Hollis Jordan: Continuing the Family Legacy
Artist “Hollis Jordan” born Jordan Hollis McGraw on March 7, 1997, in Detroit, MI. He is the 7th child of his mother “Peggy Simmons” a core, businesswoman.
He is the second cousin of female rapper “Bo$$” of Def Jam Records & 6th cousin to an American trumpeter, composer, singer, and occasional actor “Louis Armstrong”, who was one of the most influential figures in jazz.
He was born into a musical family where all of his family members have a love and passion for music.
In 2007, he attended the African-Centered school “Malcolm X Academy” in Detroit, MI where he struggled to stay out of trouble and fights with other students. An organization called “God’s Little Soldiers” hosted singing auditions for young males at the school to be a part of The All Boys Choir headed by CEO of Motor City Praise Records “James Render”.
Jordan auditioned and was chosen to sing lead for the choir, and from that point on he was deeply rooted in his passion for music. The choir went on to be very successful, winning multiple awards. Jordan has been an independent solo artist and music producer since 2011 and does different genres of music like the lead singer of the group “Cruise Control Soul band” of Detroit.
In 2016, he released his first national single “Live for the Moment”, produced by his older brother a well-known Detroit producer “MoStaxx” which was released by the two on their own recording label “MoStaxx Entertainment”. Since then Jordan has released multiple records which has opened the eyes and ears of a much larger, more diverse fan base. His current single, “Runaway” with Zaire Danae` has reached the top of the iTunes charts in South Africa. He has also been featured on The Source’s website.
Martone : Thank you, Hollis Jordan for joining us at IRMIX Radio for the interview. At first listen, I said, Runaway featuring Zaire Danae is a hit! What inspired you to write such a beautiful song?
Hollis Jordan: Firstly, thank you for this opportunity and compliment. I was inspired one cold night at my studio, a good friend and I, who I’ve worked with on many songs, were in the studio brainstorming in different rooms. He came into my room after about an hour and said that he was having a hard time writing due to the fact that he was sick. Now I don’t like going to the studio and leaving without getting anything done and I was super inspired to create this night. So I Meditated and began humming a melody. I then reminisced about a relationship that I was in and thought, “that would be a great story to pull from and create a song.”
Martone : After reading through your bio, I see that you have a strong musical legacy in your family, do you feel any pressure on you to be as successful or more than some of your family members?
Hollis Jordan: No pressure whatsoever. I’m on a different journey in life and I measure success differently. The couple of family members that did make it are definitely motivation, but I have strong confidence in my own ability to eventually surpass their heights in the entertainment business, all in the name of pushing my family’s legacy forward.
Martone: My next question is a two-part question. How would you describe your style of singing? Other than your family, who are your musical influences?
Hollis Jordan: My style of singing is a mixture of Gospel and R&B. My musician influences are the greats like Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Brenda Lee (didn’t expect that one!) lol and so many more.
Martone: Given the immense talent that is in your family, is there a particular family member that you have learned anything from musically? If so, who is it and what have you learned from them?
Hollis Jordan: My older brother Mario, aka (Mostaxx), was the first music producer in the family. I watched him as I was coming up and he inspired me tremendously. I watched as he would attract the entire neighborhood to come over to our house and create music all day, every day. He is extremely good at what he does and I wanted to be like him growing up. Some would say I’ve become better, lol. But he is really the reason why I do what I do today, all props to my big bro.
Martone: Back to the song, Runaway. I know that you were recently featured in Source Magazine. Please describe to our readers what that moment was like when you picked up that issue or went to their website, and found a picture of you in Source Magazine.
Hollis Jordan: I was so excited! I must’ve called everyone on my phone and screamed “did you see me in The Source?! It was a fulfilling moment, I’ve worked so hard throughout the years, to be recognized by a huge media outlet as The Source. It was definitely a feather in my cap.
Martone: I know that things are hard right now dealing with COVID-19 and the shutdowns that are going on in Michigan and Detroit, particularly with artists trying to promote their music. What are some of the things that you have faced when trying to book shows or in general when it comes to promoting your single Runaway during this time?
Hollis Jordan: Honestly, I’ve learned to never complain about the circumstance but instead make the best of every moment. So, my team and I have been tirelessly working through these tough times to still be there for my fans and deliver great content.
Martone: From what I have read in your bio, I see that performing in church choirs was/is a big part of your life, is this something that is still ongoing?
Hollis Jordan: Not currently, but I very much so still love God and sing gospel music from time to time.
Martone: I see that you have your own record label, Big Boy Records. How important was it to you by creating your own record label as opposed to getting a record deal?
Hollis Jordan: I just want control over what I do with my career, and I actually enjoy running a record label but I look at it as creating leverage for myself for whenever it is time to expand my career and team up with a major. But for now, that my team and I are having fun being independent.
Martone: What is the most important thing that you have learned by being an independent artist?
