NQ Rapper Gets His Big Break

BIG BREAK: Jordan Oliver says a song about keeping his pride eventually shot helped him break into the Australian Music scene

Fresh from his recent performance in Cairns, up and coming North Queensland rapper Jordan Oliver sat down for a chat with JCNN.

BIG BREAK: Jordan Oliver’s single All I Need helped him break into the Australian hip-hop scene

By Joel Preston

Sitting alone in a dimly lit room, feeling the crushing weight of defeat and disappointment, Jordan Oliver picked up a pen and started writing.

He didn’t dwell on what troubled him – instead he focused on what kept him motivated to write and perform. His pride.

Fast-track four years later and the song he penned that day has been heard by thousands across Australia and allowed Jordan to perform across the country.

His single, All I Need featuring Libby Morrell, was his big break and made Oliver’s entry into the Australian music scene official.

After years of rejection by record companies, the 21-year-old North Queensland hip-hop artist signed an independent label with Sydney-based record company Rayzor Records. He said this milestone was just what he needed to get his name out into the industry.

“I was sending my demos away to a lot of people and they didn’t want to hear me,” Oliver said.

“Most people replied saying I needed to perfect my craft.

“I started feeling down, so I wrote the song All I Need and sent it out to Rayzor Records.”

Oliver originally sent the demo to Rayzor Records hoping that he could perform as a support act to Demetrius Savelio (the rapper Savage).

He was asking for the music company to “please listen to me”, and couldn’t believe his luck when he got a call from Rayzor Records co-founder Ray Daniel a week later with an offer.

“He said, ‘I’ve been listening to your music. Unfortunately Savage is out of the country, but we have an independent label, do you want to sign for it?’,” Oliver said.

“He ended up liking it, so he sent me a contract and I signed it. Then he flew me to Sydney to record my EP.”

Rayzor Records remixed, remastered and added a new percussion track to Oliver’s original piece before flying him down to record the music clip for All I Need.

Oliver said he found the filming experience full on, but the team ‘rolled with the punches’ and produced an industry quality video clip.

“We shot the clip over two days without many breaks and it was pretty stressful,” he said.

“There was a lot of stopping and starting, we shot about eight hours of footage and condensed it into three-and-a-half minutes.”

Oliver performed All I Need and other songs to an audience of 3000 people in Cairns, his hometown, in August.

“The crowd was really good, everyone seemed like they were really enjoying themselves,” he said.

“Just the smiles on people’s faces, you know, is good enough for me.”

HIP-HOP: Oliver has a massive following in Cairns, his hometown, but hopes to make a name for himself in Sydney and Brisbane

It was the thrill of performing in front of an audience that pushed Oliver towards writing and performing hip-hop songs.

“My first show was at Brother’s Leagues Club when I was 14,” he said.

“Just seeing the crowd’s response, everyone applauding and supporting, made me happy.

“And that’s when I said, ‘that’s what I want to do, I want to be a rapper’.

“When I was 12 years old, I used to go to Graft ‘N’ Arts which was held along Sheridan Street. They used to do break dancing, rapping, beat boxing and a whole bunch of different urban acts there.

“I hung around for a bit and watched the break dancers and beat boxers do their stuff, and realised I could never dance, I still can’t dance, so I thought I’d try rapping.

“So, at the age of 12, I started rapping and writing my lyrics.”

Oliver tried his hand at writing a lot of songs and isn’t afraid to admit a lot of his music was “just about crap”, but he said it was his mother who gave him the idea to write All I Need, the song that jump-started his musical career.

“Money was spent on my EP with songs like All I Need and Missing You because he (Ray Daniel) wanted people to relate to them,” he said.

“What All I Need says is that I keep my pride.”

Oliver said he is grateful for the support he has received from his family and friends and, without them, he wouldn’t even be rapping.

A solid fan base is building around the young North Queensland rapper in Cairns and he said he’s still working on building more support for his music in Sydney and Brisbane.

“I’ve done a couple of shows in Sydney, but in Cairns there’s a huge following which I am really grateful for,” he said.

Oliver has met and performed as a support act for prominent artists in the rap music scene including Krayzie Bone, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Outlawz and Xzibit.

He advises other aspiring artists to never give up and follow thier dreams.

“I wrote a slogan, DCT, which means Dreams Come True, which means never give up on what you know you want to do,” he said.

In the next five years Oliver aims to be knocking Timomatic, So You Think You Can Dance contestant turned successful musician, off of the charts.

“Pretty much that’s where I see myself, number one baby!”

The video clip of Oliver’s single All I Need can be viewed here.