Conforming to the man
Jordan McIntosh holds on to his roots
Article: Dana Morenstein – Contributor
“I know what I want to do with my life,” Jordan McIntosh says self-assuredly. Relatively new to the country music scene, McIntosh is at home in Ontario where he’s been prepping to begin touring Canada, on what has been aptly entitled, “The Young Guns Tour”. McIntosh joins headlining acts Brett Kissel and One More Girl as they saddle up in Regina on Feb. 5.
At only 18, McIntosh (along with the other young stars on tour) could be considered fresh meat to the industry veterans who, legend has it, eat up young stars for breakfast before spitting them out. However, McIntosh would beg to differ with this cynical assessment.
“I think the best way to deal with that is to always remember what your true values are in life. For me, that’s family and friends. They’re always going to keep me grounded.”
One example of a young star led down a seemingly destructive path would be Justin Bieber, who achieved fame at a young age, and is now facing legal charges among allegations of vandalism, drug use, drunk driving, and drag racing. According to TMZ, people around Bieber have been urging him to seek help.
“It’s unfortunate,” McIntosh sighs. “Because he is obviously a really talented kid and has proven that. Unfortunately, he’s fallen into the lifestyle that a lot of people fall into with fame. At times, you feel sorry for people who have such a great talent, but the people he has around aren’t the best people to have around him…I wish him all the best.”
McIntosh has faith that his family wouldn’t allow him to end up in a similar situation, but proving how reflective and self-aware he is he admits, “I’m sure maybe [Justin Bieber] said the same thing when he was starting out.”
McIntosh has been keeping himself busy recording music, spending time with friends and family, and preparing for the rigorous schedule that accompanies touring. Any sort of pressure to conform to industry standards seems to be the last thing on his mind and when asked about it, he dismisses the notion that he has to change himself or relinquish his creative freedom in order to acquire mainstream success.
“I don’t think so. A lot of my music I get to write comes from personal experiences. I just graduated high school last year, so I’m still young and the things that I sing about and write about are very relatable. I don’t think there’s much pressure, because with country music, you hear a good song and you know it’s a good song, and so the fans will stick with it.”
McIntosh has no reservations about stating his opinion and honestly sharing his experiences as a country artist, which is refreshing. When asked about the notion that many mainstream country musicians are forced to adopt a certain “image”—big, blonde hair for the women and jeans, buff body, baseball cap for the men—McIntosh says, “There is a lot to do with branding.”
He is confident that mainstream success can be achieved without losing any artistic or personal integrity; here’s to hopin’.