Get To Know: Hollywood-based British Artist JRDS
Living in Hollywood since the start of summer 2018, JRDS began working on captivating a platform through social media and performing shows at iconic venues, as well as catwalk modelling for The Unapologetic Co. at LA Fashion week 2019. JRDS released 4 Singles in 2019 and 1 EP titled “Ocean Fires” on Valentine's Day 2020. Now, they release debut album 'Endorphins and Nicotine’! Let's get to know them!
JRDS, it’s a pleasure to chat to you here at CFM!
Firstly, who is JRDS?
Hey! Thanks for having me. I’m a Non-binary pop-artist living in Hollywood, originally from a little town in England that just wasn’t big enough for my personality, dreams or future. I always felt out of place as 1 / 8 billionth of a human being, until I found myself in Hollyweird and was like “oh, these be my people!”. The message of JRDS is “Be You” - unrestricted, unapologetically, YOU. JRDS is for the misfits, the dreamers, the lost, and the still-searching.
What’s the music scene like in Hollywood, where you’re based?!
One word: WILD. The music scene in Hollywood is so eclectic and diverse because everyone from all over the world has invested in their vision so much so that they’ve found each other at the crossroads of something wonderful. I feel like pop music is something I’ve seen the least of in LA though. In my most creative moments, I’ve been around some amazing independent rappers like Dean Cee, Jetty Mcfly, and Maedrixx, so I guess my pop style has been influenced by other artists from other genres.
What’s a typical day in the studio look like for you?
It depends on the hour. I’m always creating, whether that includes singing a quick idea into my voice memos in the middle of a Soho House meeting, or when my producer, ICONIC THE ALCHEMIST, sends me a new beat he’s working on that captures my inspiration. Creativity in my life comes in every form.
When I first started writing music, I called it song therapy - I would pick up my guitar and just let my heart pour out. Through 12 years of writing from the heart, I’ve grown to be the embodiment of music, and I’ve written more than 3,000 songs at this point.
When I’m in the studio, I can get pretty emotional as it’s vital to me to give an authentic performance. My song “How Not To Fall In Love” was recorded in one take, and I’m crying the entire time. We would have spent hours making a perfect vocal track, but instead, the feelings in the first take I did transpired so naturally, so we kept it raw.
For someone who’s never heard your music, which song of yours is the best introduction in your opinion?
OOOOOH, Great Question! My debut Album, "Endorphins and Nicotine" (shameless promo) is actually a story, so I’d say the best introduction to that story would be the second track “Burn” as its just after the introduction track and really gives an insight into my writing and who I am as a person. The first few lines read “Risk-taker, Survivor, caught in your crossfire, my messiah's a liar” which was actually written to be an introduction to JRDS. I’m a Survivor of sexual assault, and I survived being in the care system from when I was 10 months old. I grew up taking a lot of risks, some that paid off, and some that didn’t, and this line is supposed to reference past trauma, questioning faith and questioning my place, like we all do, and have done. So to answer your question: Burn!
If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why?
Kesha! Kesha! Kesha! I’m fascinated by other human beings that flash their unique DNA to the world, and Queen Kesh has been a big influence to me in my journey, and her fans are amazingly supportive and have no hesitations in completely losing themselves at a concert, to be involved in that would be Bucket-List level insanity. Other dream support slots would be Taylor Swift, Troye Sivan and fellow British Enby, Sam Smith. Who knows what the future holds, watch this space!
Which artists have you been listening to during all these lockdowns?
So many different amazing artists! My go-to’s right now though would be Chaz Cardigan, Lia Mangouras, Betty Who and Jaira Burns; all unique as FUQ.
What can we expect for the rest of the year from you?
I’m currently in tour rehearsals with my amazing band, Zach, Kruttika, and Matt, preparing for the Endorphins and Nicotine tour. Bringing the tour to life has been literally spiritual. The energy and vibes coming from this talented crew of people has been healing. For this tour I also have a choreographer on board for this run of shows. Niko has been so considerate of my cerebral palsy and he’s been so patient making this non-binary queen go from wounded gazelle to a main-character dancing bish. I can’t WAIT to see everyone on tour, and give an unforgettable show!
What’s the meaning behind your album ’Endorphins and Nicotine’?
To me, Endorphins and nicotine is all about the extremes. It details the most defining moments in my life, and I’ve written it in such a way, to make you close your eyes and picture the scene so vividly in your mind. It’s about the extremities of life, good or evil, red or blue, man or woman, and the society that forces us to pick a side, becoming the superlative of these extremes. Endorphins and Nicotine transcends the line between these extremes, and allows a third option - being yourself, with the flaws and boring parts too. A break from all these extremities.
When I told my father the name of the album his response was “ah Human kind’s best painkillers!” but I think the great thing about this album is that it means something different depending on your own experiences, or lack of experiences, and allows you to dream, heal, and grow.