By Brian Ives
“I definitely want to be somebody that has a voice,” Jordan Fisher tells Radio.com in a recent interview. It’s an odd thing for someone who is a great singer to say. But he isn’t being literal. The 22-year old actor, who has appeared in shows including iCarly, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Teen Wolf as well as co-starring in TV films Teen Beach Movie and Grease: Live, is saying that he wants to be ranked as one of the great R&B/pop singers of this era.
Soul music is a huge part of his musical upbringing. “I grew up listening to Luther Vandross, and Prince and Michael and the Doobie Brothers and the Isley Brothers and the Elements, Earth Wind and Fire, I grew up listening to Whitney and Mariah and everybody who kind of revolutionized soul and pop in the ’80s and brought that to commercial radio. Even Go West and Michael Bolton. People for whom soul was such a massive part of what they did.”
“And I want to bring that kind of nostalgia to 2016 without over saturating newer generations with the stuff that I grew up loving. Bringing that thing to radio now. Like, ‘Oh, that kind of reminds me of a Lionel [Richie] song,’ or, ‘That’s kind of reminiscent of a Prince riff on the guitar,’ I wanted those nuggets to be present, but not prominent.”
He notes that he’s also a fan of artists that he hopes to see as his contemporaries: “Tory Lanez and Bryson Tiller and Zayn [Malik], they’re all doing an amazing job of taking deeply rooted R&B and bringing it to 2016.”
As many stars do, he refers to himself in the third person: “I wanted to do that thing in Jordan Fisher’s way in 2016. And I think that that’s my obligation as an artist, is to take those same sentiments and bring that to commercial radio in 2016 but doing it in the way Jordan Fisher would do it and saying things in a way that Jordan Fisher would articulate it. Because no one else can be Jordan Fisher. No one else can be Zayn or Usher or JT.”
He’s a singer with ambitions, hence his comment about wanting to be “somebody that has a voice.”
“I want to make music that people want to hear and want to listen to. And that radio wants to play. As fans of music we’re hungry for new material, new content, new melodies, new structural ideas, and listen to a brand-new story that has been told by other artists prior, but is being told in a way that we haven’t heard yet.”
His self-titled debut album, which includes the hit “All About Us,” is due out on August 18.