Slidin’ Thru: Jordan Hollywood

November 23, 2018

Read the full interview on YoungCalifornia.com!

Jordan Hollywood is finally getting the shine he deserves. Grinding and putting in the work for over a decade, the Broward County native is the perfect example of someone who hustled and didn’t give up on his dreams. Someone who not only studied the craft, but studied the industry and all of its moving parts to get to exactly where he wanted to be. Read more…

Having written for the likes of French Montana and Jason Derulo, the 25-year-old takes those same skill sets and now hones them into his own artistry. Literally not giving anyone a chance to say no, the singer, songwriter, rapper celebrates a new deal with Quality Control, the home to Migos, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty, and many more. Fitting to the name, he recently unleashed his highly-anticipated QC debut EP called Finally, home to standout single “Let Me Find Out” featuring Lil Baby.

For those who don’t know, who is Jordan Hollywood?
Jordan Hollywood is an artist, singer, rapper, songwriter, producer, engineer, label owner (The Wasted Youth), manager, visionary… everything! Anything that has to do with music, I do it.

Where do you fit in the realm of hip-hop and R&B?
Right in the middle. Definitely hip-hop more, but I got a couple songs on the album that are really, really R&B.

You’re from Broward County, how does that play into your life and career?
That’s just always where I’ve been. I’ve always lived there, recorded the whole album there. It’s just an incredible place. That’s where I met both my producers that did the whole album. Everyone that’s involved in my career is from Broward County, when it comes to my personal hands-on team.

How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
This is where it’s at. I don’t think it’s a necessity, like you have to be here, but it definitely helps. There’s a lot of artists here. It’s good for politicking. A lot of good studios, big producers, and engineers. LA is definitely fire. It’s very important for me in my career.

At what point did you realize this music thing was for real?
When I walked into my first studio for the first time. I heard myself, like really record myself, I was like “oh it’s over.” I just knew from that moment it was meant to be. I was 15, so about 10 years ago.

What was the inspiration behind your name?
It was given to me when I used to play football. They used to call me Hollywood, and it just stuck. I used to have long ass blonde hair. I just used to come clean as fuck all the time and the coaches would be like, “You’re so damn Hollywood.” Then at school, everyone started calling me that. I thought about changing my name so many times because I’m not Hollywood at all. When you think of Hollywood, you think of bougie and stuck up, someone that won’t answer the phone, etc. That’s not me. The energy is crazy because I’m signed to Capitol Records, which is on Hollywood Blvd. LA and Hollywood have played a big role in my career.

“Let Me Find Out” with Lil Baby is at over 3.7M views. Did you foresee it blowing up like this?
For sure. I knew it was going to blow up, but actually seeing it blow up is crazy. I think it got like 4M now, every day it’s going up. I look at it once a day just to check. It makes me feel good when I see the numbers. I remember dropping videos that I put my blood, sweat, and tears in, putting them out and them shits only getting 60K views. Feeling like I’m slept on, and now I finally feel like people are giving me a shot and understanding it.

Talk about working with Lil Baby.
It was lit, especially the video. When I was coming up with the concept with the directors, I just knew that gambling had to be involved, because Lil Baby loves to gamble. Every time I see him in the studio, he’s gambling. He’s gambling, he’s making music, then he’s outside gambling. I knew if we do something that has to with gambling, he’s going to pull up. Everyone is going to pull up and have fun. That video was actually shot in his neighborhood, so it was fire. He’s always a good vibe. He’s very energetic when he’s in the studio and shit.

Why did you choose to do it in his neighborhood vs. yours?
Because I wanted to do it in Atlanta. The life in Atlanta that I see is not the typical life. That video is how it’s been just being at QC. You see the gambling, then we leave there, we at the strip club. There’s strippers everywhere, money being thrown everywhere. To me, that’s what I see. I wanted my fans to see from my point of view, this is how I look at it. I wanted to show love to Atlanta because it did change my life. Broward made, but Atlanta paid me.

I feel like songwriters are eating right now.
Well, artists eat the most because they get shows, sell merchandise, etc. When it comes to publishing, if I write the whole song and you come and sing it, you’ll get a little percentage but I’ll get more percent of the song than you if I wrote it. Songwriters do make good money but artists is where it’s at though, because you getting that show money every day.

Does that mean you write all your own records?
Yeah, 100%. Always.

But then since you’ve written for so many greats…
It doesn’t make me happy no more. I’m not writing for nobody unless I’m a fan. Back then, it just happened. I was just in LA writing with somebody and then next thing you know, he calls me back. Then he does a song with the next person, then I end up writing for that person. That person calls me, then he’s working with a producer. That producer is like, “Write on this record,” and then he shops it to some random person. It just happened. I was making some money at the time, so I was just doing it. But when I really sat down and evaluated what was going on, I was like “this is cool, but I want to be an artist.” My mindset now is I’m not writing for nobody, unless I’m a massive fan.

You also released the “XFILES” visual earlier this year. Talk about your mind state creating this one.
See, that song came out in 2016, but I dropped the video this year. When the song came out, I came up with that idea. That’s how I was feeling, I just didn’t have the money to be able shoot it. We had that same treatment, I wrote out picture references of me in a coffin. We knew exactly what we wanted to do, we just couldn’t do it. Now, I was like, “You know what, I’m going to go back and shoot this song,” because I always wanted to do it. The concept is they counted me out, and I came back to life. That door at the end is me opening and starting my next journey, which is where I’m at now in my career.

What is it you want fans to get from your story?
I want them to understand don’t quit. Like I said earlier, that “stay down ‘til you come up” shit, understand I been doing this for a long ass time and I never stopped. Anything is possible. I want people to be inspired when they think about my story: where I came from and where I’m at now.

