Hailing from the rock rich and rain soaked Seattle indie music scene, Jordan Riley seeks to utilize his talents as a singer/songwriter to positively impact the Northwest with his own blend of upbeat pop rock. As Jordan prepares to release his debut album Identity Crisis, he shares some of the background for his life and message in this exclusive hurdcore.com interview.
You noted in February of this year that you had been MIA for a bit, in a “postcard to mom” summary, what was your time away about?
Jordan Riley After doing over 500 shows around the USA I really needed to take a break. It wasn’t that I was burnt out, rather I just really wanted to take some time to find my inspiration for my album. It was also during this time away that I got the chance to buy my first house and I spent like all my time on it, so it was a good time to just live life for a while.
You hail from musically rich and yet desolate ground, as the Seattle area has birthed the likes of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Death Cab for Cutie (so many more) while also witnessing its share of rock tragedy such as the deaths of Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley. What have you seen as far as music’s ability to effect people’s lives positively and negatively?
JR I have seen firsthand how music effects peoples moods and emotions. Even at my concerts I have seen how music can take someone back to an amazing place in time or can bring them down and remind them of a hurtful past experience. Also while on tour on the east coast a few years ago I was told how there was this lady that was contemplating suicide and she happened to put in my CD in her car and God got through to her and she chose to live and did not go through with it.
What are some of the key struggles that you are hearing from the people you minister to and how have you seen Jesus become the answer in the lives of individuals?
JR The real struggle for people that I see seems to be, what is real and what can people believe in these days. There is so much hurt and pain out there and people are looking for answers and Truth. I have seen that by people simply being real and transparent other people who are struggling find the ability to trust. Its when we are all fake and pretend that everything is well that we end up messing stuff up.
A new Jordan Riley album is on the way, what is the feel and theme you are working on for this release?
JR My album IDENTITY CRISIS is about real life. I decided to no write about fluffy christian stuff that most people cant identify with. I wanted to talk about the good, the band, and the ugly. In this album I deal with my hurt from my past and how i worked through my pain. My hope is that people can relate to some of the things that i went through.
What was your journey into performing as a profession?
JR Well to be honest, still to this day I am surprised that I am a professional Christian Rock singer. I grew up super shy and had zero self confidence. In fact at age 12 my aunt and uncle told me I couldn’t sing and started laughing at me, which tore me up inside. It really was a God thing to take me from a place of hiding in the shadows all the time, to being on stage in front of people all across the country.
Is music the ministry for Jordan Riley Ministries or just one of the heads for this Balaur of good news?
JR I always say that Jordan Riley Ministries is “more than just music” because it really is. Music is simply the vehicle that gets the band and I to be able to come to a city. Yes we put on a concert, and yes we rock, and yes we entertain, but we want people to meet Jesus one on one at the concert. We hope that people come to our shows and have a great time and during the night begin to want what we have, and begin to get real with things in their own lives. I also do a lot of speaking around the country too, so my desire is that Jordan Riley Ministries is very versatile.
As you embark on this mission to share Jesus through life and music, what do you do to keep your faith fresh?
JR I have learned over the years that in order to keep my faith fresh i need to do a few things: A) Take myself less serious and take Jesus more serious. B) Surround myself with other strong Christians who will encourage me and keep me accountable. C) Spend a lot of time just praising God, because when you thank and worship the Lord you take the focus of yourself.
Who in your life helps to inspire you and hold you accountable to the course you believe God has called you to?
JR The four guys in my band are like my accountability partners as well as my producer, who has become a mentor/spiritual dad to me, not to mention the pastors at my church. As far as my biggest sources of inspiration, they tend to be my friends and just the people and experiences that God brings into my life. Because I tend to write songs that reflect or are about my direct experiences I look to the things that God allows me to go through as an inspiration.
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The Kingdom of God is near! Turn from your sins and believe this Good News!” - Jesus