Zoe Sky Jordan’s songs have been featured on the TV series Less Than Kind and Lost Girl, on the soundtrack of a CBC retrospective on 60 years of hockey and in Starbucks cafes around the world.
One of the first songs she wrote, at 17, was placed in the TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation. That song, Tonight, was the first she ever played for her parents, Amy Sky and Marc Jordan, who are both renowned Toronto singer-songwriters. Sky Jordan, 24, said she’d written songs before penning Tonight, but she’d been hesitant to play them for her parents because she felt the songs were inferior.
“My parents weren’t going to encourage bad songwriting,” she said, speaking on the phone from Nashville, where she’s recording her new album.
When Sky Jordan, whose musical education included analyzing songs on radio with her parents, played Tonight for her parents, she was confident they would like it.
“My dad said it was good,” she recalled, adding that her mom fixed the bridge and, as a co-writer, took 20 per cent of the writer’s royalty.
After Tonight was placed on Degrassi, Sky Jordan’s music became a staple of the show’s soundtrack. Since then, her songs have also been released online. Her 2012 six-song EP, Restless, Unfocused, what she calls her “first, solid, solo release,” was picked up by Starbucks and played worldwide in their stores.
Footsteps, a song she wrote with Colleen Dauncey, her partner in the synth-pop band Petty Victories, was featured on the soundtrack of a CBC retrospective on 60 years of Hockey Night in Canada during the opening game of the 2013 season.
Earlier this year, Sky Jordan lived and worked in Los Angeles, where she co-wrote the song In Another Life with electronic-music artist Kyler England. It’ll be part of the soundtrack of the TV show Switched at Birth.
Sky Jordan writes dreamy melodies with lyrics that paint a picture. Like her father, Marc, Sky Jordan, is dyslexic and so the songs she writes are sometimes inspired by visual images, including movies.
“I love old movies, and maybe because I’m dyslexic, I like visual stuff. That triggers my mind. I get more visual metaphors than anything else,” she said, adding that she likes to “write about a small moment and make it a really big deal.”
Her voice can be either sultry or haunting, depending on the mood of the song she’s singing, but she’s also comfortable performing emotionally charged songs in higher ranges.
Sky Jordan, who performed with her parents while she was growing up, says singing came to her naturally. The first time she was on stage with them she was three years old. “I just kind of wandered on stage where my parents were playing. My family always encouraged that kind of stuff,” she said.
In early April, Sky Jordan arrived in Nashville, after driving from Los Angeles, to record her first full-length release. She came with her demos and picked out some of the songs for the new recording in her first week in the songwriting capital of the world. She expects to launch the yet untitled recording in Toronto this summer.
A collector of vintage clothing, jewelry and bric-a-brac, she plans to sell vintage merchandise at her launch. “It’s sort of like having an Etsy store at the show,” she said.
While she’s in Toronto, she’ll also be performing at venues around the city, including at the Cameron on Queen Street West, with her boyfriend, singer-songwriter Liam Titcomb, who is doing a residency there this summer. She is also featured on Thomas Fiss’ newly released single, Orbit.
For more information about her, visit zoeskyjordan.flavors.me or contact her through Facebook.