Toronto native Rochelle Jordan has been making a name for herself, especially with the release of ‘R O J O,’ a project with in-house producer Klash. On the project, Rochelle showcased her raw and unique talent on the 15-track set, which was reminiscent of the 90s sound. Drawing elements from the likes Aaliyah, Kelis, Samantha James, and even Paramore; it was largely Ameriie and her debut album ‘All I Have’ that impacted Rochelle’s sound the most.
First Song Fell in Love… First song I ever fell in love with… I really liked Kelis’ “Caught Out There” when I was young, but the songs that I fell in love with, and the album that I fell in love with, where I literally couldn’t put it down, was definitely Amerie’s ‘All I Have’ album. Pretty much all those songs on that album, I dedicated my life to for a really long time. [Laughs] I’m talking like four years, I was dedicated to listening to her harmonies and melodies and everything that she was doing with Rich Harrison. That’s kind of what I fell in love with.
Defining Audio Style… If you notice within my lyrics and within certain songs, I always mention “the vibe, can you feel it?” and I guess it’s a certain aura that Klash and I possess with our music. We’re obviously definitely R&B, but… It’s hard for me to explain, but it’s a really vibe-y sound where it gives you the feeling that I got back in the day when I used to listen to music when I was 11-12, and that 90s era when music was just powerful and almost like touching your soul. I always wanted to give that back to people, and I always said it was the vibe of the sound. That’s how I kind of describe my music. A certain vibe.
Music Inspiration… I go from anywhere from Samantha James, who is an underground, lounge-y/pop-ish singer who is absolutely crazy and not a lot of people know about her… I take elements from that and also from Aaliyah, Amerie, and even Paramore. I take different elements and kind of mash them together. That kind of helps me develop my sound, but I can say for sure that Amerie was a huge influence in my sound. Kelis was also, and Aaliyah for sure.
Staying True to Toronto… Toronto is an amazing city, but I don’t know. They always say that Toronto has a certain sound, and we’re very emotional… emo. [Laughs] And especially with the last song that I dropped, “Shot,” people were like “Oh yeah, there’s that emo, Toronto sound.” [Laughs] It is what it is. I’ve had amazing support down here and whatnot. Everything influences my sound really. I can’t just sit here and say Toronto influenced my sound. It’s just a mash of a whole bunch of things. I can definitely say being from Toronto, now that Drake kind of broke out in the states, it definitely helped my sound reach further than it would have if he didn’t.
Reaching For Success… The success for me was just the fact people merely just took to my sound. Just being able to get my emotions out and have people understand it and relate to it… That is success in my eyes. I mean, the rest will come later. I obviously want to be a really heavy recording artist and person within the industry… And I’m just praying that comes. But right now, I really feel like the success was just breaking through these different parts of the world and have people listening to my music. That’s where the success lies.
Fighting Sickle Cell… Yeah I do have that. And so does T-Boz. I remember once I asked her on Facebook. I found her Facebook and I was like “Oh my God, T-Boz. I heard that you have sickle cell anemia. How do you deal with that being in the industry?” She actually hit me back up. She was like, “Oh my God. That’s so dope. Okay, well when you’re in the industry, you got to make sure you’re taking care of your health and all that kind of stuff. Balancing your sleep and your food and whatnot.” It’s really dope. That’s one thing that not a lot of people know about me. And that’s one thing I’ve fought with my entire life. I fought all the way to where I am in my life right now. It’s been good. [Laughs] It’s been okay.
Yeah. For the people that don’t really know what sickle cell is, it’s an anemia, like a blood disorder. It’s basically when your immune system starts shutting down, your heart creates cells that are kind of misshaped and then They can sometimes get stuck in your veins. Then it causes you to have like weird pains all over your body and stuff like that. I always think that it could have been worse. There’s a lot of people out in the industry with it that I’m finding out about, which is really, really cool. It’s nothing that you can’t fight.
Proper Introduction… Yes and no, because ‘Alien Phase,’ as dope and amazing as it is up to this day… ‘Alien Phase’ is really just me trying to find my sound, and find out exactly what I wanted to do. After ‘Alien Phase,’ we started creating different songs and the growth just started happening. That’s when I realized that ‘ROJO’ is how I want to be perceived. Hearing ‘ROJO’ is exactly who I am. So I don’t mind even re-releasing a couple songs off of the ‘Alien Phase’ project in the next couple months or something, so that people have an idea of what I was. To start off, I definitely just wanted people to understand me ’cause that’s one of the most important things about this industry. You want to be understood. You don’t want people to be so confused, like “I don’t understand what she’s trying to do.” Or just to not understand you as an artist. So I just wanted to make sure that was patented out and ready to go.
—— By: Interview By Connie Tang