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34: Majid Jordan

Photo By OVO Sound

“You And Me, We Were On To Somethin'…”

As a concept of existence, experience, and nature, the term "human condition" refers to the unique and shared characteristics of being human. There are a number of physical, psychological, social, and philosophical factors that shape human life. Among the key aspects of the human condition are emotion, relationships, struggle, and suffering. Humans experience a wide range of emotions that play a significant role in shaping  relationships. We form complex connections with one another including community bonds, and face challenges and adversity on a daily basis; it’s up to the individual to confront and overcome said obstacles.

In creative fields, the concept of the human condition has been explored as a way to understand human complexity and our multifaceted nature. The relation between humans and the concepts of power, control and influence is an apparent one. The literal context of human nature promotes competition and fuels it, especially in the capitalist society we live in in the west. There is no shortage of perspectives and disciplines that continue to examine and contemplate this issue.

Ironically, the hyper competitive music industry is heavily reliant on interpersonal relationships, whether genuine or fogazzi. But there are those that leave their integrity intact and form real bonds with one another, much to their advantage. The example? The Toronto-based future R&B duo, Majid Jordan.

Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman, the namesakes of the group, first met while attending the University of Toronto. Their musical journey began as they bonded over a shared love of music and decided to experiment with sounds in their dorm room. It didn't take long for them to realize that their creative chemistry was something special. In 2011, they officially formed a partnership and released their first project “Hold Tight” under the name Good People.

A blend of their first names gives them their stage name. With their soulful vocals and impeccable production skills, Majid, and Jordan, respectively formed a dynamic duo that was ready to take on anything. Once they had defined their collective sound, they released their debut EP, "Afterhours," catching the attention of the music industry and music enthusiasts worldwide, including Drake’s primary producer Noah “40” Shebib. He would provide a contract to the duo, officially signing them to OVO Sound record label. This partnership allowed them to reach a wider audience and collaborate with some of the industry's biggest names.

Cover Art for Majid Jordan's "Afterhours"

It was in 2014 that Majid Jordan released a self-titled EP that showcased their ability to seamlessly blend the sounds of R&B with elements of electronic music and pop. With its infectious melody and heartfelt lyrics, "A Place Like This" quickly gained popularity. As a result of his EP, Majid Jordan had established themselves as a major force in the music scene. While EP laid a solid foundation, it was their single "Her" that captured the attention of the masses. With Majid's emotional vocals and Jordan's mesmerizing production, this song struck a real chord with listeners. It became an anthem of longing and love, solidifying Majid Jordan's reputation for pushing the boundaries of the genre itself.

Cover Art for Majid Jordan's "A Place Like This"

With the sheer weight of the biggest star in the world backing them, the duo journeyed through countless sounds until they achieved their debut self-titled album, released on OVO Sound and Warner Bros. Records. Critics had a surprised tone with their opinions, perhaps underestimating Majid Jordan and what they could fulfil.

“Majid Jordan’s best quality is its intimate feel, sounding like each song is the extension of a conversation and is to beheard by a specific set of ears…”

In 2017, Majid Jordan released their second album, "The Space Between." The band continued to refine their work over the years after their debut. A variety of themes are explored on the album, including love, relationships, and self-discovery. Their ability to craft songs that spoke to the complexities of modern love can be seen in tracks such as "Gave Your Love Away" and "Phases."

Cover Art for Majid Jordan's "The Space Between"

The productions are complex but quietly enticing, and the writing is straightforward but effective. While there are several stand-alone tracks on this album, it is better to listen to it through from beginning to end, slowly and attentively. It provides a place to escape the discomfort of change and a way to get somewhere you don't know. This album sounds just as good as it feels. And even though the tone is one of discovery, its energy propels one to keep going.

With various relationships with peers blossoming, they would be included in many a staunch release or album from the likes of DJ Snake and Zhu. The connective tissue that aligned them was the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary music, few artists manage to capture the essence of a genre and make it their own. They've successfully merged traditional R&B elements with contemporary electronic and pop sounds, creating a unique sonic mural.

Majid Jordan's live performances are a testament to their artistry and showmanship. Their concerts are known for their energy and the duo's ability to connect with their audience. Whether it's performing in intimate venues or headlining music festivals, Majid Jordan's live shows are an experience that fans eagerly anticipate. The duo's ability to craft songs that capture the essence of human emotions is the basis of their existence. Again, whether it's the exhilaration of new love, the pain of heartbreak, or the thrill of self-discovery, Majid Jordan's music serves as a soundtrack for human life's most intimate moments.

Are they good People? Obviously. The new album announced by the duo is a culmination of all the hard work and character they have built over the last decade. I don’t feel the industry is ready for a genuine article, and I don’t feel we are either.

Majid Jordan is a testament to the power of artistic collaboration and innovation in music. Their unique blend of R&B, electronic, and pop elements has redefined the genre and captured the imaginations of all that hear. Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman's journey from late-night jam sessions to becoming global icons of R&B is a testament to their willingness to rely on one another to bring something to the table, often innovative. With each release, they continue to captivate audiences with their soulful melodies, ground-breaking production, and heartfelt lyrics. Although Majid Jordan's influence on R&B cannot be denied, their musical chemistry is the backbone of their success, teaching others to let go of pride and egos as you never know when a stranger could change your life for the better.

Written by: @Arriv3r