Jordan Suaste is a much-needed voice in today’s ever-changing pop landscape. With his DIY-mentality, the Salt Lake City native has already amassed a huge following around the world — injecting honesty, vulnerability, and authenticity into his lyrics. Pairing his truths with smooth, comforting vocals, the 19-year-old pushes forth the importance of self-image and self-worth.
Suaste recalls the first moment he fell in love with music at the young age of 5, using it as an outlet to cope with his troubled life in school. Growing up in a household of 7 was common in Utah, a place where his peers were aspiring to be pilots and astronauts. Dropping out at 16 and going on to obtain his aesthetician’s licence, he was always busy putting on shows in the driveway or his living room for his family.
it was in 2018 when he began posting covers and original songs on Instagram — the rest was history. His mission statement is to inspire others to fully embrace their individual beauty and remain unapologetically true to themselves at all costs. With the release of his new single titled “Body,” he pairs it with a captivating visual showcasing real-life experiences of individuals who have fallen victim to body shaming.
Flaunt caught up with Jordan via email to discuss his upbringing in Salt Lake City, biggest influences, his desire to help people
What was it like growing up in Salt Lake City?
This is a funny question because in a lot of ways, SLC is in a little bubble. Growing up, there wasn’t a lot of diversity and the leading religion was the LDS (Mormon) religion. I’m very much used to “conservative” people and being “normal.” My dad’s from Mexico so it was great to spend time with that side of my family and experience their traditions, the parties were great! [laughs]
You grew up with 6 siblings, what was the household like?
My mom says I’ve been singing since I came out of the womb, it’s something my family has had to listen to for years. Not always great, I’d be screaming a Demi Lovato song in the middle of the night. Writing songs at age 5 became my outlet, it’s how I share the way I’m feeling when words aren’t enough. Fast forward a couple years, I started posting little covers and a few songs I wrote on Instagram, but nothing kicked off until I downloaded TikTok.
Writing songs at age 5, what were they about?
Most of my songs were about changing the world. I remember one in particular about making people smile, it went something like “I’m gonna make you smile, yeah! Love one another, yeah!” It was so long ago but it’s definitely always been a prominent theme in me developing into who I am. Helping make the world a better place has always been a dream of mine.
Why do you want to help people be positive?
I want people to love themselves and realize that self-love is a practice. It may take time, but anyone can do it. It’s taken me a long time to be able to say I’m happy with who I am. There have been a lot of ups and downs along the road, but I’m grateful I’ve kept going. Now, I want to help other people keep going. Life’s never perfect but if we start to prioritize lifting each other up as human beings rather than tearing each other down, then it can get so much better. That’s where the little saying a lot of my fans have adopted comes from: “change the world with a smile.” 🙂
Biggest influences in life or music?
Definitely my parents, they’ve done everything for me and my siblings. They’ve worked harder than any other people I’ve ever met and I’m so grateful I’ve had them to take care of me. They’ve played such a huge part in helping me be the person I am today. Musical influences, the biggest idol I ever had was Demi Lovato. I love how honest she is in her songs. I remember always trying to hit those high notes and failing. She’s definitely played a huge part in how I sing, also Sam Smith! Another one of my favorites.
At what point did you realize this music thing was for real?
People ask me this all the time, it’s so funny because I genuinely still don’t think it’s hit me. I do have moments where I start to freak out and get all hyped but for the most part, I’m pretty calm and just grateful to be making music period. One of the coolest experiences thus far has been filming and releasing the “Body” music video. I had a freak out moment when it dropped. [laughs]
“Body” is such a powerful record. What were you going through recording that?
Society puts so many labels on us solely based on our physical appearances. We’re told what we’re worth, who’s pretty and who’s not. I tried for so long to fit into what society counts as beautiful, instead of doing what I thought was beautiful. To me, “Body” is about the fact that we’re all more than our bodies. All a body is is a physical vessel for our souls. When I think of myself, I don’t think of my body but about all the things I like. I think about what makes me happy, about who I am as an individual. The same goes for other people, that’s the message I was trying to get across writing the song. I’m grateful a lot of people have found different ways to identify with the song. It’s the great part about music, we all get to choose what a song means to us.
Did you think it would go up on TikTok like that?
I never thought “Body” was going to blow up. I was actually so shocked when it did! I remember running upstairs and telling my mom and dad how excited I was that people were listening. I actually wrote the song in 10 minutes and when I posted it, I hadn’t put much thought into how it’d perform. I just posted it to share a new song.
Meaning behind the visual?
The great part about the video as well as the song is we can interpret it in different ways. The message we’re trying to put across is that the statues had broken out of the chains and wraps that society had given them. They realized that they’re more than people on display, they each have a unique and beautiful thing about them. The color yellow was put in to represent them breaking free and letting their colors shine. At the end of the video, the pedestals are empty and the sculptures are out of the restraints and labels that society had put on them.
What does it mean to be “more than your body”?
It means to be yourself and not someone else’s definition of you.
How important is mental health to you?
Mental health is so important, something that sometimes gets put on the backburner. It’s just as important if not more important than your physical health. It’s never a bad thing to take care of yourself and the way you feel. There should be so much more education about happiness as well as self-worth. We should be teaching kids in school how to take care of themselves and love themselves. There should be so much more education on having a positive mindset and being happy, or even what it is to be depressed because a lot of people genuinely don’t understand it. There should be no shame in being educated or talking about mental health.
What do you do for self-care?
A huge thing I do for self-care is as simple as looking in the mirror and telling myself that I love myself. I like to say positive things to myself and rework my brain into having positive thoughts. I love going to therapy. I try to go out on walks and get physical movement into my days as often as possible. Meditation is a great tool that people can use! It’s so important to take the time to get to know yourself and what you like. I always like to say: take care of yourself first, because you have to live with you for the rest of your life.
3 things you need in the studio?
A waterbottle or my coffee, a notepad in case inspiration strikes, and a whiteboard with a plan — or else we’d get distracted and lost.
Goals for yourself at this point of your career?
My biggest goal is to help make the world a better and more loving place. I want to start a movement. One that stands for human beings being kind to our planet as well as ourselves and those around us. In terms of music, I’d love to sing on the Grammy stage at some point! That’s aiming way high, but still. Also tour!!