Jordan Rakei on The Loop, Abbey Road and the first song for his wife

Jordan Rakei on The Loop, Abbey Road and the first song for his wife
Jordan Rakei - Friend or Foe (Official Visualiser)

"I feel good, I'm excited" says Jordan Rakei when asked how he's feeling about the release of his new albumThe Loop that's taken him in a different direction while embarking on a very personal journey.

The Loop is his fifth studio album and his first to be released on Decca Records in the UK - it's a lot more emotive and there's a lot of reflection from Rakei on the record but he says it's the most fun he's had making an album by not overthinking anything.

A lot has changed for him since the last album - he's moved out of London, has a son which "recalibrated" him, changed his record label, fell in love with music again and has created his own "dream" home studio (which is where he speaks to Indy100 from flanked by a piano, guitars, a comfy looking sofa and lots more).

He describes The Loop as his most personal album to date through these changes.

The cover for Jordan Rakei's album The Loop

"I just wanted to write really vulnerable, really honest songs about where I was at talking about parenthood, my relationship with my parents, my child and my inner child," he said.

"I wanted to going back to the childlike thing, that's when I loved music the most.

"A lot of musicians, definitely me, get to a point in their career when it becomes quite formulaic and I can't really listen to music without analysing it or critiquing it anymore.

"When you're a teenager, everything was a lot more fun so I went back and listened to all of that music I grew up on - Stevie Wonder, old classic soul records, noughties RnB, hip-hop, that sort of thing and I was just having fun again, basically listening to my favourite albums ever, which inspired the sound of the new album.

"I wanted that energy translated into the music, no judgment and to have fun again - if I wanted to go and make a ridiculously huge orchestral ballad, I'm going to go into that rather than make it modern or over-complicate it."

The artwork for Flowers

The opening track on The Loop is Flowers, one of the lead singles off it.

Rakei said it's unusual for him to open with an upbeat track to his albums - it's also the very first song he's written dedicated to his wife.

"I've never really been able to write love songs because I feel there's already so many good ones in the world and I was like, what can I really add to this story of love songs?" he said.

"But with the recreation of my priorities, I was sat at the piano basically saying out loud what I thought about my wife - there is some poetry but there are some very direct lyrics in that track.

"That came from me thinking about nice days or memories and that became the lyrics, I felt proud to sing this and it didn't feel cheesy.

"It was a funny moment when I played it to her and before she even heard the demo or the real version, we were laughing that she finally had her track!"

Jordan Rakei has a huge 2024 ahead

In March, Rakei was announced as Abbey Road's first ever artist in residence - Abbey Road in London has a world-renowned studio famous for The Beatles' last studio album and that iconic artwork.

And he's got some brilliant plans for how he's going to use it.

Rakei said: "I can use the studio for a year - I don't understand that deal as it's too good to be true but that's what it is - I'm going to use it to collaborate loads and I want to write way more.

"Another thing I really want to do is workshops or song writing weeks with the grassroots music scene because I was there not long ago, they can't necessarily afford studios and don't know what it's like to be in one.

"Everyone is in their laptops now so I want to give the opportunity to that scene because I think it would do a lot of good.

"I wish I could have gone into a studio when I was 20, had no money and know what to look forward to and that it could change my workflow or something like that.

"I almost asked 'why me' as they approached me, and you do get a bit of imposter syndrome, but I'm so grateful to have this opportunity."

Rakei has a busy 2024 ahead - he's performing a small run of in-store shows to coincide with the release of The Loop before a big European tour, including a stop-off at Glastonbury Festival, with it all leading up to two dates at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Jordan Rakei's The Loop is out on Decca Records in the UK and Verve Forecast in the US on May 10.

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