Indie pop artist Jordana wants to make it clear that she’s not an industry plant.
“First of all, I’m not even big enough to be an industry plant, if there’s some sort of level of how big you have to be,” Jordana Nye said in an interview with The Daily Californian. “You just call me an industry plant because you don’t know who I am! There are new artists out there.”
Jordana’s authenticity makes her swift, sizable success all the more impressive. The 21-year-old artist is relatively recent in entering the music scene — having only put out her first EP Classical Notions of Happiness in early 2020 — but her productivity implies prowess. With a string of music releases and a tour with popular alternative indie band TV Girl in the span of two years, Jordana has already built a robust resume.
This summer, following the recent release of her first full-length studio album Face The Wall, Jordana has embarked on her second national tour. Sandwiched between supporting dates for Wallows and Remi Wolf are her first series of headline shows — a sure sign of her success paying off as she finds her artistic footing.
“I’ve never had people drive an hour to come see me,” Jordana said. “So that’s cool. People were waiting outside and stuff.”
Though Jordana remains humble, her fans are clearly devoted: One fan memorably gifted Jordana an original Xbox copy of “Silent Hill 2” following her online praise of the video game’s haunting, gloomy soundtrack.
“When they mention something that they fan out about and it’s something I also fan out about, I feel like we can both just fan out together,” Jordana said. “That’s nice. Like if they’re wearing a ‘Strokes’ shirt or something, I just get all excited.”
Despite the recently increasing growth of her own fanbase, Jordana is, first and foremost, a fan herself. Generationally marked by her love for classic indie punk figureheads of the 2000s such as Death Cab for Cutie, Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes — the last of which she ran a fan account for in her teenage years — her love for music has always been intrinsic to her personality and the way she builds community.
“A couple of my friends that I was online friends with through The Strokes came to see me at some of my shows, which was a full circle moment,” Jordana said. “So that was pretty cool.”
Jordana may no longer actively post on her old accounts, but these early infatuations will forever influence her artistry as her musical style takes shape. Her most recent album Face The Wall contains lingering moments of inspiration from her longtime favorites while also leaving room for her own sound to be unearthed.
Face The Wall manages to be both versatile and cohesive, with her commentary on mental health the thematic thread twining through the collection’s very core. “Pressure Point” paints the picture of a weed-induced panic attack. In its dreamlike deliberateness, “Go Slow” cuts through the haze of anxiety and offers a gently decelerated alternative. “Like You Used To” is both a standout track and a solemn ode to reminiscing on the simplicity of childhood while waiting for struggles to pass. “I need this to come on back to me,” she implores in the song’s soothing refrain, referring to a nameless state of mind that she aches to embody once again.
“Like You Used To” also happens to be Jordana’s personal favorite. “Bring me back to when I didn’t overthink things,” Jordana said in reference to the song’s meaning. “Just take me back to a time where ignorance was bliss … (it’s a) mental health crisis sort of thing.”
At large, Jordana’s entire album is a beacon of self-growth that mirrors her own strength and resolve in her personal life. A substantial aspect of this self-growth lives in her commitment to sobriety from alcohol, an ongoing effort she is both proud of accomplishing and perpetually struggling to overcome.
“When I was on tour last year, it was kind of a big thing,” she said. “I was drinking before I went on, or other times while we were playing and then after the show. It was just becoming a big issue. And then I just kept digging and that hole didn’t really get any better.”
Her youth makes this effort especially commendable, and her endeavor reveals a deeply introspective, resolute nature that is relentlessly inspiring.
“I don’t know how long it’ll last,” she admitted. “It’s really hard.”
Admitting she had a problem was Jordana’s first step toward healing. Her record paints this idea profoundly, as it is at once a comforting shoulder to cry on and a bolstering reminder of the power of resilience and self-worth.
“You can do anything you set your mind to, queen,” Jordana said, her tone underscored by an earnestness that betrayed sincerity. This same quality carries through her music, engulfing Face The Wall in colorful, cutting coalescence.