What did you do with your first advance?
I bought some jewelry and some clothes. I bought my girl a car. I gave my mom my car. I gave my dawg some bands. But I save my money too, I’m really good with my money.

What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
One of my short term goals is I want to go on tour. I just want to get on the stage. I want to start in this country and then a world tour, obviously would be amazing. I already got a gold plaque as songwriter, and I’m about to have one as a manager as well too.

Which record?
I manage SkipOnDaBeat and the plaque is for G Eazy’s song “1942.” It’s supposedly already Gold, but the press release didn’t come out yet. The songwriting was for Jason Derulo’s album, Everything Is 4. So one of my goals is to get a plaque for me as an artist.

Is it different writing for pop?
Hell yeah, but it’s all the same shit. Pop, the vibe just be a little different. The quality is more clear, the lyrics are less curse words. Everyone you write for is a completely different vibe going into it.

How important is social media for your career?
It’s important for everyone’s career, but I don’t make it the main point of my career. That’s what 90% of the motherfuckers do. If you take social media away from a lot of these artists, they won’t have a career. My inspiration would be more like The Weeknd’s, the J.Cole’s, etc. J. Cole probably posts once a year and shit. I post more. I like to have people see what I’m doing, but I don’t feel forced to have social media to boost my career. It’s more of a platform to show them like, “Yo we dropping new songs, and this is what I’m doing.” Just for my fans to keep up with me and be able to get a more personal look at my life.

What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
I wake up and stay in my bed for like an hour, always. I check all my emails. I have a lot of different emails: one for beats, one for my record label shit, one for my personal shit. I check my social media because you never know, there’s money in the DMs. I chill with my dog for a little bit, catch a vibe, smoke a blunt. Think about what I’m going to do to better myself today as an artist, then I go straight to the studio.

Is this in Atlanta?
No, in Broward County. I have a studio in my house too. There’s some days I wake up and I just go straight to record. I won’t even take a shower, I won’t do shit. I’ll just go straight and start recording. Sometimes, if I can’t catch a vibe there, I’ll just get in the car and drive to my actual studio I have, that’s 10 minutes away.

What keeps you back in Florida?
I don’t know. I like it here, I love Atlanta, but homebase always has to be there. I’ll spend time wherever, but I just always have to have a house that I could just always fly back to.

3 things you need in the studio?
Weed, Hennessy, and beats. SkipOnDaBeat.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
Music. If I wasn’t a rapper, I’d be a songwriter. If I wasn’t a songwriter, I’d just be managing. If I wasn’t managing, I’d be engineering. I’d be doing something, real shit. I’d be recording somebody, mixing a song, or making a beat. I’d be doing something. I don’t want to do anything else, I never did.

Talk about the creative process behind your new EP, Finally.
I haven’t dropped a project since 2016 so for the last 2 years, I’ve been just cooking songs. I have over 200 songs I recorded, so we picked 13 out of those 200. We made sure that since it’s only going to be 13 songs, we’re going back in and tightening up all the beats. Make sure everything is hitting, make sure all the bass is hitting, make sure all the lyrics are right. We took those 13 songs and perfected them and made them fucking super fly, cinematic, and just perfect for the fans. You can definitely expect quality, fire ass beats, and crazy punchlines.

I feel like 13 songs is pushing an album.
It’s 13 songs, but it’s short. Like the time of it, it’s almost an EP. I have song on there called “Need You More,” it’s a minute and 20 seconds.

Like how you had to narrow it down, I heard Lil Wayne had like 300 songs for Carter V.
There are songs from my album I recorded from 2016, and songs I recorded last week. In 2016, I was homeless. I was depressed and going through it. You get that vibe, but you also get the kid who just signed a deal and got a little check.

What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
There’s this kid named Tyler Booker. He’s my biggest fan since day 1, I’m talking about since I first started. Him and all his homeboys were the biggest Jordan Hollywood fans. Insane. They were doing this countdown coming to Florida, and all his homeboys were hitting me up like “just pop up. If you pop up, that will mean the world to us.” They thought I was way bigger than I was at the time.

I was like, “You know what? I’m going to pull up.” When I pulled up, it was Panama City Spring break. They had this crazy ass condo and I just pulled up in that shit. He had all his home girls there. It was crazy, I’m not going to lie. They had like 30 bottles of liquor, it was a party in that bitch. I just walked in and we turned up. It was kind of weird, but kind of fly at the same time. [laughs]

Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
The Weeknd.

What’s your favorite song by him?
Fuck, that’s hard. I like all of his songs from the beginning until now. My favorite project was The Trilogy. House of Balloons was fire too.

Dream Collab?
The Weeknd and Lil Wayne.

What do parents think?
They’re proud of me, they’re lit. My dad is one of my biggest fans too. I talk to him all the time about music, like every day. He just texted me today and told me his favorite songs on the album. Actually, the trillest song on the album is his favorite, called “My Enemies.”

What advice do you have for an aspiring Jordan Hollywood?
Build a team. When you finally get the right team, be loyal to them. Don’t be scared to take chances and sacrifice. Sacrifice everything. If this is what you want to do, you can’t do anything else. Get your team’s mindset to understand that. If you have a girlfriend, you better sit her down.

The problem is some people be with a girl for like 3 years, and then they’ll decide to start being a rapper. So now that they’re out, traveling the country and in the studio until 5am, they don’t understand that because they’re used to being with you for 3 years doing nothing. You might have to get rid of her. You might have to get somebody from the jump that you can sit down like “yo if we’re going to do this, this is how it’s going to be.” Everybody, like your family, has to understand. You have to get your team’s mentality right because without that, you’re fried. You’ll never make it.

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