Momentary Thrills Turned Life-Long Lessons: An Interview with NYC Musician, Jordan Silver

Have you ever had a Momentary Thrill that taught you a truly powerful life lesson? Jordan Silver was so impacted by one, he created a song about it.

Growing up in Davidsonville, Maryland, Jordan Silver always knew his family was different.  He described them as the “obvious oddballs” in our recent interview.  Just to give you an idea of what he was talking about, Davidsonville, MD has a population of a mere 8,025 people and is considered semi-rural.  Jordan’s father was always interested in theatre, which piqued Jordan’s interest in theatre and writing.  So imagine, a theatre-loving family in a tiny town.

Subsequently, Jordan went to Ithaca College as a theatre major.  While at Ithaca, he met one of his production partners (another guy named Jordan), who is now part of the up and coming beach-goth duo Toledo. If you’re like me, you’re asking yourself what is a beach-goth duo?  More on that later.

Jordan’s not only starting to make waves in the mainstream music world, but he’s also concurrently writing music and lyrics with composers in the theatre circuit in New York City.

Fun Facts: Jordan’s never been to Southern California, but the person he refers to in his new song – “Momentary Thrill”, which drops May 8th, 2020 – is from San Diego.  And his favorite food is pizza, which might seem cliche, but being from the East Coast I can 100% respect it. I mean, he’s in New York – where pizza basically reigns king.

Speaking with Jordan was like talking with an old friend.  He was significantly open with me. He spoke with me about some difficult life issues in a really vulnerable and candid way.  His honesty, humility and authenticity comes through in real life as it does in his music.  In this day and age, that’s a recipe for success. 

When I asked Jordan if there was anything else he wanted people to know about him or his music, he left me with something I thought was so important and responsible for him to say.  Even more so, I knew he was saying it because he really meant it and that was inspiring to me. 

Want to know what it was? Jump into our private conversation below to find out.

Me:  So you’re living in New York. You’re from this small town in Maryland.  What do you love about living in the city?  And how long have you been there?

Jordan:  I’ve been here since I graduated from Ithaca, about 4 years now. I just really like the hustle of it all.  Most people are very ambitious.  Whether it’s the stock market, the financial district or entertainment, everyone’s at the top of their game.  It seems like ambition’s in the air and there’s a lot of potential for room to grow. 

Me:  You have a black cat named Moon. There has to be a story there.  Why that name?

Jordan:  Oh yeah, he’s great. He was a stray cat. I found him last month during the full moon. He’s like the dark side of the moon, always there, alway present, always watching. (laughing)

Me:  (laughing) Sweet. I’m pumped there was a story! My blog, Prohibition Skin, is out to  challenge the definition of beauty, so I have to ask for my readers, how do you define beauty?

Jordan:  Interesting question.  It’s something I’ve been reflecting on a lot; what I’ve placed value in and defined beauty as and it was definitely in the wrong places..  When I was in high school, I placed a ton of value on outer beauty. I’d be like “Oh I don’t care what she’s like, as long as she’s gorgeous”.  The older you get though, you realize a really gorgeous person on the outside can be really ugly on the inside.

Me:  What made you want to pursue music as a career?

Jordan:  Since I was a kid I’ve been obsessed with certain artists: Ben Folds – my first concert – The Fray, Death Cab for Cutie, Augustana, all the early 2000s [bands].  I would listen and sing on the way to school.  I wanted to embody that style of music and give it a modern edge.

Me: It’s so funny you say that. When I first listened to your music, I thought “this is kind of Death Cab-esque”. Really brought me back. It’s cool to hear you describe it similarly. 

Jordan:  Thanks. I’m glad it translates that way. That’s good to hear.

Me:  Ok. Your producers, Toledo, are described as a “beach-goth duo”. First of all, what the heck does that mean? (laughing) and secondly, how’d you get connected with them?

Jordan:  Good question. So, I don’t really know what it means (laughing). [I do know] I’m a big fan of their work. They encapsulate modern indie sounds and they’re blowing up.  They’re getting hundreds of thousands of listens, so I always take what they say in consideration and appreciate their guidance.  It’s two guys, Dan and Jordan. I met Jordan through Ithaca.  When I graduated, we all started collaborating.

Me:  Oh, so you guys go back? (laughing)

Jordan: Yep, yep. Freshman year. (laughing)

Me:  And now you’re all doing your thing. So exciting! Let’s talk TikTok. A song you wrote boasts over 130,000 views. That’s amazing! How do you feel about that?

Jordan:  So, I feel mixed about it.  It’s a short clip and feels cool, but also kind of meaningless.  It’s like “ok, I had a viral moment”.  Lots of people have a viral moment. Am I ever going to be able to beat that? How do I do that on [a platform like] Spotify? In my head it’s a minimal accomplishment, but [as a society] we place a lot of value on views, listens and clicks, so somehow, I also feel validated. I don’t know. Doubt creeps in. Every time there’s a win, it doesn’t always feel like one.

Me:  I totally hear that. Although, I’ve heard that clip (sings) “I’ll see you at the movies” so many times. It gets stuck in my head and I like millions of others are aware of it because of TikTok. Hopefully that’s encouraging!

Jordan:  It is! Hey, it was something. It was my first video on TikTok and I was like “Oh, Oh! Is this normal?”. Then, I posted again and was like “Oh… no it’s not” (laughs)

Me: It’s been a year since your last release.  What’ve you been doing to keep yourself inspired?

