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Interview: Jordan Fletcher discusses signing to Triple Tigers and his new song ‘Rather Be Broke’

We caught up with the rising star following his record deal announcement.

Jordan Fletcher
Credit: Jeff Ray

Recent Triple Tigers signing Jordan Fletcher is preparing himself for a hectic 2022 as the world starts to get back to some sense of normality.

Having spent much of the pandemic concentrating on his craft, the Florida-born Nashville-based singer-songwriter released his latest single ‘Rather Be Broke’, his first on his new label home, earlier this year. The song sets the tone for the new music due to arrive next year.

I caught up with Jordan recently to talk about his career, discuss his signing to Triple Tigers and to find out the inspiration behind ‘Rather Be Broke’…

You’re signed to Triple Tigers, who have a roster of incredible artists. What’s it like to be part of that family?

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It’s pretty surreal, to be honest. They really came out of the clear blue, it seemed like. There wasn’t a whole lot going on for me at the time. (It was) just because of some mutual friends that the people that run that label got in touch with me out of nowhere. It’s just been unreal because obviously they’re just rock stars over there. The whole label the whole team… they’re so good at what they do. All the artists are just knocking it out of the park, one after another. It’s a coveted spot, for sure, and the fact that they invited me in has been just unreal. I’m super thankful for it.

How does that change things for you moving forward? What does it mean that you can now do that you couldn’t before signing with them?

Anytime you have a label, you have so much more bargaining power, opportunities and connections. Also financially they can cover so much more ground than an independent artist could. There’s a trade off, you’re creating a business relationship so you’re building and signing ownership of part of your business away to them, but they’re also utilizing all their resources to do what you need done as an artist. So far, even in just such a short period of time, it has been invaluable. They really can get you in the room with people that you may need that you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. As far as recording, and being able to pay for that, they’re definitely able to foot a bigger bill than I’d be able to, you know (laughs).

You’ve come out of the gate swinging. Since signing to them you’ve released ‘Rather You Broke’. Tell me a little bit about that song and why you wanted this one to be the song that you released first?

During the pandemic I had this shift in the way that I was writing. There was a lot going on. My wife found out she was pregnant right before the pandemic hit so as all that was going on, we were getting ready to have a kid. There were some strains and I was uncertain about the industry and everything that was going on with that and you kind of get disconnected from all the commercial chatter. I was trying to write for my son. I was trying to write an album for my son. I wasn’t trying to get it on the radio or trying to do anything with it, I was just like, ‘I don’t know how long I’m going to get to do this for and I don’t know what the industry is gonna look like at the end of this because there’s so many unknowns’. I wanted to try and create something that at the end of this, whatever that looks like, I’ll have something to give to him.

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With that kind of new thought process (‘Rather Be Broke’) came out. It’s a love song for my wife and it’s talking about the fact that we don’t have a lot of money but at the end of the day, the life we’re getting to live and the experiences we’re having right now you couldn’t put a price on anyways. I know a lot of happy wealthy people, but they’re not happy necessarily, because they’re wealthy. I know a lot of unhappy wealthy people too. (The song is) addressing (that) if I had to pick this or all the money in the world, I would much rather be sitting and watching ‘Yellowstone’ on our parents hand-me-down couch on a Tuesday night. It’s a flagship statement of what the rest of this project is going to be, which is fully autobiographical. The whole point of this whole project is to be able to imagine you put a VHS of my childhood in. It’s for my son so I’m just trying to let him see who I am and the whole team felt like it was a great flagship statement.

The pandemic has given us all time to really think about our priorities and what’s important. Do you think having that space has influenced the way you’ve been writing?

Yeah and necessity, I think that’s a huge part of creativity for any writer and any artist under any situation, to have the time to be bored, and actually have to let your mind wander, and then also having the need to say something. In my case, my dad passed away when I was a kid, and I still am figuring out stuff about him at 27. That’s been a big hurdle for me recently. I know about my dad, I knew him until I was 11 but you only know so much. At this time in my life when there’s so many things happening, I’m still searching for that. Not to be morbid but when I knew that I was having a kid, and a son even just because I would relate more to that, I just knew that if something were to happen to me, I wanted him to have all the answers he might be looking for. That’s what pushed the need to write this whole thing. It wasn’t just hey, ‘I want to get to write songs commercially, for the rest of my life’ which I do and that’s a great thing, but since I’m singing them and it turned into this project, and then it turned into the label being like, ‘hey, this is what we want’ and to have that backing, and that reassurance that, ‘we’re gonna try and run the ball with this thing’… it was just full speed ahead and just being as honest as we can, open the chest up and see what comes out. I’ve thankfully been able to write with some really, really incredible writers, and all these songs have come out and they seem to be way smarter than I am and I think they’re better than me as a writer. I’m excited for that because they’ve taken on a life of their own.

You quit college and moved to Nashville in 2016. That must have been a huge decision. What has it been like since you made that move?

