and the words and melodies come from that. Other times I just sit down and make beats with @soundslikeboost (on Instagram) then songs come. I can't say anything is always first as that's not my process. After more than 15 years of creating, what I can say about my experience of the creative process is that your best ideas never leave you. My best ideas torment me, they never go away, they come around every so often to remind me how good they are, that I should really be grateful they chose me to interpret them, they do not rest until their destiny will manifest, they MUST be made! Other songs come almost as a piece of stone which you must sculpt into a masterpiece, they require a lot of effort and work to come into this dimension. The first type of song is my favourite, I've walked away from many pieces of stone and will continue to do so. I hate having to dig a hole into that dimension to bring an idea to earth kicking and screaming. I much prefer something beautiful to open the door, welcome me inside and seduce me with the delicious delights from another dimension. I much prefer to be an instrument through which the universe may deliver music, from that dimension into this one. In the moments when creating is effortless and joyous that's exactly how I feel.
Where can our readers catch a live show soon?
Hopefully some of your readers are professional promoters and they can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to set something up.
I think doing shows, getting feedback and seeing how your music is received by an audience is super important. At this point in my career I'd probably rather be working with serious professionals or spending my own money trying to put on my own show and fill a venue. I'm honestly not too keen on performing for random promoters for free, with all due respect to whoever the cap "random promoters" fits. I give 100% when I get on stage, when I get off stage I sweat like I been playing basketball. I consider myself a seasoned performer, I get good feedback from audience members after performances, they tell me I put on a really good show, even on nights when I feel I could have performed much better. So I'm working on building an audience to fill a venue. There's a whole lot of exploitation of upcoming musicians going on, which can put serious strains on financial situations and or lead to mental health issues. It can be ugly, it's not something people really want to talk about or highlight, but it's happening every day. I value my mental health far too much. I just want to make good music, give great performances and do good business. I'm really looking forward to working with like minded people.
Please answer the following... "If my fans really knew me, they would know that... "
I'm really passionate about mental health and financial education. I want to raise awareness of the issues that really matter, the issues that can really make a difference. I'm big into personal development. I really want to see people growing, improving and doing better. I feel like my music has some of the right messages to bring people into contact with the life changing energy I want to share with them. I know I can make a difference. I believe that they can make a difference too.
Please list your social media links so our readers can follow you everywhere!
Instagram / twitter - @rivahjordan
Soundcloud - https://m.soundcloud.com/rivah-jordan