Hollis Jordan: Be a leader. Being independent gives me an opportunity to learn more about the business of music as opposed to just getting signed and not knowing how any of it works. I like that I have failed multiple times and learned from my mistakes. That helped me learn what was necessary in order to put the right people in the right positions when I need help doing the job.
Martone: What are some of the changes if any that have you noticed either about yourself or the other people around you once you started gaining notoriety?
Hollis Jordan: lol, I’ve noticed people want to be around me more, people either care more or act as if they care, about me. It is actually interesting and helps me realize who is genuinely here for me and who’s here for the benefits.
Martone: Looking towards the future, where do you hope that your career in music will take you over the next 5 years?
Hollis Jordan: I hope that more and more people discover me and appreciate what I can give to the world. I have a purpose and I want to be a positive influence on the world. I will work hard to make sure my work is impactful. I definitely want to be one of the biggest artists who has done it.
Martone: To date, what do you feel has been your biggest moment professionally and what does it mean to you to have achieved that moment?
Hollis Jordan: Just being able to create music from scratch and distribute it to the masses. I love the fact that I can create something in my studio and be able to release it to the whole world at one time. Although all of the press is really cool as well. I really love that people like and appreciate my work.
Martone: What other genres of music interest you in terms of singing and or producing?
Hollis Jordan: Gospel, Pop, Folk, to name a few. But when it’s all set and done, I want to be able to say that I created music in every genre.
Martone: Out of all the things that you have done over the last 10 years musically is there any particular project that stands out as most memorable?
Hollis Jordan: “Runaway!” I’ve had the most success thus far with “Runaway.”
Martone: On my radio show Industry Revue in the Mix, I have always asked artists about the highlights and lowlights of their careers. And since you have already answered a career highlight, and we have covered Source Magazine. Has there been any particular moment in your life where you felt like giving up? If so, how did you overcome that moment – what got you through it?
Hollis Jordan: Yes, I used to sing with a gospel group whom I won’t name. We were successful in our own right and I toured with them for years. But it eventually came to an end in 2011, I was kicked out of the group and I didn’t know what I was going to do with my career. I was at a point where I no longer had the backing of a record label and I had to start over. I remember, once the head of the label heard that I was coming out as an R&B solo artist called to tell me that, he hoped that everything I did that was not gospel, would FAIL. That statement crushed me and I couldn’t understand how he could wish that upon me. After years of allowing that statement to affect me negatively, I had lost confidence in myself.
In 2019, my mother encouraged me to go out on the streets of Detroit and share my talent with the public. I first had a negative response to that suggestion but I decided to do it, and it changed my life forever. Up until then I had been making music in my bedroom and posting very little on social media about what I was doing and trying to accomplish. I was basically waiting for someone to knock on my door and sign me, silly enough. Well, people began to gather by the hundreds every time I showed up to perform. I met some amazing people in the process, some of who are now on my team. The bottom line is never allowing what people do or say to you, to determine your destiny. Always believe in yourself even if no one else does. You are the key to making your dreams come true. Look, I’m sitting here talking with you guys! Had I allowed what the head of that label said to me to stop me, none of these amazing things would be happening to me. You can win! See it, believe it, and you WILL achieve it.
Martone: We all know that opportunities are limited for performing at the moment, have you been able to travel to other areas in the country to give a performance of Runaway?
Hollis Jordan: Yes, I’ve done a lot of online performances. I recently traveled to Las Vegas to perform on Fremont St & The Strip and it was a success. While still trying to be safe during these times, I’m limited in how frequently I travel for those types of performances.
Martone: When do you plan on releasing any new material? because I have a strong feeling that Runaway will have legs that will possibly carry you until Spring 2021.
Hollis Jordan: Thank You! Next year everyone can be ready for some new material from me, I’ve been preparing and all I can say is… I hope y’all are ready for this.
Martone: Is there anything that you would like to cover that I had not asked you, something that you feel your fans should know?
Hollis Jordan: Just keep streaming my music, lol.
Martone: Jordan, name one pivotal person or moment in life that shaped you to become the artist that you are today, and how or why that shaped you.
Hollis Jordan: I have to name 3 people, first, my managers “Walter & Darell” are teaching me so much and are guiding me through this tough business. Then my guy “Rob” who helps move with all of my social media content and whatever else I need to be done, he’s a great guy.
Martone: Another thing that we have done with our guests in the past is to ask them to give advice to those that are seeking a career in music and or entertainment. So, what would you say to anyone that may be following your career and wanting encouragement or advice from you?
Hollis Jordan: Perfect your craft, keep working, and never ever give up no matter what. Once people see that you take yourself seriously, they will then take you seriously. Be a good person, respect others, and treat others how you want to be treated. Build a solid team of people who can take your vision and help you make it a reality.
© IRMIX Radio, LLC. 2020