It’s been crazy. I couldn’t have anticipated any of it. I was actually just thinking about it yesterday. When I dropped out of college and decided to move here, it felt like God was calling me to do it because I had no intention whatsoever of leaving Florida. I hadn’t finished my degree, I hadn’t done anything to indicate that it was the time for a major life change but for whatever reason, it felt like that’s what I needed to do. I was a drummer at the time. I’d only written a few songs and been messing around with singing a little bit and playing guitar for a few years, but mainly, I was a drummer. I was playing drums for churches and grew up playing in bands and stuff like that. I moved to Nashville, and started playing drums. That whole experience going from that to ending up being on a record label, being an artist, and pursuing my own songs that are about my own life andmy own story, it’s just been absolutely surreal. It’s just been the most windy road and I couldn’t have made this story up. I went from drumming, being on the road, quitting drinking, getting on the road selling t-shirts and driving a sprinter van, to getting a camper and sleeping out of the back of my truck and playing shows in Connecticut and down in Tampa and all over the place, and doing that by myself, to getting to have the most rock solid team that I could ever ask. To be able to have that it’s just such a blessing, it’s more than I could ask for. It’s been surreal and way better than I would have bet on.

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What impact has Nashville had on you? Did it push you to raise your game?

Yeah, I think you have to have a little unhealthy obsession at some point. If it doesn’t follow you through the whole thing, at least at the beginning. I would say it is competitive just because of the nature of quantity, and supply and demand. There’s so many songwriters, there’s so many artists and so many guitar players so it’s competitive in that way. One thing you’ll see when you do get over here, and you talk to some people, and maybe this is just a Nashville thing, everybody gets that it’s tough so everybody’s wanting to help everyone out. Obviously everybody’s trying to get what they’re trying to get but overall, there seems to be a generosity in this town that I hope never goes away. It helps a lot. When I got here what hit me right in the face was that I was not that good at writing songs, not that good at singing, not that good at playing guitar and you’ve got to up your game. Immediately you go, ‘OK, so here’s the bar, I got to try my hardest to get there’. The amount of resources that were given to me just by people wanting to help, is really what got the ball down the field for him. I’ve been given so much by people who, for no other reason, love what I’m doing, just love music and just want to help. Nashville, as competitive as it is, it’s got a lot of softness to it, that that can foster you if you’re willing to put the time in because it’s non-stop.

From my experience of working in the industry, it does feel like a supportive community unlike any other genre of music…

I learned about this industry on the road. I was on the road on weekends with some really great buddies of mine called Muscadine Bloodline – Gary and Charlie. They were the ones that were like, ‘we need somebody to help sell t-hirts and drive our Sprinter van’. The amount that they gave and the education that they allowed me to gain from hanging out with them and getting to play shows, and just being able to have that experience, you couldn’t really put a price on that. Everybody’s reaching down and helping somebody out because honestly, it’s not like you’re stealing fans. What’s really the competition? I guess people can only go to one show a night but at the same time you’re sharing fans. Nobody stopped being a fan of this person because they started liking this person’s music. Maybe it’s just a level of security or maybe it’s because I was given to, it’s easier to look at everything that way. I feel like there’s a lot of kindness and helping people out. We’re all trying to do the same thing. We’re trying to make good music and trying to keep doing it, and make a little money along the way. You can share fans, it’s all good.

I spoke to Muscadine Bloodline recently and it was fascinating to hear their unique perspective on the industry. I can imagine they’ve really helped you on your journey…

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I can’t say enough good things about those dudes. I couldn’t imagine a better environment to learn from because they’re really talented artists and they’re independent. I’m not independent anymore but whether or not you do that long term, or it’s just for a short period of time, being able to see every step of the way and account for all of it, and know about percentages and contracts, and money and all that stuff, and where it goes, what it does, what you need, what a live show looks like… to have that education is the foundation of being able to run this business, because it is a business. It’s the same as if you were going to sell candles, or if you were going to open a restaurant. You’re just in the music industry and you’re selling a service and you’re selling a good. The service is a live show and the good is a song. To be able to see anybody that runs a successful business and learn from them, it’s huge. Those guys are no exception. They’re some of my best friends. It’s pretty incredible.

How is 2022 shaping up for you?

We’ve got a good bit of music coming out. A couple of different releases – an EP and then an album. We’re finishing recording this album, which I’m super excited about coming up in February. It looks like it’s gonna be a lot of touring. What I’m hoping to do is start doing a lot more headlining stuff so that means small rooms and listening rooms, whatever we can do to see what our hard ticket numbers look like and to really be able to build from. That’s what I learned on and that’s what I feel comfortable about. You see all these artists that have these long-term fan bases beyond radio success or whatever, like Luke Combs. Muscadine Bloodline, Kip Moore… all those people to where it’s like no matter what’s going on, they’re gonna have fans show up with their show. I feel like putting the time and going and playing small towns throughout the US, it’s really what builds a solid foundation whether or not you have major radio success, or you’re not doing radio at all. I think that’s what what next year is going to be, promoting this new music and just letting people hear it.

I’m so excited about it. It’s so honest, it’s so true and to be able to have something like that, that every night you go out and you go, ‘hey man, every word about this is straight from the book, it’s real’ and then to be able to have people respond and enjoy it, and also relate to it even though it’s about my life, it’s kind of crazy. There’s this song called ‘Firebird’, it’s about my dad’s old hot rod, and you’ll get people go like, ‘hey, man, that’s was my grandma’s Sierra or that was my grandpa’s old truck’. They immediately can resonate with it and it’s kind of counterintuitive, because you think that you would need to have a broad concept song for people to be able to put their own stamp on. In this case, I’ve found that the fact that I’m putting everything in my song, except for my last name, people are still able to really relate to it more than anything else. Just to be able to do that and to see that people are responding is going to be exciting.

Jordan Fletcher’s single ‘Rather Be Broke’ is out now. Watch the video below:

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