Breakout Toronto Bands: Majid Jordan
Breakout Toronto Bands features local artists that we think you should give a listen to.
Who they are?
Majid Jordan is Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman, former University of Toronto classmates who unveiled their debut EP afterhours last summer on SoundCloud under the pseudonym 'Good People'. Although the tracks have since been taken down, and the page stripped of virtually any content, the stir the tracks caused is worthy of note.
Over the last few months the duo has changed their name to the more exotic (and search engine optimized) Majid Jordan, and kept a low profile until last Tuesday, when Drake released his latest single. The two are featured on the track, and helped co-produce "Hold On, We're Going Home," which proves to be another sultry synth masterpiece about good girls, bad boys, and, you guessed it, going home together.
Evidently, sometime between last summer and last week, afterhours found its way into Drake's rotation, and Forest Hill's reigning king of pop-hop scooped up the duo, harnessing their talents on "Hold On..." ahead of the duo's own debut. No date or details of an album release have been announced, but last week Drake revealed to MTV that the duo, along with Mississauga R&B crooner PARTYNEXTDOOR, are the two latest signees to his OVO label.
They sound like...
Majid Jordan mixes the house-inspired, reverb-drenched sounds of Toronto's Nouvelle Vague R&B movement, with the campy (yet amazing) 80's retroism of Phoenix or Digitalism, making for an engrossing listen on the afterhours EP. Majid's sparse vocals come off as both meticulously calculated and yet soul-inspired.
It's on the most dance-driven tracks where the group takes flight. Here, they obscure Majid's most emotionally-charged lyrics under the repetition of building vocal-loops and driving beats. Ullman's production is equally sublime, showing both restraint (like the bare bones scratching guitar of "Chill Pad Deluxe") and excess (the building, pounding anthem "Hold Tight") when necessary.
Even though the group emerged with afterhours from the unknown, the disc has surprisingly remarkable production value. The samples are perfectly placed, and the keys are perfectly played — it's seems that the only direction from here for Majid Jordan is up, especially with their newfound friends at OVO.
Hear them / see them
Unfortunately, this is the trickiest part for now. With no official release of tracks or announcements for new ones, the only place to hear them groove is on YouTube (where almost every track from afterhours has been uploaded), or on various music blogs who are streaming the whole EP. That said, with their first high-profile feature spot out last week (and a massive one at that), a full announcement and ensuing world domination shouldn't be far away.