Last fall, we caught up with Jordan Feliz when his EP, Beloved, was released. Today, Jordan is currently touring with Plumb and Big Daddy Weave on the Beautiful Offerings tour. He is releasing his first full-length studio album, The River, on April 22nd. A huge thanks to Jordan’s team for taking the time to set this up and to Jordan for taking the time to talk to us. He is an incredible person and artist, we’re sure you’ll enjoy this interview!
TDB: Can you recap the story of your journey in music and all the changes that took place to get you here?
Jordan Feliz: Well, I grew up in the church and then my senior year I joined a band that was sort of in the metal scene, I guess you could say. I did that for four and a half years as a believer. Our ministry was more taking Jesus into a place or genre where there wasn’t a whole lot of Jesus in. A year after that, I started leading worship for a church. That was kind of when the Lord started opening up some doors for me in Nashville to go write songs. I flew out there and came back; then my wife and I flew out there, and we fell in love with Nashville. We moved out there three years ago. A little over a year ago I signed onto Centricity’s label and put out my first single, “The River”, on July 31st of last year. Now I’m hanging out with you!
TDB: We had briefly talked about you departing from “A Current Affair”. Was walking away from that band hard, and what went into that decision?
Jordan Feliz: It wasn’t necessarily leaving, I think everybody was kind of done. I kind of kept it going on my own for a while, because I had just gotten married and needed to some how make money. (laughs) But we all parted ways after we had a tour that didn’t go so well. We just weren’t that interested in doing it anymore. I guess it was kind of mutual.
TDB: All of that brought you to “The River” and the solo career you’re on now. What was your reaction to the rapid success of “The River”? What was that like?
Jordan Feliz: It was a little overwhelming. It still is overwhelming! I actually love the song, but sometimes you create something and wonder, “Is everyone else is going to like it?” Since day one, people really just loved the song. It grew into something beyond my wildest dreams for sure. It’s been overwhelming, but really exciting to see what God has done with the song and through other people. It’s been great.
TDB: Was the rest of the Beloved EP written before the release of “The River”?
Jordan Feliz: Yes. Basically, the songs “Beloved” and “The River” were written about two and a half weeks apart from each other. I had been writing songs for almost two years since I had moved to Nashville, though, so I had a lot of songs! I got to meet up with a friend from California who had just moved to Nashville. I think it was more a divine appointment because we ended up writing “The River” and “Beloved” together. Those set the tone for the “Beloved” record, which set the tone for the new record.
TDB: So far, you have released two new songs – “Best of Me” and “Never Too Far Gone” off of the new album. Is there another new song you are excited about fans hearing?
Jordan Feliz: I mean, I’m excited for everybody to hear all of it. It’s hard to choose just one! I think out of new songs, I’m excited for everyone to hear “Cheer You On”. It is kind of written more on a father to child perspective, like “be there to cheer you on through life’s journey”. I just really like it, it resonates to me with recently becoming a dad and everything. A lot of the people that have heard the record really like it a lot. It’s an uplifting song. That and “How Long”, I like that song a lot too.
TDB: “Best of Me” is currently on more than one of iTunes’ playlists. Congratulations on that, I love that you’re one of the chart-toppers. I mean, “The River” is still up on the Christian music charts after almost a year since its release.
Jordan Feliz: I’m excited too. I’m like, “Oh my gosh, that’s crazy!”
TDB: What was the inspiration behind the heavy dose of strings on The River?
Jordan Feliz: The strings honestly stemmed from “Satisfied” on the EP. I actually fell in love with the strings on that song. The cello player’s name is Cara Fox, and she’s really, really good at what she does. I was like, “How do we get Cara to do some more stuff?”
TDB: Is there a particular message you are hoping fans will take from this album?
Jordan Feliz: Definitely. It’s more of a statement than a one-word message. Each song as a whole when you listen through this album represents something on its own. I think more than anything I would want people to take away that they have an opportunity to be made new, given to us through Christ Jesus. Also that you are loved incredibly by the Creator of the universe. Through seeking and finding Him, you’ll find the best version of yourself that you’ve ever had in your life. Ultimately, he is the satisfaction in life. No matter what you have thrown at you, whatever holes you have in your heart, or whatever voids you have in your life, he is the only thing that satisfies that.
TDB: There are happy and encouraging songs on this album like “Cheer You On”. There are also sad songs called “Surrender” that acknowledge the tough times. Can you tell me what advice you would give someone going through a dark time?
Jordan Feliz: I think we try to find answers a lot. I think we’ve been accustomed, because of the way the world is right now, to getting answers real fast. It’s like, when you’re texting someone and you don’t see that little bubble pop up right after you send them a text it’s almost irritating. The Lord doesn’t work like that. When you pray for His provision, it’s not like he’s going to slap one hundred dollars on your table in fifteen minutes. Provision, protection, and healing and can be a lot of different things and come from a lot of different angles. But the Lord will provide them, He has promised us that. So I think ultimately it would be to turn to him and find rest in Him in the waiting for what’s to come. It could take a while, you just never know how long it’s going to be. The satisfaction we receive from Him is what we crave more than anything.
TDB: What do you feel like was the most vulnerable song to write on this album, and why?
Jordan Feliz: I would say it already kind of came out on the EP for me. It’s “Satisfied”. That was the most vulnerable for me. It was written right after my wife and I had lost our first baby. That was a really hard time, and one of the darkest times of my faith. I was angry, irritated, and frustrated. I didn’t know what the Lord was doing. I wanted to write it with redemption in mind though, because the song is about me realizing that the one person I was most mad at was the only thing who could fix it. I want people to understand – and it doesn’t matter what you’re dealing with, we all get comfortable wallowing in our own stuff. We crave the attention of “I have all this stuff”, but we don’t. We don’t have any of it, actually! You want to think you do, but that was all paid for on the cross. I think it’s encouraging and heart wrenching all at once for me to release it because of my own lack of faith at that time. But at the same time it’s beautiful to realize that He is the answer for all of our stuff.
TDB: You released a cover of Tori Kelly’s song “Hollow”, as you have released other covers of songs like on “Beloved ”. How do you pick which songs to cover?
Jordan Feliz: I just pick songs that I like! I really connected with that song early on, and when we were picking more covers to release I asked if we could do that one. It felt like a natural thing, the song kind of feels like a prayer to me. I love that she released it into the general market for people to hear.
TDB: You’re currently on tour with Big Daddy Weave and Plumb. Had you ever met either of those two bands before this tour?
Jordan Feliz: I had met the Big Daddy Weave guys very briefly backstage at the Dove Awards. I had never met Plumb before. We all had this big tour rehearsal for a week in Missouri, actually. I feel like before we got on the road we all knew each other relatively well.
TDB: What do you think differentiates this tour from others?
Jordan Feliz: In my opinion, this is more a ministry than a concert or tour. Every night, yeah, we’re playing songs people hear on the radio. But it’s not about that for us. It’s more about us just wanting to build the kingdom. I would encourage fans to come with all the “stuff” they have and leave it at the end of the night. I hope they walk out feeling renewed and refreshed!
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