Jordan Harvey has officially crossed the pond to chase his Country music dreams. Having both feet planted firmly in Nashville with a BMG Music Publishing deal and new music ready for release via Broken Bow Records, he is ready to find his place in the genre’s forward-leaning future.
The Scottish-born artist/songwriter grew up in the rural, blue-collar town of South Queensferry, experiencing the Scottish version of the lifestyle represented in most Country songs and watching The Grand Ole Opry with his father. He lived and breathed Country music, dreaming about one day commanding a stage like his idols Johnny Cash and Paul McCartney—but he knew it was going to be a long journey that was never going to be an easy, straight line.
His journey has taken 16 years and countless miles from the provincial burrow of 6,000 residents near Edinburgh, Scotland. At 15, he performed at local pubs, where his dad was often the bouncer before moving on to studying music in London, opening for Simple Minds as a member of the OK Social Club, appearing on the hugely popular BBC1 show “Let It Shine,” and making a living as a musician in Glasgow, Germany, Sweden, and Manchester, England. But his dreams resided in Nashville.
With the encouragement of his father, he arrived to town with £1,000, the equivalent of roughly $1,200, in his account. He made a beeline for Broadway and the neon honky tonks where some of the country’s best musicians cut their teeth. He found work four nights a week at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and other notable venues, playing the graveyard shift with no breaks, hauling his drum gear in his mom’s suitcase and couch-surfing to get by.
“I’ve always had this dream in my heart—I never knew the best way to chase it, but I knew I had to,” said Harvey. “It wasn’t easy, but I was raised working-class. My mother was a typist and my dad worked on cars. I know what it’s like to make do with very little. I know you have to get a little creative and never stop moving forward.”
Harvey quickly endeared himself to the industry with his skill as a multi-instrumentalist (drums, guitar, piano), charismatic performance ability and affable personality. He started meeting and working with some of the most sought-after tunesmiths and music professionals in Nashville. Once again, Harvey seized an incredible opportunity to further his career and joined Country music band King Calaway, gaining experience opening for Garth Brooks and a host of shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Late Show with James Corden, TODAY, The Kelly Clarkson Show and the internationally-acclaimed show Neighbours.
“I cannot express my gratitude enough to the boys in King Calaway,” Harvey explained. “Everything that has happened and everything to come is because of those people and the chance they took on me.”
When the pandemic hit and the world shut down, Harvey was in Scotland, separated from his bandmates. Still armed with the spirit of the 15-year-old Scottish kid loading amps for 11 hours a day at £5 an hour, he put his head down and composed 128 songs in a 12-month period from his parent’s small home in Scotland on Zoom—writing six hours ahead of Nashville time.
“Writing on Zoom you can only focus on the song,” Harvey explained. “I found that when I slowed down, I was able to tap into my childhood and certain parts of my life and relationships, something I wasn’t necessarily able to do when living at such a fast pace.”
Digging into those autobiographical moments and self-reflection, Harvey recalibrated and decided to once again focus on his individual career—now armed with a catalog of songs he connected to on a more personal level. With his debut single “Alabama Girl,” Harvey introduces his catchy melodies and authentic, autobiographical storytelling to the world. Encapsulating the charisma and energy of his live show as well as his hopeless romantic tendencies, “Alabama Girl” tells Jordan’s story of landing in Nashville and being a fish out of water.
“Growing up in the countryside, we lived the lyrics of a Country song, but coming over here, I quickly realized there is still a bit of a language barrier. One time I was wearing a University of Alabama shirt at a supermarket and a few folks yelled ‘Roll Tide’ at me…I couldn’t figure out why people were shouting at me,” Harvey remembers.
Despite being lost in translation at times, the prolific writer has a knack for speaking the universal language of music and using his interpersonal excavation to connect with others.
“I’ve always wanted to have music that everyone can relate to, to be universal enough, with a lyric simple enough, that everyone can tap into that feeling, that point in their life,” he said. “If you feel something, someone else will feel it too.”
Harvey’s new material earned him a world of support from Jon Loba, President, Recorded & Publishing BMG Nashville, Chris Oglesby, VP Creative BMG Nashville, and Chris Kappy, Founder & Owner of Make Wake Artists, management home to superstar outlier Luke Combs. Now ready to release new music with some of the best in the business in his corner, Harvey is finally living out his dream.
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