Jordan Peak: The Rogue element
Initially, I knew of Jordan Peak through his ‘Mean Streets’ EP on One Records, as time went on I picked up his Club Cuts EP on Robsoul and I finally added him to my favourites list when he dropped the mighty juggernaut ‘It’s Time’ on Air London. Last year Jordan agreed to appear on my radio show and played an excellent guest mix – during his interview on the show he revealed he was due to start a label, I thought it would be great to catch up again once the label had been launched so we stayed in touch and had another chat recently. Read the full interview on my website here.
How’s the label going?
It’s great actually, we’re all sorted for 2014 and I’m already looking at 2015. If you want to put out a tune every month for a year that’s 12 releases and I think that’s too much unless you’re a massive organisation or you have a big team behind you – Rogue Society is just a project with me doing all the work. It’s quality over quantity, so once every other month is what I’ve aimed for and I’ve got that, I’m considering cutting that down to 4 or 5 releases in upcoming years. I’ve got Robert Hood, Jus-Ed, Dan Curtin, Bleak, Sam Russo, Jay Tripwire, John Daly, Esteban Adame and some really talented up and comers like Adject, Simon Haydo, Jorge Savoretti… Loads of great artists within the house and techno spectrum, so I’m looking forward to getting all of their music out there. It’s going to be an exciting year!
What’s the general ethos of the label?
I just want to make music, put out music and release music from other people that I like and is hopefully going to stand the test of time. It’s not just here for the next couple of months, I want these tracks to be here in 10 years time or 20 years time and even longer and for people to still be buying them and playing them. There’s housey stuff on there, there’s more techno-based stuff on there – there aren’t any rules as to what I’ll be putting out. I’m even doing some electro-style stuff at the moment in the Drexciya mold, some hip hop and some more experimental stuff as I’m working on my debut album which I’m planning on putting out through the label at the end of 2015. Of course the majority of the album will be a balance of house and techno tracks but I think albums should be more personal and represent your tastes as music fan and an individual more, which is what you don’t really get the chance to do a lot of time with dancefloor-based 12″ releases.
Last time we spoke we touched on how your musical direction had changed a little bit, what’s the reason behind this change of style?
A lot of people assume things when they hear certain terms. I play the word association game with my friends actually . . . I found that whenever ‘techno’ was mentioned straight away most people thought about 140bpm music with just drums and no melodies or whatsoever but that’s not the style I’m drawn to. I guess I found house music was getting quite stale, not everyone of course there is still lots of good music out there and a hell of a lot of great producers, but a lot of the stuff that is being pushed as ‘house music’ and ‘deep house ‘ just seemed soulless to me. I started looking further afield to find sounds that interested me more. I started listening to a lot of Klock and Dettmann and I found it a bit more interesting. I haven’t turned my back on house! I still play it and make it, but I just wanted to broaden my horizons and try to show people that I can fit in into both fields
Whether you like or not you’re going to get pigeonholed, that’s what we do as humans, it’s just what happens. How many times have you heard, “This guy is the new so and so” in sports, in acting, in music, in everything! It’s harder for people who try to go against that and do all different things because consumers generally find it difficult to tap into, it’s harder to sell you to people. You can try and fight it if you want but it’s going to happen. I’m just hoping to get labeled as someone that makes and plays good music
How did you find the time to fully dedicate yourself to learning how to make music?
Well that’s it, you just do it. There’s no other way you can do it. You’ve just got to decide what’s important to you – I love making music and I love playing music. I think, if you love doing something, especially something creative, then you’ve got to do it. I’m originally from the Isle Of Wight, so when I first started there wasn’t a lot else to do anyway! There were no decent clubs or anything, no parties or good nights apart from the ones that me and my friends put on which would end up being just our gang of friends playing music to each other so there was nothing I loved more than working on music, mixing in my bedroom and so forth. A lot of people find it easy to make excuses but, if you really want it, then you’ll be willing to put the effort in. I just love doing it.
What’s your schedule like now? I guess music is full-time now, but how do you delegate your time?
Well, I have a lung disease as well so I have to be very organised with my time. It takes me about three hours a day just to do the all the things I need to do to keep on top of that. I have cystic fibrosis. I’m really, really lucky because I’ve only got a mild form of it. It affects your lungs and your digestive system. I used to only have the lung side of it but in the last few years I’ve developed some of the digestive part too where my body doesn’t properly absorb all the nutrients from food. I have to keep a really healthy lifestyle, my medication takes between an hour and a half to two hours a day in total and on top of that I exercise to keep my cardiovascular system running properly. Monday to Friday I go running or cycling or go to the gym, so that’s a daily thing for me which I have to do to keep me healthy and out of hospital and even then sometimes after keeping on top of everything I might pick up a bug and have to go in for a couple of weeks for a course of I.V. antibiotics. I have to this year again actually, I’m going to be in hospital for my 27th birthday. Looking forward to that as much as I am a kick in the teeth.
Has having cystic fibrosis had much of an effect on your life, apart from the time management aspect?
I’m a really optimistic person anyway, I always tend to look on the bright side even when I’m down. Sometimes it’s hard, of course it is. As I said I have a really mild form of it, I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 10 – normally people are diagnosed at birth. I got quite ill at seven so my mum took me to the doctors and they said I had asthma. Then when I was 10 I got really ill and got taken into hospital with pneumonia. Not much seemed to work or make me any better, so one of the doctors said let’s try for CF and they realised that’s what I actually suffered from.
I’m really lucky not to have it as bad as most people who suffer with it. I’ve always just had it and known I’ve got to get on with life – you can either moan and complain and bring yourself down, or you can just get on with it and just do it. It’s just another challenge, another obstacle and, eventually, it just makes you who you are. I don’t think it’s really affected me that much, I just have to be more careful. I used to be really self conscious with it and would never tell anyone I had it, even friends. They would joke, “You need to give the cigarettes a rest mate” and I would just say I had a cold etc but now I tell anyone. I guess it’s just being more confident in yourself as you grow up. There have been times when I’ve been a bit silly and not been doing what I’m supposed to, and that’s when I’ve got ill or I’ve had a check-up and they’ve admitted me to hospital. That’s just me being stupid though.
Do you think in any respect it’s pushed you to strive for success?
I don’t know, I don’t think so. I’ve always been a very motivated person anyway, my family own their own business so I’ve been brought up with the idea that you have to work to get what you want. My dad’s a really hard worker and so is my mum and both my brothers in fact, so I guess that is what has motivated me more than anything really just having a decent upbringing with them. They taught me manners and they taught me to treat people as I would want to be treated and I still live by that to this day.
For more information on Jordan Peak and Rogue Society click here.Tagged in: Jordan Peak
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