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THE KYLE JORDAN PROJECT

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW THE KYLE JORDAN PROJECT WHAT HAPPENED?

Welcome to the RGM Lounge! Grab a brew and take a seat. Kyle, music seems to be a fundamental part of who you are. Could you share with us how it became such a significant part of your life?

Thank you for having me in this interview and giving me the opportunity to share my music with your audience. To be honest, I don’t think music is really something you decide is or isn’t for you. If it’s for you, it just exists—it’s a part of your DNA, and on some level, you’re compelled to express that part of you, or you’ll feel incomplete. Everyone is born with some kind of natural talent. For example, I know mechanics who are as passionate about their work as I am about writing music. However, don’t ask me to fix your engine; I might just blow up your car! We are all uniquely human, and as such, we are born with natural talents and a passion for them. Life would be boring if we were all the same.

You’d Blow up my car?!

Yeah, well, I’m sure I’d accidentally fail to correct the right whatzamadoozle to the left whichimahasit or something. It wouldn’t be on purpose!

I’m never giving you my car then! HaHa! 

I’m sure I could drive it! We grew up learning how to drive young. Ask my brother, he once stole a vehicle when he was five years old!

Wha… HaHa! Oh boy. Moving on, you’ve had quite the musical journey from an early age. Can you delve into your musical background and how it has shaped you?

My musical history stretches back to my earliest memories—singing in church or at my great-grandmother’s 80th birthday when I was just 6 or 7 years old. My mom was a gospel singer with a couple of Christian radio hits when I was young, so our home was always filled with musicians and musical instruments.

My dad was also very supportive and bought me many different drums. At 11, I started playing the drums and it quickly became a serious pursuit. I played with various groups until I was 19, then started a Christian band named For the Cause. We enjoyed some radio play and were even nominated for three Christian music awards. I had the opportunity to tour and/or play drums for some cool Christian music artists like Matt Brouwer, Kemper Crabb (of Kings X and Caedmon’s Call), and Joanne Cash (Johnny Cash’s sister), and even recorded on an album that Ron ‘Obvious’ Vermuelen (known for his work with Bryan Adams and Spirit of The West) tracked.

Life took a dramatic turn with the birth of my children, a divorce, and a life-threatening brain tumor, which forced me to pause playing music for a few years. Now, I’m back and have shifted my focus from the Christian scene to deeply explore the roots genre—embracing Canadiana, Americana, blues, country, alt-country, folk, rock, and more.

Life before music sounds like it was quite a unique experience for you. Could you describe what it was like growing up and how you eventually found your path in music?

It was lonely—really fucking lonely! Well, sort of. Music has been a significant part of my life from the start. However, I’ve always been somewhat eccentric, marching to the beat of my own drum. I’ve come to embrace and value this aspect of myself because seeing things differently has opened up many opportunities over the years—opportunities I wouldn’t have had if I weren’t willing to take risks. But as a young kid, being eccentric didn’t exactly help me make friends. I was just different, you know? Being an extrovert made that especially tough. My grandma became my best friend. Music eventually provided an avenue to connect with others, and by the age of twelve, it started to open doors to new friendships. Now as an adult, I make friends quite easily, but as a child, it was a challenge.

The period when I stopped playing music due to family issues and health problems was particularly difficult. I felt like a piece of my soul was missing. When I nearly died, I reevaluated some things and realized it would be foolish not to open myself up again. During my first few months of recovery, I battled severe depression. Music, quite literally, saved my life.

What was that pivotal song or moment that set you on your musical journey?

Well, you have to remember that I was raised in a very religious home, where the world of popular music was largely foreign to me. My life was filled with Christian School, Youth Group, Bible Study, Christian Summer camp, and Church—it was all I knew. To illustrate just how insulated it was, I remember my mom throwing away all of my dad’s ‘secular’ music when I was very young, though she kept one record jacket—April Wine’s The Whole World’s Going Crazy—to use for a Christian record that didn’t have one. 

