Jordan Smith's voice needs no introduction.
His powerhouse delivery and expansive range remain instantly identifiable and inimitable. His full-length debut, Something Beautiful, entered the the Billboard Top 200 at #2 and made history as the highest debut ever and biggest first-week seller from a winner of The Voice. He continued to wow audiences with his first Holiday album and public television special of the same name, ‘Tis The Season. The record captured #1 on the iTunes Holiday Albums Chart and Amazon Digital Albums Chart and scored yet another Top 10 debut on the Billboard Top 200.
For as ubiquitous as his voice became, he hadn’t yet properly told his story—until now…
As he began to work on his second full-length album, Only Love [Republic Records], he focused on songwriting. Co-writing six of the record’s twelve tracks, he matches the power of his vocals with that of his pen for the very first time.
“I felt it was a necessity to define myself,” he explains. “While Something Beautiful is a perfect snapshot of where I was in my career at the moment, it was a lot of covers. I loved getting a chance to do ‘Tis The Season, because Christmas songs are some of my favorite songs to sing—but it’s the same situation. When I set out to write Only Love, I wanted to not only show who I was as a singer, but I wanted to show who I am as an artist and a songwriter. That is most important to me. Only Love represents the music living in me and the stories I want to share.”
In order to properly convey these stories, he updated the sonic canvas as well. He teamed up with GRAMMY® Award-winning super producer RedOne [Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj] to spearhead the project behind the board. As a result, the soundscape exuded cinematic ambition, tight cohesion, and upbeat energy befitting of his adventurous spirit.
The vision quickly came into focus for him, highlighting his vocals, energy, and universal message. Co-written by Jordan, the first single and title track “Only Love” conveys said message loud and clear. Piano builds in the background towards an orchestral crescendo backed by sweeping and stirring strings. His voice immediately captivates as he sings, “Only love can save us now, keep the world from burning down.”
“It’s got that epic style,” he smiles. “It’s a statement, but it’s not political. It simply says, ‘If we could focus on love, everything would be alright.’ There are so many problems in the world. I know we need action and solutions, but action and solutions come out of love. Maybe we can’t fix everything, but we can love. Action starts with a change of heart.”
Another co-write, “Love Her Better” hinges on lithe guitars and a danceable bass line as his cadence soars over funkified finger-snaps and the chanting refrain, “I love her better.”
“That’s a different one for me,” he continues. “It’s about lost love. You’re jealous of someone else being with the person you want. There’s a cool, up-tempo energy to it.”
Expanding his reach, he co-wrote Celine Dion’s “Ashes” for Deadpool 2 during this time as well. He also welcomed other collaborators into the fold for Only Love. Platinum superstar Andy Grammer co-wrote the bonus track “When It’s Real,” and R&B icon John Legend contributed “End In Love.”
“I got nervous doing that one after hearing John’s voice,” admits Jordan. “It was inspiring.”
“Inspiring” is the best way to describe his own evolution. On Only Love, Jordan realizes his potential as a singer and songwriter and leaves a lasting impression as a result.
“I’ve been on this journey as an artist for a bit now,” he leaves off. “I’m discovering who I am, and it’s time for me to show the world. It’s a little different from what you might expect from me. However, my heart is in it. The goal is the same with all of my records. I want to make people forget about everything else for a little while. If you’re having a horrible day, you can cry your eyes out to some songs. If you’re having an awesome day, you can roll the windows down and jam out to others. You’ll feel love no matter what.”