Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Photo: Jordan Ward “FORWARD” Album Cover.jpg

Jordan Ward is unique in his own right, whether it’s his genre-bending R&B songs and projects, his professional dance moves or his relentless work ethic. Ward’s ability to be a consistent yet solid artist and performer throughout his career deserves to be praised and celebrated by many, and his growing popularity is only just beginning.

Born right outside of Chicago, Ward grew up in and represents St. Louis to the fullest. Ward knows what it’s like to work for and earn the life you want to live. He spent most of his life focusing on a professional dancing career and even moved to California at age 18 to pursue it. Then some years passed, and he started making music, releasing his first single, “Tapas,” at 21. Ward always had a love for music growing up, as he was in choir and musical theater. So taking the art form seriously was bound to happen.

For an artist who hasn’t reached his full potential yet, Ward already has a very solid and extensive catalog in his career: “A Peak at the Summits” in 2017, “Valley Hopefuls” in 2019 and “Remain Calm” in 2021. My favorite tracks from the projects are “Nissasversacoupe,” “Mews,” “Sandiego,” “Lil Baby Crush” and “Steph.”

His debut project, “FORWARD,” which dropped on March 3, 2023, is another testament to Ward’s great artistry. The album received praise from fans and critics. “FORWARD” landed at #53 on Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of 2023, with one of the contributing writers to the list, Mankaprr Conteh, describing the album as Ward molding the “typically romantic genre into a more personal one, performing songs about normalized violence, financial hardship, and complicated family dynamics — each with a unique bounce.” “FORWARD” has 14 tracks and a runtime of 30 minutes. Its standout tracks are “White Crocs” and “Famjam4000.” My personal favorites are “Cherimoya,” “IDC” and “BUSSDOWN” (honestly, all the tracks are my favorites). In a mini-documentary for the album Jordan shared on Ward’s YouTube channel, he detailed how he struggled to make the album at first because of a lot on his mind and just overall stress. The documentary also documents the process of making “311” with Gwen Bunn and “White Crocs,” among others. The project is executive-produced by Lido, who is a talented producer himself. Lido dropped a project called “Ultraviolet” in 2023, on which Ward made a few appearances as well. Following the release of “FORWARD,” Ward dropped the deluxe “Moreward” on August 25th, 2023, featuring the tracks “MUSTARD,” “ZOOMIES” and “WEBBIE.”

Some fun facts about Ward are that his birthday is on Valentine’s Day, Feb.14, he loves kombucha and if he could only listen to one album, he would listen to Stevie Wonder’s “Innervisions” (1973). Ward says he has synesthesia, described by Clevelandclinic.org as “when your brain routes sensory information through multiple unrelated senses, causing you to experience more than one sense simultaneously. Some examples include tasting words or linking colors to numbers and letters.” A few more fun facts are that Ward used to work for Abercrombie Fitch, and he was also a background dancer for Beyonce at Coachella and performed on the NPR Tiny Desk last year.

Listen, this won’t be the last time you hear about Jordan Ward. Pure talent is always undeniable, and this man has it. Be sure to check him out on all the major social media and streaming platforms.

 


Isaiah Ireland is a third-year Media and Culture major with a minor in Digital Marketing. II978280@wcupa.edu

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