Oh, good album.

Right?! I love it. Anyway, I grew up thinking that April Wine was a bad band because they weren’t Christian. Ironically, years later, Myles Goodwin’s niece became one of my good friends, and I had the opportunity to hang out with them on their tour bus.

Despite this sheltered start, the first strains of music that truly pulled me toward a musical path came from various sources. It was the country music playing on my grandparents’ radio and the songs I could sneak in that first captured my heart. My mom’s gospel music also had its charm. However, one song that really made me want to play was Petra’s ‘Judas Kiss’—it was unlike anything I’d heard (I was 10). It was also written before I was born! HaHa!

As I got older, I started exploring music that was a bit before my time, finding a personal favorite in Spirit of The West, particularly their album Faithlift. But my music tastes are broad, spanning many genres—from Garth Brooks, Noah Kahan, Leeroy Stagger, Trevor Kidd, The Resonant Rogues, Grace Spidell, and Zach Bryan to Greta Van Fleet, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, GregVK, Erick Gerber, Janis Joplin, Kirby Sewell, Lady GaGa, Kacey Musgraves, Bebe Stockwell, John Grimm, Shalaine Stebbner, and Pretty Reckless. I’ve even been known to listen to Miss Pooja from time to time. I tried to leave a name or two out, because I know I just listed a lot of artists, but I couldn’t bring myself to eliminate any of them.

Those are some diverse artists! Miss Pooja?! Given your style of music, I didn’t expect to hear you mention her.

There are so many great artists coming out of India these days – well, there always has! For example, Miss Pooja, Nucleya, and Shreya Ghoshal all bring a distinct sound that’s deeply rooted in their Indian heritage. Their music, whether it’s Punjabi, electronic, or classical, not only showcase the richness of India’s diverse cultures but also presents it in a way that resonates globally. This demonstrates the power of music to bridge cultural divides and connect us across continents through a universal language. It’s a beautiful reminder of how our diversity enriches the global tapestry and offers endless opportunities for learning and connection.

 Which makes my next question even more important. The music industry can be a complex landscape. Where do you see yourself within it today?

When you find out, let me know! Haha! Seriously though, I never imagined much beyond strumming a few guitar chords when I began playing music again. At my sickest, sitting behind a drum kit was unthinkable due to my weakness and pain, so I expressed my desire for a guitar to Charlotte. We visited our local music store, and I chose a used Epiphone ES-335 DOT—without trying it first. Over the following months, Charlotte would take the guitar out of its case and place it on my lap. It was quite painful, and I could only manage about 5-15 minutes a day, with her often steadying it for me. As my health improved, so did my playing time, inspiring me to write some blues tunes for my dad, a big fan of the genre. I hoped, at best, to eventually attend a blues jam.

As a natural storyteller, I began writing songs as a cathartic exercise. Then, I met Greg, and we started composing songs together. It was inevitable that we would record them, so I reached out to a few local studios and settled on Leeroy’s. The tracks sounded great, and the excitement led me to upload them to Spotify and try my hand at promoting them. I wasn’t expecting much—maybe 10 listeners. Yet, within 12 days of releasing our first song, we were featured in 40 or 50 online blogs and magazines, added to 172 playlists, played on several radio stations, and even contacted by a few record labels. The positive response has truly been incredible!

You Play a bit of a unique role in your group. Can you talk to us a little about that?

Absolutely! So, currently, I wear two hats in our group: part musician and part artist and repertoire manager. We often joke that I’m the Americana version of DJ Khaled. While Greg and I handle the songwriting, I play the drums, some of the guitars, produce or co-produce the songs and occasionally sing on the tracks, but I’m also tasked with bringing the right collaborators together for each track and orchestrating the entire process. Our core group of collaborators consist of myself, Greg, Katie, and Erick, but I’ve also brought in musicians from around the globe—trumpet players from Spain, a saxophonist from the Ukraine, a Pianist from Canada, a percussionist from Venezuela, Harmonica player from Hungary and a guitarist from England – just to name a few. It’s not unusual for our tracks to feature several instruments recorded across different continents. Each song is a new process using both our Core group and new! It’s my job to determine which collaborators to use and how to put each song together.

