Perth Indie Royalty Chey Jordan One Year On: He's Doing 'alright!'


Originally Published in Farrago Edition Five (2022).

It has been almost a year since I met with Chey Jordan to chat about the release of his first single 'wait 4 u'. Much has changed since then--Melbourne, the Perth native's new home, finally came out of lockdown. Chey started studying audio production and has moved southside from a studio apartment to a sharehouse from which he is Zooming in. He has grown a moustache. And he has fallen in love.

As such, I was expecting a different sound from Chey when I got word that new music was on the horizon. Perhaps a trade of the threads of introspective longing that run through his two previous singles for some giddy, rose-tinted professions of love.

Chey's new track 'alright!' was completed in a whirlwind two days with friend and producer C.J. Klimak. It was built around a chorus he recorded on his phone during the rough transitionary period that comes after leaving high school, with the original voice memo sampled in the final released track. It's an energetic number with an upbeat, buoyant chorus, and it was stuck in my head after only two listens. The gritty bridge is a standout; Chey's vocals shine and give insight into the pain of growing up that the rest of the song attempts to deny with blasé, boppy lyrics. 'alright!' will no doubt serve Cheys desire for his music to have people dancing at his future gigs.

Still, it isn't the love ballad I was expecting, in fact, it's quite the opposite. Chey confessed that:

"I find it 100 times easier to write about love because it's something you are experiencing right now that you can put down on paper."

The real difficulty lies in making those feelings sound not as "cheesy" and "cliché" as romantic comedies. "It doesn't help," he concedes, "that I watch a lot of romcoms.' He names the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, Courtney Barnett and Julia Jacklin as lyricists that manage to strike a careful balance to bear it all through more nuanced and subtle allusions which paint a bigger picture.

Harry Styles also gets a special mention for the imagery-drenched montages Chey crafts in his writing about previous relationships. "I love when a writer references personal experiences you might not know about, and you can get a glimpse of what it was like." He joins me in an ongoing quest to defend the former boy band member's place as one of our modern-day greats. Chey criticised the common prejudice
towards songs that rise into the charts simply for being "mainstream" by industry snobs, saying that "if you are hating on a song just because it's in the top 100, you need to grow up."

The last time we spoke, Chey was around 30 days into a solo, winter lockdown and had managed to write a song every day. Naturally, I asked whether he had written another 300 for the 300 or so days it had been since then, fully anticipating a laugh followed by something along the lines of "Noooo, I couldn't keep up that momentum and remain inspired for a whole year."

I got the laugh, but then, to my disbelief, he replied with complete nonchalance.

"Oh, I'd say it's up there."


"It's at least 300 choruses... it's ridiculous."

Chey paused with his phone held up to the screen and scrolled and scrolled through his voice memos, sliding it away before reaching any end. Some of the recordings were short lines, others whole choruses and one a potential six-minute-long ballad he recently wrote with his girlfriend that he is saving for later.

Chey has found his place in Melbourne, applauding it for its comparative progressiveness and thriving arts scene. "Being able to walk around the streets with your fingernails painted, not having to refer to yourself as he or she, and it's up to you, who cares, it's totally up to you--| absolutely adore that.'

He hopes to jump on the other side of the stage soon and open for local talent. Our last chat closed with the question of whether music was
Chey's calling, to which he quickly responded with a clear no. He told me it was instead a passion that he didn't have to take too seriously. He told me it didn't feel like work for him, it was simply "fun". It's a charming outlook to have, and something I think listeners can only appreciate as being a prerequisite to authenticity in his work. I finally asked whether music is still fun for him, and in a full circle moment, he closed the interview with the exact same words he did last time. "I'll keep doing it until it stops being fun."

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