India Jordan is always moving. It’s the first bright day of spring, and the Doncaster-born DJ and producer is guiding us along their regular cycle route, near their home in North-East London. Arriving straight from their DJ Mag cover shoot, Jordan is all smiles. As they speak — quickly, with frequent bursts of warm laughter — their anecdotes are embellished with memorised directions: “We’re going to cross over here”, “we’ll keep going this way”, “let’s go left”.
It’s a giddy energy that’s mirrored in their radiant dance music productions and DJ sets, which have seen them become one of the most hotly-tipped artists in the UK scene in just a couple of years. As a DJ, Jordan bounces from genre to genre, dropping vintage hardcore rave cuts, old skool garage and prog house classics, along with new, original tracks; releases from friends in their Local Action label family, Anz and Finn, feature heavily. A lack of IRL gigs during the pandemic hasn’t slowed them down either. This past year, they recorded mixes for Pete Tong’s Radio 1 Dance show, Ministry Of Sound’s live-streamed Weekender and Tomorrowland’s One World Radio, and released a festive b2b mixtape with Finn, ‘Joy II The World’, in December.
After a string of EPs that alchemised the sounds of filter house, disco, trance, bassline and drum & bass, Jordan was crowned Breakthrough Producer at DJ Mag’s Best Of British Awards. Their 2020 EP, ‘For You’, released at the height of the pandemic, was a landmark moment. Its title track, a euphoric house cut built around a tender disco vocal sample, became the soundtrack to the strangest summer in living memory, bringing much-needed elation to a year without dancefloors or communal release. The EP topped End Of Year lists across the board and garnered critical praise thanks to its thoughtful approach to personal themes of queerness, self-love and growth.
Growing up in a working class household in the North of England, raised by their single mother, Jordan never envisaged the meteoric rise their music career has had. “I’m just a fucking kid from Doncaster,” they say. “I don’t know how the hell this has happened! Like, what are the chances of this life?” Look a little closer though, and you can see the wheels turning for Jordan from a young age: setting in motion a journey through music characterised by emotional soundscapes, ecstatic rhythms and rib-rattling basslines. Now 30, they’ve been emboldened by a keen sense of intuition, the support of friends and a desire to help make the club scene a safer, more inclusive place for everyone.
Jordan’s tastes swerved around from a young age. From the trance compilations their mum bought them at car boot sales, and a heady detour through metal and emo music in their teens, to the frenetic drum & bass they learned to DJ with while studying philosophy in Hull, the common threads that ran through their record collection were energy, emotion and melody. “Even with the more ‘rocky’ side of things, it was always quite emotive,” they say. “I never listened to lyrics, really. It was always just about the melodies.”