TDB: Can you tell us about where you grew up?
Jordan Feliz: I grew up in a smaller town called Clovis, California. I pretty much grew up there my entire life, and my family has been from that area their entire lives as well. I grew up in the church, my parents kind of just raised me in that. I went to an elementary school that was literally five minutes away from my house. I grew up having things really close!
TDB: What was high school like for you, and how did your relationship with God and with music progress over that time?
Jordan Feliz: I feel like I probably didn’t understand what my relationship with God truly was until about Freshman year. That was when everything started to come together, and I started writing a lot of songs that year. I had grown up playing piano, but I started really digging into the passion of writing music throughout that time. That progressed into writing full-time pretty much my senior year, which is when I joined a heavier rock band.
TDB: How did you get from being in a heavy rock band to where you are now?
Jordan Feliz: After about four and a half years later when that was over I took a job as a worship leader. Over that year, my wife and I prayed about moving to Nashville. We had been told and kind of felt like God was pulling us in that direction, so a year later we moved because we felt like God had given us confirmation to go ahead and go. Two years later and I’m taking to you!
TDB: What is your favorite part of being in this genre of music?
Jordan Feliz: My favorite part is honestly the sense of community. I just love people – I have such a passion for people, and it almost feels like a warm hug when I joined the industry and the arms have just been opened up. I just feel really thankful to have that.
TDB: Did you expect that?
Jordan Feliz: No! [laughs] I really didn’t. I kind of expected it to be a harder, more difficult thing to break into and to feel a little bit more accepted, but everybody really has been so kind.
TDB: Can you tell me a little about what inspired you to create the album, Beloved?
Jordan Feliz: It’s kind of a long process, but after my wife and I moved here a little over a year and a half ago, we miscarried our first baby. It has become a big part of my testimony. There’s been a lot of wanting to figure things out, my wife and I are both big planners. Beloved, the entire record is about letting people know you are beloved and that ultimately the one thing in this life that is going to satisfy you is Jesus. A lot of people, we look for it in the world, we look for it in things, and just all kind of material possessions and relationships. But ultimately the thing that is going to fill the void in your heart is Jesus. In that, we had been searching and craving for a long time to become parents. We found that there was a hole that was created there – wanting to be parents – but we found that what Jesus really wanted us to find before that was that He was truly the satisfaction, that the child would not be the satisfaction. The entire record is kind of based around the whole fight of moving and really putting our faith in moving somewhere we had never lived before. But it’s based all around that we are loved by Jesus and that His love is the truest satisfaction out of anything we will ever see in this life.
TDB: Did you have any musical inspirations that affected the sound of this album?
Jordan Feliz: Yes! [laughs] I listen to a lot of music, but some of my biggest influences – and especially for this record – have been One Republic and Christian band called For King & Country – one of my favs. I have a lot of older bands as influences, like I grew up listening to Bill Withers, Sam Cooke, The Commodores, Earth Wind and Fire. So, a lot of those played a huge inspirational role in the writing of the record.
TDB: Let’s talk a little bit about some tracks off this album and the stories behind them. What is the story behind your title track “Beloved”?
Jordan Feliz: I wrote the song when I found out my wife and I were going to be having a little girl. When I sat down to write the song, I kept thinking about all the things the world was going to tell my daughter – it was going to tell her that she was not pretty enough or that she’s not skinny enough, or she’s not good enough. The list just compiled, it’s like everything piles on top of this list of things the world was going to be telling her as she grows up. I wanted to tell her that more than anything, she is beloved. Not only by me, but she is loved by the savior of the world! Through kind of saying that out loud, it’s crazy, because now that I’ve actually laid eyes on her and been able to hold her and truly love her, I have a whole new respect for God’s love for us as his children. It’s put a whole new perspective on how God feels about us for me. It’s a crazy, crazy feeling. I really didn’t know that was how I was going to feel after all was said and done, but it’s truly a song about a father’s love for His child. I didn’t know it would be such a big idea after I actually had my daughter.
TDB: Our favorite song on this album is “Simple”. What made you want to record a song about the simpleness our relationship with God can be if we let it?
Jordan Feliz: It’s one of my favorite songs on the record, too. I completely agree. The song “Simple” is really about the fact that a lot of times we get in the way of ourselves. God has given us this gift of grace, mercy, and the death of His son that paid for all of our sins. Really, it’s that simple – we have been paid for. Our ransom has been paid for. But, our human nature makes that thought process so much more difficult and so much more complicated. Just like we do in all of our relationships, you know? It’s hilarious. I just found that to be so relevant to my life too, and that’s one of the reasons why I really wanted to record it, was because it was a song I not only wanted people to hear, but I kind of wanted myself to be able to play it every night almost as a reminder to myself.
TDB: You recorded covers of two incredible songs on this album— one by Ed Sheeran and one by NEEDTOBREATHE. What made you want to put these songs on your album?
Jordan Feliz: I have been asked that a couple times, and it’s so funny – the story is kind of interesting. I recorded live audio videos for those songs plus two songs that are on my record, “Beloved” and “The River”. I sat down in a room with two of my best friends and we kind of just played these songs in a different way than they have been played by other artists. We were going to release them on YouTube (still are, still have) but after hearing them, we thought “Man, this is such a cool thing! It’s a different, kind of vulnerable, interesting thing.” I ended up having some conversations with my record label and I thought it would be fun to put these songs on the record, because I have never heard of anyone cutting a song by a Christian artist or general market artist and putting it on their record! Also, it’s a live track, and I thought it would be a fun, different thing. So, that’s how it all led to be.
TDB: Have you heard any feedback on those songs?
Jordan Feliz: Yes, I have had a couple. A lot of people love it! Actually, pretty much everyone loves it to be honest. I’ve had a lot of people love my cover of “Brother” because it’s very different from the NEEDTOBREATHE version. I kind of asked myself every time “What would Sam Cooke do to this song?”. He’d probably slow it down and make it hang way back off the beat a little bit, so that’s kind of what I ended up doing. A lot of people have been really digging it. I’ve only had a couple of people that have been kind of weird about it, but I don’t know who they are. They’ll post something on iTunes or whatever and be like, “This is just disgraceful!” It’s all good, though. If I was just a crazy, massive fan of NEEDTOBREATHE and I felt like someone didn’t do a good job then I probably wouldn’t say anything, but hey you know, whatever.
TDB: The most popular song on this album is definitely “The River”. Did you expect the success this song has received?
Jordan Feliz: Oh my goodness, no. “The River” has pretty much started my career on an all-time high. I don’t think anybody actually saw any of what the song has done coming. I don’t think anybody at my record label, anybody on my management team, not even me. Obviously, as an artist, you want to create something people love and cherish, because you do – you cherish things you create. You also feel like God has called you to do this, so I want to worship Him in the best way possible in that. So, you pray for favor for things, and that God would have His hand over your career and stuff. It has been such an overwhelming time for me, and I am eternally grateful.
TDB: What do you hope the future of your music and ministry looks like?
Jordan Feliz: I hope it looks exactly like what’s happening right now, honestly. I want to keep continuing to create music people can connect with, and I also want to continue just loving on people, and being able to be the church with people. That’s a huge part of who I am, is loving on people and being able to share our stories together and learn from one another. I just want to continue with that.
TDB: How can those listening or reading pray for you and your family?
Jordan Feliz: Man, they can just be praying for some sleep! My wife and I became first-time parents thirteen weeks ago, so we are just getting used to learning how to be parents and absolutely loving it. But yeah, sleep is really a needed thing sometimes. Sometimes it seems like our daughter is just like “nope!” so they can be praying for that, and that would be huge.
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