Here you go…
1. So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
Jordan Gray: My name is Jordan Gray, though I went by ‘Tall Dark Friend’ for the first 10 years of my career. I grew up in Thurrock, Essex (not easy) but it did give me that drive to want to ‘get out and make something of myself’. Before I wanted to be a recording artist, I wanted to be a writer. Before that, a scientist and before THAT, a superhero. I’m just now starting to work my way backward.
I was a semi-finalist on this season of The Voice UK #TeamPaloma and my new single goes live Friday, November 25th. I’m a solo artist, an author, a massive Pokémaniac and a Transgender woman – which basically means that I used to be… miserable… and now I’m Happy.
2. How did you come up with that name? What was your inspiration behind it?
Jordan Gray: ‘Tall Dark Friend’ is a play on the classic “you will meet a tall dark stranger”. It’s served me well for a decade but since appearing on The Voice, I’m moving forward under my own name. TDF will be the title for all my non-mainstream side-projects. ‘Jordan Gray’ is the name attached to this new single and album.
3. What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free? Why?
Jordan Gray: Life is short. Which forces us to innovate if we want a lucrative career in the Creative Sector. The Arts really is an industry that evolves by necessity and drives itself forward. I hand out Eps for free all the time. But, “pre-orders and genuine downloads” means I can responsibly invest in a real career. A ‘body of work’. I don’t think it’s moral crime to stream, I just fear where it will push the industry if passionate people lose heart. Plus a girl’s gotta eat.
4. Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Jordan Gray: Don’t neglect your ‘story’. People love a narrative they can feel passionate about. Stop begging for shares and retweets and give people something *real* to believe in.
5. Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
Jordan Gray: All the time. I find it hilarious – which only feeds the performance. We shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes in the public eye (in an immediate or more long-term sense). It’s endearing. And totally liberating.
6. Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
Jordan Gray: Near enough 52 weeks a year. Mostly UK; sometimes Scandinavia. I love it. Coincidentally, I played 52 major prides/festivals this summer after coming off The Voice in April. ‘Highlights’ are a weird one. Tours are totally unpredictable. I randomly wound up on stage dancing to ‘Saturday Night’ with the *actual* Whigfield the other week. In Cardiff, I bagged an exclusive interview with Bewitched. In Chelmsford, I got too excited and threw my bra into the crowd. It’s always a giggle.
7. Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
Jordan Gray: It’s tough. I never really think about it. I just let it happen (she said as non-pretentiously as possible). But sometimes it just *doesn’t* and you can’t force sincerity out of obligation or with a formula. I don’t drink alcohol. That helps. I do drink coffee. That probably doesn’t.
8. Do you have a band website? What online platforms do you use to share your music?
9. What are some really embarrassing songs that we might be surprised to notice on your mp3 player?
Jordan Gray: I don’t own one. If I did, I guess Anaconda by Nicki Minaj? And The Mulan soundtrack, but that’s not really embarrassing. Disney is Dope!
10. If you were given half a million dollars and a year o×, what would you do? How would you spend it?
Jordan Gray: Turn it into a hundred billion, buy the Moon, and set up shop.
11. Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
Jordan Gray: I’m recording an album with The Record Label right now. They’ve got it covered. We get excited about the dumbest little tweaks to existing software. We spent three hours reducing ‘mouth noise’ the other day in total awe.
12. How do you invent ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
Jordan Gray: Live Shows. Live Shows, Live Shows, Live Shows! Social media is a given – keep the content relevant, interesting or a least give people a chuckle. But investing time in a killer set will get people to look you up. By extension, a sick music video does amazing things for your career and it doesn’t need to break the bank. Check mine out at www.youtube.com/talldarkfriend . We made the first 5 for under £200 each and they’ve all won awards for innovation, editing and ‘best in show’.
13. If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
Jordan Gray: On top of a mountain with Bjork. She’s *actually* magical.
I would have said with Jeff Buckley live @ Siné… but there’s no way I’d keep up. I’d rather watch from the corner in stunned silence.
I also quite fancy playing synth for Marilyn Manson. He’s a bona fide genius and you just know he moves in some sexy circles.
14. So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Jordan Gray: The new single ‘Platinum’ drops Nov 25. The video is the first to feature a Cis male Trans female love scene, So I’m stoked about that.
I have a side-line rap/spoken word EP on the way entitled ‘Cry For The Camera’. Since appearing on Scroobius Pip’s ‘Distraction Pieces’ podcast last winter, my rap has been taken mega seriously and I am in love with the whole scene. I’m also geared up for another stint on terrestrial TV in 2017
15. If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Jordan Gray: Eating Tottenham Cake. And hopefully still trying to innovate in some way.
16. Do you remember buying your very first album? Who was it? What was going through your head?
Jordan Gray: Blink 182: the pink album. I had just split with my first girlfriend at 14 years old and listening to ‘I Miss You’ on the loop was all I wanted to do. The whole album is actually an amazing piece of art.
17. How do you juggle the rest of your responsibilities while trying to stay ahead in your music life?
Jordan Gray: I don’t have a Plan B. This life I’ve chosen deserves pure diligence and respect. I don’t take breaks or holidays. I don’t want to. Art is everything. If it’s not, you’re in the wrong industry.
18. What should fans look forward to in the next year or so?
Jordan Gray: Two more singles and an album to go with ‘em, another mammoth tour in 2017, some sexy collabs and my crazy goth-fro back on the telly box.
Latest Single Release – “Platinum”
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