Welcome back to the twenty-seventh feature from the Collective Series by The Idle Man. Where we meet up with interesting men who either work in the creative industry, or we just admire the work they do. written in the words of our Editor Georgia Jackson, read the full feature below as we believe it's more about what we do, rather than what we wear.
Meet Jordan Mackampa, the uplifting soul singer based in London who has broken down pop and soul to create his own unique version of the two genres. Mackampa stepped into the light a few years ago with his first EP launch, Physics, which included his most popular song still to this day, ‘Yours To Keep’. Since his EP launch Jordan carried on doing what he loved and creating his soulful music, this year he brought out two new singles, ‘Under’ and ‘What Am I’.
Growing up, young Mackampa was exposed to classic soul music with his mother often playing music from legendary artists such as Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Curtis Mayfield. Learning the ways of soul he began creating his own music, taking his inspiration from his Congolese roots and Midlands upbringing he showed he had his own sound that was destined to be heard by others.
Sharing one of his new singles with us, ‘Under’ is an uplifting track which showcases the artist’s soulful timbre and ability to capture the joy of living presently. The track builds with foot-tapping rhythms, rich backing vocals, undulating funk bassline, and Mackampa’s trusty acoustic guitar. Using his timeless vocals he combines them with catchy melodies and heartfelt lyrics to create an exciting hybrid of alternative pop and soul which will enchant and uplift in equal measure. Released in May this year (2019) the song has already racked up over 400,000 listens on Spotify.
Named by various outlets as one to watch in 2018, Mackampa has overshadowed the statement and has soared through 2019. Now sitting down with The Idle Man, we are hearing all about his music, inspiration and his slightly unusual new found love for bowling.
Where does your passion for music come from? Was music a bug part of your childhood?
Most definitely, coming from an incredibly bubbly & lively household that was always playing music, it’s just been stuck with me. I think in offbeat and strange syncopated rhythms for sure but it seems to be working out for me so far!
Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
I find inspiration from anything, usually I write about what’s been on my mind as of recent - its very therapeutic to release what’s been on the tip of my tongue and move on from it, whether or not the song is any good, holding onto anything isn’t good for the healing process everyone needs to grow.
What’s the soundtrack to your life up till now?
I don’t think I have a soundtrack per say, but the theme tune to ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia’ is constantly on repeat in my head
How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it?
Imagine the love child of Bill Withers & Marvin Gaye, mixed in with the superb feminine divine energy of Whitney Houston & Aretha Franklin, that also just so happened to have been raised in North London for most of their childhood, you’d get me
Who would be part of your dream collaboration?
Lock me in a cabin with Labrinth, Vulfpeck, Pharrell, Adele and Jasmine Sullivan, I 100%, guarantee you, it would be the album of the millennium, I said what I said.
You released two tracks this year, does that mean an album is on the way?
Yes, yes it does. I’m very excited for everyone to hear it, especially because it’s been done for so long, I’m ready to put it out into the world already.
Tells us about ‘What Am I’?
It’s a modern take on Marvin Gaye’s classic “What’s Going On”, just talking about what’s going on in the world right now, but more importantly, how we are confronting it ie. ‘hopes and prayers’, changing of display pictures to blue, but all trickling down to a stop soon after. So I wrote this song thinking about how I need to do more but don’t know how because I am only one man, trying his best to change the status quo with the means available.”
What do you think people will find so inspiring about ‘Under’?
I think the fact you’ve gotta be pretty gutsy to write a song about a stranger you never spoke to, on a train journey from Euston to Peckham.
Have you been up to anything else interesting recently?
I’ve gotten weirdly into bowling and watching professional tournaments on Youtube. I know right? Super cool.
Do you have any upcoming gigs that we should look out for?
I'm currently gearing up for my headline London show at the Village Underground on the 25th November, and then the rest of the shows in Europe after that in. France, Germany, The Netherlands and the Czech Republic. But first i’ve gotta head out to the US & Canada with the Amber Run guys at the end of month, which I’m super excited for.
What instruments do you play?
Guitar is my main instrument, but I play a couple more, just enough to get me by in a studio setting.
What do you see for the future of your music? Do you have any lifetime ambitions?
For the future of my music, I see it taking me to uncharted territories, but also growing in a way that reaches more people than I could ever expect it to. A lifetime ambition of my mine is to open a 24hr American diner that has a live swing band in the corner of the room, that only plays radio hits between 1983 and 2014.