SWARTZ CREEK — Swartz Creekarea native Jessie Jordan, also known as Jordan Hallmark, became a local celebrity when she won the Michigan Idol singing contest in 2015, and now she’s taking her show on the road.
Jordan has relocated to Nashville, also known as Music City, where she’s hitting the performance circuit, honing her skills and attracting the attention of some of the A-list crowd in the entertainment industry.
“It’s been crazy,” said Jordan. “I had no clue what to do when I got to Nashville. I had no idea where the starting line was.”
Although her plan was to get familiar with the area then start performing this summer, she hit the ground running, with a little help from a friend.
“I have a good friend who owns CB Photography, and I am one of his photographers,” she said. “Another worker has a band and has been getting me in touch with the right people at the right time. That has really helped. My mom (Julie Hallmark) has done a lot of research and networking as my promotions manager.”
In addition to being a photographer, Jordan works as a server at a barbecue shack to pay the bills while she builds her name in the country music world.
She’s been writing an average of two to three songs per month, “picking up little gigs here and there,” and participating in contests – including the Nashville Rising Song competition – and open mic nights as much as possible.
Jordan is currently concentrating on venues that will allow her to perform her own songs.
“The exposure is nice, but I need exposure for my music,” she said. “I want to develop my own songs and style.”
She describes that style as “a mix of soul and traditional country” inspired by country music legends like Merle Haggard, Reba McEntire and Johnny Cash.
“Country nowadays is pop,” Jordan said. “I want to bring back some of the old country … bring in some of that soul, that bluesy-type feel.”
She said her lyrics also have a bluesy feel that “gets you in your soul.”
When she’s not working, writing, recording demos or performing, Jordan is developing her skills as both a singer and musician.
“I’ve expanded my range,” said Jordan, who is known for her low, “growly” voice. “God gave me a gift. I will always try to improve my gift.”
Self-taught on piano and guitar, Jordan is now learning to play electric guitar and plans to learn bass and mandolin, as well.
For now, Jordan is concentrating on improving, expanding and developing, with the ultimate goal of taking her demos to a label.
“It takes time,” she said. “I want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row. I don’t want to risk an opportunity, because you only get one chance. God has a plan for me, and I have to trust it.”
Jordan also expects to make an appearance in the television series “Nashville.”
“I was just supposed to be an extra, but they moved me up,” she said. “They put me directly in front of the camera, next to the cast.”
The episode, #14, will air when the show returns in June.
To hear her music or follow Jordan and her career, visit JessieJordanMusic.com, Jessie Jordan Music on YouTube or Facebook, and thisisjessiejordan on Instagram.