JØUR, also known as Minneapolis’ Jourdan Myers, has a delicate yet captivating voice that pulls listeners in.
While the artist has been popular in her Twin Cities hometown, she’s lately been picking up steam with her latest tracks, “Danger Game,” and “American Nightmare.”
We chatted with Jourdan to discuss the political inspiration behind “American Nightmare,” her writing process, and how she quit her “day job” to pursue a career in music. Keep reading for more!
How did you get your start?
I began playing piano when I was four, and was singing long before that. I grew up writing my deep feelings out into poetry and eventually put them to song when I was in high school and college. I won a few singing competitions in my home town but didn’t know people had careers in music, so I went to college for Spanish and Portuguese studies and went on to work in Finance. Very quickly I realized my soul was slowly dying in that industry, and I wrote dozens of songs about my agony. That was the birth of my music career, and when I finally quit my day job, I knew there was nothing else in the world I’d rather be doing than making music.
Who or what has inspired your sound and latest track “American Nightmare”?
What I really wanted to achieve was a track with space. Minimalism. I was very interested in the sound that wasn’t there as I created the soundscape for this track with the producer, Matt Patrick. The specific content of this track was inspired by what I mentioned before, the nightmare of the American Dream I was taught to chew and swallow. However, in the last two years or so the song has taken on a surprising and unintended meaning for me and many Americans. America is in a nightmarish state right now and I am retroactively applying the current state of affairs to the meaning of this song because it so timely.
Is there a story behind your artist name?
I’ve spent my whole life correcting the spelling of my name. JØUR is short for Jourdan, a name which no one has ever spelled right the first time.
What is your favorite show memory?
I had an amazing time opening for the Cold War Kids on the First Avenue Main Stage in Minneapolis last Spring. It is really special to play a to a full house on the same stage that Purple Rain was filmed on.
What would be your dream tour and why?
Dream tour…if I could go back in time, my dream would be to tour with Incubus during the height of their fame in the early 00’s. I adored Incubus back then. Basically, everything they made until 2004 was my favorite song, particularly their Morning View album.
Tell us about your writing process. Any unusual quirks?
I’m not sure there is a “normal” way for anyone to write a song. However, I learned a life changing writing skill in a college rhetoric class. Our professor had us write a paper, and then come to class with scissors and tape, cut the thing to pieces and rearrange the paragraphs and sentences so they made the most sense, adding in new text as needed. Being a very tactile person, it revolutionized the way I wrote and this skill carried over into my song writing. Now I often write full songs, and then I mix and match choruses and bridges and verses from other songs I’ve written to come up with the best final product. Sometimes it will be months before I realize the chorus I’ve written for one song totally belongs in a different song I’ve already written. It’s like song Frankenstein.
What is your favorite song to cover?
I made a super moody cover of “Wonderwall” a few years ago. I didn’t know at the time that “Wonderwall” had been tired out by the general populace because I loved that song and still do. It’s out in the world under Jourdan Myers.
If you were to create the soundtrack to your life, what songs would be on it?
Feist – Anti-Pioneer
Brooke Fraser – St. Petersburg
Incubus – Under My Umbrella
Paul Simon – I Know What I Know
Incubus – The Warmth
HALEY – From A Cage
Beyonce – Love On Top
Lucy Rose – Shiver
Daughter – Amsterdam
Brooke Fraser – Je Suis Pret