Halifax native JRDN builds on success

Since the release of his latest record I Am JRDN this past November, the R&B/hip-hop artist born Jordan Croucher (known professionally as JRDN) has been on a bit of a hot streak.

That statement could actually be considered a bit of a misnomer though since JRDN has been wowing crowds and winning fans since his 2007 debut No Dress Code. That record spawned a handful of hit singles and videos and afforded the musician the opportunity to support artists including Snoop Dogg, Rihanna and Nas in concert.

JRDN will be performing at the Moncton Coliseum on Sunday evening as the special guest to hip-hop star Nelly. The show is slated to start at 7:30 p.m.

Fresh from a performance at Muchmusic, JRDN recalls discovering his love of music at a young age only to pursue another one of his passions before ultimately returning to music again.

“When I was 11 years old, Babyface had a song called ‘Sunshine’ that I learned and sung it over and over. And as an 11-year-old, I liked how I sounded when I was singing,” the musician recalls.

As much as he loved singing though, it would be a number of years before the Halifax native would make a return to music as he had found another potential life calling: basketball.

“I totally fell in love with basketball but had decided that I would entertain returning to music once I felt like I had accomplished what I could in basketball. I played professionally, at university and even made the team to represent Canada at the Goodwill Games.”

After a successful season of playing basketball in France, JRDN was home in Halifax when he was fortunate enough to be presented with two viable options for his future. In the first, he was offered a chance to return to France to play another season of basketball for the team. His second option proved too good to turn down, however.

“The same week I got the call about potentially returning to France to play, I was offered a position as an outreach co-ordinator from the principal of St. Patrick’s High School in conjunction with the RCMP.

“At the time, I realized that it would have taken a number of more seasons of playing in France before I had the opportunity to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA so ultimately, that second telephone call I received helped make my decision easier. I made the choice to stay home and give back to the community. But it also gave me the chance to immediately start working on my songs.”

With a video shoot for the third single from I Am JRDN now completed, we asked the singer if he felt as though the video medium was as important today as it was last decade.

“I definitely see making videos as being worthwhile. You have videos that go viral overnight it seems, so making a video is a definite necessity as far as I am concerned. Having the chance to have people connect you with your song thanks to a video they have seen on You Tube or wherever is priceless really.”

On stage or off, as hectic as his life may be these days, you won’t find JRDN complaining about the massive opportunities he is being given.

“It’s what I signed up for and what I dreamed about when I was younger so I am not going to argue whatever comes my way.”

Article published in March 25, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript