NCC student rocks out on tour this summer
While studying for a Liberal Arts degree at NCC, Jordan White balanced his time between studying and working part time for $7.25 an hour at Wegman’s. Today, he is paid to play acoustic sets at the same store.
White graduated from Nazareth Area High School with Big Bang Theory actress Kate Micucci in 1998. He has admitted to suffering from bouts of depression as a teenager, and learned to cope by writing lyrics. His music has made him a solid fixture on the local music scene, and he recently appeared on the cover of Philadelphia Weekly. He is a former “American Idol” contestant and has been a guest on ABC and NBC local news and shared stage time with Bowling for Soup, Third Eye Blind and Katharine McPhee.
White speaks of the influence NCC professors had on him. “Professors like Len Roberts and Tom Frangicetto showed me I could do whatever I wanted to if I really put in the effort,” he said.
“I was at the right place at the right time to cross paths with them, because I was kind of a confused man back then.”
Roberts, who died in 2007, had a profound effect on White.
“He was the coolest guy to talk to and really inspiring,” White said. “He asked us all to write poetry; I wrote lyrics instead. Roberts was like, ‘I think you really have something here, kid. Whatever you do with your life, promise yourself that you’ll keep writing.’”
White kept writing. In 2010 his original song “September,” recorded with the band KineticBlu, was picked up by Sony Music/Red Distribution. Currently boasting more than 1.5 million Myspace hits, it was released nationally on an album highlighting hot new artists.
Roberts speaks of the moment that he learned of Robert’s death. “When I saw the headline ‘In Memorial’ with his photo underneath, I almost fainted. I went and sat in the classroom I had English Lit with Roberts, with the lights off. No one else was in there. I just sat staring straight ahead, imagining he was standing in the front speaking and thinking to myself, Why him?”
White left NCC with a drive to make and perform his music.
”I knew that I wanted to be a musician,” he said. ”I found out that to start, you just have to do that — start.”
And he certainly did start. Inspired by musical influences like The Beatles, Guns and Roses, Billy Joel and Van Morrison, White came out with his first EP, “Four Songs” in 2012. It is available on iTunes and Amazon.
White offers advice to NCC students hoping to make waves in the music industry, saying “Play, play, play, play — and do not give up. You have to get yourself out there as much as possible. Network with other musicians and go play at open-mic nights together. Learn at least how to play the guitar and bring it.”
He has played at more than 200 venues in his home state of Pennsylvania, but talking of the proudest moment of his career, White said, “Right now. Talking to you. The fact that you even asked me that, and it’s a real, relevant question is automatically a proud moment by default, and I earned it.”
But there are some downsides to White’s increasing fame, which he describes as something “I never imagined I’d have to deal with.”
“You go from being a semi-private type of guy to suddenly reading an article about yourself on The Huffington Post. You’ll eventually run into a person who hates you because of your music, but people who hate you because of your music can almost ruin your life if you let it go that far. (I have to deal with) people I don’t know camping out on my front lawn and knocking on my door all night, then running.”
White compares his expectations of fame with reality. ”When you first start out in this biz, you think all you need is to be a good performer and have good songs and everyone will love you. That is the consequence of being an American idealistic dreamer, filled with love of music and the desire to help as many people as possible through music, a sound we all relate to, no matter where we’re from, the color our skin, or that he or she comes from the other side of town.”
White says his second EP depicts ”a war that we fight with ourselves as we get older and winter becomes spring, spring becomes summer and summer to fall, it just a cycle that keeps on going.” The EP is in the pre-production stage with a tentative release date of November.
White is playing across Pennsylvania and New Jersey throughout 2014. His music is available for purchase at reverbnation.com/JordanWhiteMusic.
For tour dates, visit jordanwhitemusic.com