Jordan Alexander is the breakout pop star of 2017. The stunning young singer/songwriter is openly gay, multiracial, and insanely talented. Earlier this month, Jordan opened for Jess Glynne and put the finishing touches on her debut album, Reject Misfit Outcast, which she tantalizingly describes as “Urban Dream Pop.” Jordan’s mentor, Grammy-nominated producer Jarvis Church, discovered and produced stars like Nelly Furtado and K’naan.
Could Jordan Alexander be the hottest lesbian pop star since Tegan and Sara Quin? My money is on “yes.” I caught up with the adorably enthusiastic Canadian about opening for Jess Glynne with one hour’s notice, dating a “blonde angel,” creating her debut album, and fangirl tendencies.
All photos by: Will Rot
AfterEllen: You recently opened for Jess Glynne! How did that happen?
Jordan Alexander: I got the message at like 6pm to open for Jess Glynne that night; it was crazy but totally the best. The original opener got sick at the last minute, so event organizer asked my agent for submissions and then chose me to fill in! I love Jess Glynn’s music and saw posters for her show everywhere for the past month, so I just couldn’t believe that I would open for her. We met at sound check and she was so cool and stunning.
AE: Woah, what a crazy experience. You must have been scrambling.
JA: Yeah, I was in Netflix and chill mode when I saw the email saying “You need to be at Adelaide Hall in an hour.” So I jumped off the couch and was running around stripping out of my PJs and doing vocal warm ups. It was pretty funny. I felt really legit, like a real musician on call—ready when you need me, like Batman!
AE: But you made it on time.
JA: My girlfriend drove me to sound check so I could get there faster but when we tried to park, we couldn’t figure out the parking signs. I was getting antsy about being late so she was just like “Fuck it, it will be fine.” When we came out—literally 10 minutes later—she had a parking ticket! Toronto doesn’t joke about parking.
AE: I feel you. LA is the same way. What songs did you perform?
JA: “Cool,” “Take Me Out Tonight,” “Need Your Love,” “Love & Alcohol,” “The Lonely Hearts Club,” and “The Great Escape.” Mostly new songs that I wrote in the past couple months.
AE: You mentioned a girlfriend. How do you identify via sexual orientation?
JA: I’m a lesbian. I like girls, particularly my girlfriend Cassandra WB. I’m seeing a blonde angel.
AE: How would you describe your music?
JA: Urban Dream Pop. Urban because of the way I sing, Dream because of the production and the feel, and Pop because of the way I write lyrics.
AE: What’s your earliest musical memory?
JA: Sitting in my friend Jose’s room, listening to her play guitar and sing the songs she wrote. I was 11, she was 13, and I thought she was the most amazing thing. She wrote these beautiful personal songs and I would just sit there for hours listening to her. We spent days doing just that. Jose was the reason I asked my parents for a guitar for my 12th birthday.
AE: What was your childhood like?
JA: My childhood was the best, I have two sisters so it was loud and fun. My parents are really cool and very supportive of creativity. They were never harsh about school, even though I usually did very poorly. I was raised Christian, which I feel put some pretty weird ideas in my head that I’ve had to reverse as an adult. But everything else was so beautiful and happy.
AE: How was your coming out experience?
JA: I came out in 2011 to mixed reactions. My friends didn’t care at all. At the time, my friends were really into Anime and Comic books, and I find that community tends to be pretty open. As for family, some of them are very religious and don’t “agree with” homosexuality, but my little sister didn’t care ’cause she’s my ride or die. My grandparents were so cool; it didn’t phase them at all. They really helped me survive that time. To give you a sense of how cool they are, right now my grandparents are in Europe biking the Danube.
AE: Have you ever felt pressure to conform?
JA: I think so. When I first came out I started being more tomboyish because I was a little confused about what being gay meant. I thought to like girls you had to be more like a boy. I still wear androgynous clothing, but now I know that being gay isn’t a standard I have to live up to. It’s just language to describe who I’m interested in or in a relationship with. Coming out was really tough for me so I have decided going forward I am going to support myself in whomever I choose to love.