Rumor has it you love your different drums and guitars. What is your favorite guitar or drumkit that you own?

Haha! Yikes! I can’t pick just one guitar! I own several guitars, but I suppose if I had to pick just a few, I’d keep the following:

  1. 2022 Kirby and Grimm Voodoo Child Strat
  2. 2019 Gibson J45 Standard
  3. 2018 Gibson ES 335 Dot
  4. 2023 Fender American Ultra Telecaster
  5. 1967 Gibson B-15 Acoustic
  6. 2023 Gibson Les Paul Slash Standard
  7. 2023 Fender American Ultra Stratocaster
  8. 1975 Epiphone 12 string acoustic
  9. 2008 Gibson SG Diablo

As far as drums go, my favorite kit right now is my 1969 Pearl Wood-Fiberglass kit. I bounce back and forth between a Ludwig Supraphonic, Ludwig Black Beauty, and a 1974 Pearl Jupiter Snare Drum. 

Through your career, you must have learned some significant lessons about the music industry. What stands out the most?

This is a bit of a loaded question; I could talk about this forever. Trust me, I’m quite the talker! To be honest, my greatest learning has come from the respect and admiration I hold for my collaborators. They’re not only exceptionally talented musicians but also remarkable humans. Just being around them drives me to work harder and inspires me to improve as a person. Their humility and warmth are truly inspiring.

One significant lesson for me has been the serendipity of connections. Despite being somewhat out of touch with the music scene due to life’s many challenges—I was practically living under a rock—I stumbled upon these incredible individuals. Leeroy is a celebrated figure in the Canadian music scene, and both Greg and Erick are former members of the wildly talented and popular metal band, Red Helen. I should have known them all by their reputations before ever working with them, but I didn’t, and that’s on me.

When I first re-entered the music world, I felt incredibly vulnerable. I was plagued by the fear of not being good enough, a common worry among artists. Initially, I was just looking for casual, ‘weekend warrior’ types, not expecting to collaborate with musicians who were so advanced in their careers. However, these artists never made me feel inadequate. They never flaunted their successes or let on about their accomplishments. By the time I realized who they were, I considered them friends, which took away any pressure. Had I known of their stature from the beginning, I might have been overwhelmed.

Their approach to collaboration, marked by an absence of ego and a surplus of kindness, taught me about grace and humility in ways I had never anticipated. They are shining examples of what it means to be not only a great artist but a great human being.

For a bit of fun, can you tell us three truths and one lie about yourself? Let’s see if we can guess the lie!

My Hollywood crush is Julia Stiles. There will never be 10 things I could hate about her.

I once spent $4,000 on a Purebred Holstein. Yes, you heard that right—a cow!

I once drunkenly stripped for a roach clip. It was a wild night that I’ll never quite forget—or fully remember.

I almost accidentally toppled the bass player from Spirit of The West to the ground. It was a close call being the one and only time I ever met him!

How can we find out which one is the lie?

I’ll tell you what. Come follow me on Instagram or Facebook and send me a DM asking for the answer to the question, I’ll tell you which one is the lie.

If there was one thing you could wish for to aid your career, what would it be?

I’ll never turn down a billion dollars (though I’m sure I’d donate a large sum of it to children in need – so I wouldn’t stay a billionaire long lol)! But honestly, I’m thoroughly enjoying the journey and all the learning that comes with it. I love being creative – writing, playing, and bringing everyone together; that’s really my passion. However, if I have to be honest, the one aspect that consumes a lot of time is the promotion, managing social media, and handling distribution. If I could find a professional willing to take over these responsibilities, that would be incredible! We’ve had some interest from a few record labels, and I know they can handle these aspects. Things are just starting to heat up, so who knows what might happen next? And if I end up managing these tasks throughout my entire musical journey, I’ll just be grateful for the opportunity to keep making music.

