Named Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Band der Woche, Jordan Prince is an American Singer-Songwriter from New Orleans, LA climbing up the folk music charts in Germany.
Having played for Munich’s Hauskonzerte series (following in the footsteps of artists like Glen Hansard, and BOY), being PULS Radio’s Artist of the Week in June 2016, and having Bayern 2 Zündfunk name the Jordan Prince Band EP as Demo of the Year (2016), Prince continues to spread the sound of his addictive body of work.
Prince has performed for the national arts organization RAW: Natural Born Artists (supporting Tank and the Bangas), and the international video series, Balcony TV, where he won the Global Rumble twice in a row (besting such artists as Edward Sharpe, Deer Tick, and Brendan Benson). He was also featured on UK’s Amazing Radio with host Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins).
So we decided to talk to the man in question and see what he’s all about.
indieberlin: Tell us a little bit about your musical background
jordan prince: I started playing guitar and writing about 10 years ago, strumming simple folk tunes, but didn’t really hone in on any specific style until I moved to New Orleans. There I was constantly surrounded by incredible artists that really challenged me to keep up. I think those college years were the most innovative and creative of my life so far. Now 3 years deep in Germany, I’ve found a band that really fills all the pockets, and helps create the sound I’m going for.
indieberlin: How does the songwriting process work for you / in your band?
jordan prince: More often than not, I’m at home on my bed writing the songs alone. I’m focusing on lyrics and general melodies but it’s with the band that the full tone and structure comes into view. They’re always hearing things I wouldn’t have on my own and 9 times out of 10 we’ll keep the choice because it feels right.
there’s this guilty-pleasure show on Amazon called Dietland I watch because way the woman feels about her body is so genuinely heart-wrenching
indieberlin: Tell us a secret about yourself.
jordan prince: I’m always going on ridiculous diets because I’m very insecure with my body. And there’s this guilty-pleasure show on Amazon called Dietland I watch because way the woman feels about her body is so genuinely heart-wrenching. I totally connect with her. Plus the show is fun and creative.
indieberlin: Where do you get your inspiration from?
jordan prince: The ideas for my songs always come from some event that takes place that shakes up my life, whether it’s for just an hour or if it becomes a new emotional scar I’ll be carrying around forever. There’s a song for both of those extremes and everything in between.
indieberlin: What music do you listen to when you’re touring?
jordan prince: We listen to everything from Kendrick to Bee Gees to Mac Demarco to Billy Holiday, from Louis Armstrong to White Denim to Bach, to true crime podcasts. If the road is long enough, we’ll listen to anything once.
last June I saw Reggie Watts in Munich. That’s one of the greatest entertainers I’ve ever seen. I was laughing and dancing all at once and couldn’t keep my eyes off him.
indieberlin: What was the last concert you went to?
jordan prince: Well last June I saw Reggie Watts in Munich. That’s one of the greatest entertainers I’ve ever seen. I was laughing and dancing all at once and couldn’t keep my eyes off him.
indieberlin: What was your biggest stage fuck-up?
jordan prince: I had this garage-rock band in New Orleans and one time I performed so drunk that when I broke a string, I wrapped it around in my hand in an attempt to just rip it from the head stock. But instead, since that’s impossible to do, I sliced up my hand and finished the show with blood all over me and the guitar. It sounded awful but we looked pretty cool. The next day my hand was so swollen though.
indieberlin: What was the nicest compliment you once got?
jordan prince: Someone on FB recently rated our music page and said — His presence reminds me of this long lost era that produced authentic musicians such as Simon and Garfunkel. To sing about life with talent and melody is not common these days. It’s very enjoyable and takes me away, making the world seem cozier and more familiar. Highly recommend making his music a part of your soft, sunny afternoon. – that’s a very nice thing to say.
I sliced up my hand and finished the show with blood all over me and the guitar. It sounded awful but we looked pretty cool
indieberlin: How do you feel about covering a song?
jordan prince: Alone with a guitar, I’m not a big fan. Maybe something short and catchy. But if I can re-invent a cover with the band, I’m into it. We only did that once with Dr. Dog and it didn’t really work.
indieberlin: Do you prefer to play big festivals / stages or smaller club gigs?
jordan prince: It always depends on the crowd. I love big festival stages but if the crowd is uninterested, talking away from the stage under tents and we become background music, I much prefer playing small clubs where people paid for a ticket to see us and to sing along with our songs. It’s just more rewarding when the faces are on you and the performance, no matter how many people it is, whether it’s 50 or 2,000.
Pic by Michael Färber
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaries, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site. Noel is currently completing his second novel. As well as running indieBerlin, Noel is also active as web designer, chatbot creator and business communication coach.