R&B singer JRDN is in Etobicoke rehearsing for a Canada Day performance in Mississauga. It's a great opportunity for the Toronto transplant from Halifax to perform his music to a wider public as well as get into the celebration vibe.
"I've got a new project with my cousin (soul singer) Chaisson and we'll be doing that. We've been getting that ready because it's the first time we're performing it with a band. We had to put in some time and I think we're good," JRDN, a.k.a. Jordan Croucher, says.
He has had a good year, in March winning a Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for the single "Can't Choose" from his JRDNEP, released a almost year ago.
"I was nominated for two before this, so the third time was the charm," he says. "I took a couple of years out of the business so it really let people know I was back in the game. It created some show and opportunities, so winning it was good."
He explains that his time away was spent working on his music, performing, and honing the sort of sound he wanted to make after his 2010 breakthrough album IAMJRDN.
"I had a couple of years hiatus in the studio where I was working on the music and that is how (singles) 'Can't Choose' and 'Live My Dream' came about at that time," JRDN says.
"I definitely think it led to (the Juno Award). We probably did 30 or 40 records before we decided that 'Can't Choose' was the single we were going to go with. It got picked up and Canadian radio has picked it up and has been supporting it. That really was a big help."
The Remedy Tour is JRDN's chance to broaden his fan base outside Ontario. He is appearing with Ghetto Child, Chaisson, JC Subliminal and RS Smooth at Moe Joe's in Whistler on Monday, July 7.
"We wanted to do a small official tour, it's my first official tour in Canada as myself. After three or four years since the IAMJRDN project in 2010, I am hoping we get a little bit of a turnout," he says.
"I'm excited to get out and say that I've officially done a tour by myself in Canada. I've toured with Classified, with Hedley, with Danny Fernandes. Getting out across the country on my own, starting with a grassroots vibe and bringing a few acts that are friends of mine, it should be fun... they're a bunch of Halifax guys."
JRDN says it will be a night of R&B and hip hop.
"I'm excited because I haven't done a lot of club shows since the tour with Hedley... it's where I started. To be on a tour doing eight to 10 club dates is going to be fun for me," JRDN says.
After Whistler, JRDN is spending time on "three or four" studio projects, bringing in new songs from writers he works with in Miami, New York and Canada.
But something especially close to his heart is a trip to Africa in August.
"I'm going over with Free the Children, a five-six day trip to Kenya. They've been doing amazing work and I've done some shows for them, so they're bringing me over. It IS going to be really cool. They've built some schools and I'm going to one of the first school's graduations," he says. "I'm going to be part of the ceremony. I don't know if I am going to perform, but we will hang out with the people."
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