In today’s digital age, how do you handle the challenges of communication, misunderstandings, or even cancel culture in your interactions online and in your music?

I believe that at its core, every conversation, every interaction, holds the potential for mutual growth and understanding. In an age where digital communication often strips nuance from our dialogues, it’s crucial to approach each other with empathy and an open heart. I hold onto the hope that even if misunderstandings arise, they can be pathways to deeper connections if we handle them with care and a willingness to listen. Rather than worry about being misinterpreted or facing backlash, I focus on expressing my values authentically and clearly. This approach not only helps bridge gaps but also reinforces the foundation of respect and kindness I strive to build with others. Ultimately, I believe that fostering open and respectful exchanges enriches us, helping us to navigate our differences and strengthen our bonds in pursuit of a more compassionate world.

There are a lot of conspiracy theories out there. Do any resonate with you or capture your imagination?

I often joke that I’m a humanist who believes in ghosts. I get the irony. It’s actually quite true, though! I’ve had numerous experiences throughout my life that are impossible to explain. While I don’t subscribe to beliefs such as angels or demons, I do believe that human energy persists after death. There are several perspectives across various cultures and belief systems. Many spiritual and religious traditions posit that a part of the human—often called the soul or spirit—continues to exist and can interact with the physical world in some capacity I don’t pretend to understand it. Maybe it’s the soul, maybe it isn’t, or maybe we should call Ghostbusters, but I can’t negate my own experiences.

Here’s where I do a shameless plug, but you asked the question. HaHa! One of my oldest and dearest friends—Ian Gibbs—actually writes books on this topic. His books, Victoria’s Most Haunted and Vancouver’s Most Haunted, have gone on to become British Columbia bestsellers! He also hosts a podcast with his husband Jason—Ghosts N’ Bears—which is absolutely incredible and a must-listen! They’ve been featured on TV shows. Recently, Charlotte and I had the privilege of being on the show! He has a new book coming out later this year, titled: Calgary’s Most Haunted. One really cool thing is that I’m a part of this book, and apparently, I almost get an entire chapter. It was a lot of fun prepping for it. If you want to hear our interview, check it out here. EPISODES | Ghosts ‘N Bears (ghostsnbears.com)  
Ghosts, that’s interesting.

I like interesting things!

We’ve all had those moments on stage that didn’t go as planned. What’s your most memorable stage mishap?

My most memorable stage mishap occurred in college during a gig where we were crammed onto a tiny stage. Mid-performance, my drum throne slipped back and I fell off the stage, getting wedged between it and the wall. I was completely stuck, unable to move, yet my bandmates, deep in the groove, continued to play as if nothing had happened. It was embarrassing but also a testament to the show-must-go-on spirit!

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.

I was a huge fan of Katie Burke’s music before I ever got to work with her. When I first heard Katie sing, I immediately sent her an email that said, “Hi, I’m Kyle. I’m in love with your voice!” Then I did nothing but listen to her music non-stop for weeks. Months later, she collaborated with us on “Loved By You” and that was just the beginning! 

What are your next steps to reach the next level?

Honestly, I think you have to be fine with where you are in order to move forward. So, while I have certainly set future goals, if I spent the next 50 years just continuing these friendships and releasing music with the people, I’m playing music with now, I’d be happy. Nonetheless, I’ve always been ambitious, so I am making plans to turn up the volume on live performances. We have enough original material at the moment to put out two albums if we wanted.

However, we are releasing singles every 4–6 weeks and hoping to build on the momentum we already have. There are also other indie artists that I listen to whom I would love to feature on a track. So, while I would love to gain a decent-sized audience that graciously waits and listens to each song we release and joins us at live events, it’s all about the journey. We don’t know what tomorrow brings. I will, of course, continue to do what every artist does—expand our audience. But if I were to die tomorrow, know that I’m content with what has been achieved. 