Jordan: I went through this really intense relationship; falling in and out of love very quickly.  That shook my identity. I’ve awakened this year from my past to present self.  I also get inspiration from going to concerts, meeting people, dating, theatre, movies, and reading.

Me:  Let’s talk about that relationship.  You made a note in the press release for “Momentary Thrill” about following logic and reason when making relationship decisions  Do you believe that should always be the case?

Jordan:  No. When I was a kid, I was like “I’m a boy. I’m not supposed to feel. I’ll follow logic like a boy’s supposed to.”  Then, I harshly overcorrected and was like “f*ck it. Everything I’ve been told; I’m letting that logic go to be my emotional self because I haven’t experienced that before.”

Me:  In a way I love that.  (Jordan laughs) I mean, it sucks that society makes us think we have to keep our emotions in and be a certain way, so it’s great you were able to break free from that.

Jordan: Yeah. 

Me:  When referring to heartbreak in the press release you said, “there’s something almost magical about that existential hurt.”  Can you expound upon that?

Jordan:  Heartbreak is a feeling that’s truly so unique.  There’s nothing else like it. It’s the most personal, to your core feeling that makes you question your identity.  It can open new horizons or get you lost in doing drugs and numbing yourself.  I’ve gone both routes, but facing the hard truth and piecing together the narrative of what happened [is so important].  Realities can be wholly different. Two people can interpret one word entirely differently. If that can happen with one word, [what do] we see through different eyes?  Helps me to understand those who hurt me.  If that person’s hurting you, they’re probably also hurting themselves in some way.

Me:  Thank you for sharing that with me.  It’s a vulnerable thing to share and so powerful to hear. One of the lines in the chorus says, and correct me if I’m wrong, “You talk about healing, but underneath it all, you bottle it up.” Tell me more about that.

Jordan: (chuckles) So, that’s the crux of what the relationship seemed like.  The other person I was very proud of the emotional healing that had taken place in their life.  They were so proud of the work they’d done they couldn’t recognize what was happening right in front of them.  The pride became its own monster. [It became] a get out of jail free card to do and say whatever they wanted. It was a lot of you’re saying you’re doing this, but I’m seeing this.

Me:  How relative do you think this song is to other people? And why?

Jordan:  These feelings are pretty universal. Trusting someone is there for you just to have them disappear on a whim. That happens in all kinds of relationships. One moment just upends everything you thought you were.

Me:  Talk about a moment upending us.  We’re living in a completely different time; where people are really thinking about their wellbeing.  How do you think relationships affect our wellbeing?

Jordan:  Relationships to me are everything in life. I don’t know what life is without relationships.  I love my work and being alone, but I place the most value on my relationships.  They’re vital and make up so much of who you are.  I’ve been listening to an audiobook about compassion and communication, which I know sounds really cheesy…

Me:  No! It doesn’t. What is it called?

Jordan:  It’s actually a very good book called Words Can Change your Brain It’s about the neuroscience of communication and working to get your message across in the most kind way.

Me:  What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone else in a similar situation?

Jordan:  In any relationship, if someone disagrees with you about their values, politics, religion – approach it from a place of understanding instead of a place of I’m right and you’re wrong.

Me:  Great advice. Spotify created Daily Wellness Playlists on April 27th, which makes it so clear music is integral to our wellbeing, especially now.  Why do you think music is such a visceral part of who we are?

Jordan:  That’s a good question. (There’s a long pause)  Anything… and this is mostly a blanket answer for anything we see [of this nature] in the world today… anything that’s been around for a really long time, hundreds or thousands of years – ideas, behaviors – I think we really need to respect and honor those things. Give them the weight they deserve.  Things that aren’t [integral] wither away.  Things that stand the test of time are essential to our humanity and bigger than any one of us. Music is one of those things.  I don’t know why we need it, but it seems necessary. Otherwise, it wouldn’t still be here.

Me:  Cool. (and with all the eloquence in the world… lol) What’s your favorite food?

Jordan:  Probably pizza.  You can’t go wrong with pizza. Although, I did just have some egg salad, which was a weird choice. (laughs)

Me:  Eh. That’s quarantine life. It’s fine. (laughs)  Is there anything else you want people to know about you or your music?

Initially, Jordan tells me no.  He thinks the interview went really well.  We review next steps and I give him my contact info.  Then, as we’re wrapping up, he says something that makes me really respect him as someone who has the potential to influence a large audience.

Jordan:  I guess I have one more thing worth saying.  I don’t [want people to] think it’s interesting to write a hateful song about someone.  It’s interesting to get underneath the initial anger to where true honesty is found. That’s what I hope people connect to and relate to [not the anger or hatred].  I hope it softens people rather than hardens them.  That’s important to me.

In a world where hostility and rage has become so prevalent, it was encouraging to hear Jordan say he wasn’t coming from a negative place and that he wanted anyone who listened to his music to know that.

We all get hurt, but we live through it.  It’s our challenges that help us grow… and sometimes to make music.

Best of luck to you, Jordan Silver. 

As members of the Prohibition Skin community, you can be among the first to listen to Momentary Thrill! The song is also featured on the following Spotify playlists: Fresh Finds, FRET: Alt & indie, Indie chill & pop as well as getting a feature on the “lo-fi indie bedroompop” playlist in the coming days!

Follow Jordan on Spotify, Soundcloud and Instagram