What’s your thoughts on Elon Musks contribution to the world?

You know, it’s like everyone has both light and dark inside them, and which side we choose really shapes our impact. With Elon Musk, there’s no denying he’s done some incredible things. His work with Tesla and SpaceX? It’s literally rocket science and it’s pushing us all to look forward and dream big. But, like any influential person, he’s not without his controversies.

Whether it’s his tweets stirring up storms or some business moves raising eyebrows, those parts can’t just be swept under the rug. He’s definitely made a mark by choosing to light up some pretty ambitious paths, but it’s also clear that his journey reflects the complex mix of light and dark that we all have. It’s a reminder that the whole story matters, especially when we talk about contributions that are as big as his.

I hear you have new music coming out, what can you tell us about it.

Well, if you’re tuning into our music, you’ll quickly find that we’re all about storytelling. Roots music, by nature, is deeply narrative-driven. It often explores themes of personal struggle, historical events, and raw human emotions—all wrapped in the authentic sounds of blues, country, folk, and rock. Take, for example, the story of a young man seeking retribution for being on the losing end of a love triangle, a thrilling one-night stand with the devil, or the poignant experience of watching a loved one slip away to Alzheimer’s. We even have a song about Jenny, a high-end escort who winds up in jail for murder.

And speaking of new music, we’re currently recording a cover of Spirit of the West’s ‘And If Venice Is Sinking.’ It’s a fantastic track, and we’re putting our own twist on it. Alongside that, we’re also working on some original material that stays true to our storytelling roots. Each song is a vignette, offering a glimpse into different lives and experiences. You’re always going to get a story with our music, one that might just make you see the world a little differently.

What is your recording process like?

The recording process has been a thrilling journey and has evolved quite a bit since I first started. Geographically, our group is spread out, which adds a unique dynamic to how we work. In the beginning, I would head into the studio to lay down guitar tracks and drums. From there, we’d bounce the stems around to various places. I’ve worked in several studios, but a few stand out. Dale Baglo Broadcasting is run by just a fantastic guy (Dale), and The Shed, which is located at the home of Spirit of The West’s bass player and run by his son, offers a great vibe.

However, Neighbourhood Recorders, owned by Leeroy Stagger, feels most like home. Leeroy is not only brilliant and kind, but as a fellow Roots artist, he really understands our sound. Initially, I recorded with Tyler Lieb and Lucas Renshaw from Leeroy’s band. Then, I’d send the tracks over to Greg and/or Katie for their vocal parts. We also had musicians from around the globe adding their touch. Leeroy would then mix everything before it went off for mastering.

As our core members and process evolved, so did our approach. Now, Erick lays down the initial rhythm guitar track. I take that to Leeroy’s to record the drums, and then it goes to Greg who adds bass and vocals—if he’s singing on that track. It bounces back to Erick and me for additional guitars, then on to anyone else playing a different instrument on the track, and then to Katie for lead and/or background vocals. I take the final mix back to Leeroy for mixing, and finally, it heads to Jimi Studios for analog to digital mastering. It’s a complex but rewarding process that keeps us creatively engaged and allows our music to resonate with authenticity and passion.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Don’t force it. 

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

Oh, we aren’t finished… The best is yet to come!

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Just a couple of things!

Don’t cheap out on your instruments! Also, go to the dentist right away if experiencing toothache and buy your drumsticks in bulk.

One more shoutout: If you are not buying, researching, or playing a Kirby & Grimm guitar, why?! They don’t pay me for plugging them or anything, I just think they are awesome, so I’ve taken it upon myself to get the word out! They are both beautiful Humans inside and out and they are incredibly skilled at their craft!

Our new single, Lost in Another Man’s Blues,” will be out June 7th everywhere you stream music. Please pre-save it, find us on Instagram & Facebook! Website is www.kylejordanproject.com

FOLLOW KYLE HERE

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