Coming Full Circle: Conversations About Life and Music with Jordan Posada-Osorio

Coming Full Circle: Conversations About Life and Music with Jordan Posada-Osorio
PC: @michaelleyton

At just 23 years years of age, Jordan Posada-Osorio has already come full circle in more ways than one.

He has endured years of hardship and come out on top. He made it out of his home town, yet he yearns to give back. He is currently working in the music industry promoting and marketing artists, giving back to the very same community in which he has found a home in.

For Osorio, music has almost always been an integral part of his DNA; a fundamental building block of what has always made him tick.

He says it was when he first heard the song “Fallin'” by Alicia Keys on a school field trip that he was emotionally impacted by music for the very first time. He says he was five years old when this occured, and he vividly remembers the song coming on the bus radio and how it struck a chord with him.

Growing up in Bergen County, New Jersey, Posada describes his childhood as difficult. He comes from a family he refers to as “dysfunctional,” citing fights and substance abuse as frequent occurrences in the household he grew up in.

Due to the situation in which he had found himself, Osorio says he was forced to become responsible from a very young age. He says that when things were at their worst, he had to cobble together the money to feed his little sister due to the fact that his family was barely scraping by.

However, throughout all of this, music always remained the fire igniting his soul.

Osorio says some of his best memories from childhood took place early in his high school career, when he spent a lot of his time downloading music off of Youtube and Limewire. He says artists such as Lil Wayne, Drake & Lupe Fiasco frequented his queue.

Early high school is also when Osorio started writing rhymes of his own.

He says this took place after he discovered the music of Eminem for the first time. Osorio cited Eminem as a major influence on his own work due to the commonalities between the hardships they faced from a young age, illustrating the well known concept of music serving as a place of refuge.

Osorio recalls writing his first raps in the notes section of his iPod. However, he never got the chance to explore his passion for writing from a young age, as his parents once grounded him and took his iPod away. He says he was heartbroken.

Over the course of his high school career, Osorio pursued other interests. He got into sports, stating that boxing and wrestling were an essential part of his life during those years.

However, don’t be mistaken: Osorio was also blossoming into a bona fide music nerd.

Osorio’s love of Hip-Hop only grew as he got older. Artists such as Mos Def, Talib Kweli & Rakim won over his admiration. These artists are true hip-hoppers; none of them have a single pop hit to their name, as they instead focus on lyricism & cultural preservation.

For fans like Osorio, hip-hop is much, much more than a genre of music or even a culture. It’s a guiding force. He cites hip-hop and music in general as a fundamental tool in sculpting him into the person he is today.

Because of this, Osorio eventually started writing again as well.

When Osorio was 19 years of age, he had a job in Manhattan, which meant long commutes from his home back in New Jersey. He says he would download beats and write rhymes on those commutes just to pass the time.

He says he has written two full projects to date, which remain in the vault. However, he has released two songs under his name.

One of them, “A King’s Life,” is a triumphant essay on showing resilience through times of hardship. Osorio weaves some of his most personal experiences into his bars, coming to the conclusion that he is thankful that all of these experiences got him to where he is today. The instrumental is a hard hitting boombap beat, showing Osorio’s appreciation for the old school.

The other track, “Narcotics,” is an anti-drug anthem, which sees Osorio utilizing hip-hop as a sense of self-fulfillment in place of drugs and alcohol. Osorio muses on topics such as addiction and substance abuse over a dark, knocking beat reminiscent of the 90’s golden era.

After high school, it took Osorio a bit of time to figure things out. He enrolled at Bergen Community College back home, but ended up flunking out after four semesters. After two years away from Bergen, however, he decided to re-enroll, and managed to flip his cumulative GPA within a year.

Osorio cites his time at Bergen as an essential part of getting him on the right track. When he returned for his 2nd stint at Bergen, he got involved in many on-campus clubs, and also decided to pursue a career in the music industry as a full-time job. He says he is thankful for his time there, stating he wants to give back to those in his community that helped keep him on the right path.

Today, Osorio has a lot going for him. He is currently a junior at Columbia College Chicago where he is studying Music Business. He also works in the PR department at Columbia’s student-run record label, AEMMP Records, where he is in charge of reaching out to blogs and other local media in efforts of promoting AEMMP.

On top of all that, Osorio also works for Universal Music Group, promoting artists via social media as well as attending their shows.

For Jordan Posada-Osorio, his musical journey has been a cyclical one. It was through music that he was able to find his own path in life. Now, he is helping other artists find their unique path, giving back to the very same community that helped him forge his own.

 

I sat down with Jordan Posada-Osorio for a series of interviews as a part of this story. Transcribed portions of our interviews can be read below, and have been condensed down for length purposes.

 

Q: When did music become a major force in your life?

A: Five years old is the earliest I remember where music was a force that could move me when nothing could really move me. When I was five, I remember who was big at the time was NSYNC and Brittany Spears. Imagine a five year old kid in the back of a car singing “Baby Hit Me One More Time.” One of the most influential times when music really touched me was when I first heard Alicia Keys. I was five years old, I think I was on a field trip for school. I’m riding on this bus, and I’m pretty much by myself in my own world, and I hear “Fallin.'” I hear the piano in the beginning and I hear her voice, and I started looking around and I remember asking, “who is this?” I don’t know how I remember this, I have a horrible memory. But I guess that’s how impactful music was for me at a young age.

I went through your Instagram a few times (in preparation for the interview), and I noticed you have a lot of the same hashtags on your posts. All of them invoke images of old school hip-hop. Can you talk about that? I feel like you’re big on the old school and preserving the culture.

The meaning behind the hashtags is a way to get people to my page. I use those hashtags because I feel like I connect more with those and my music resonates more with those hashtags. When it comes to preserving the culture, I think there has to be a healthy combination between understanding the history and pushing the envelope and discovering something new. I’m kind of like J. Cole when he came out with “Middle Child.” I feel like I’m in the middle too because I love the old school; the old school is what got me into it. But then you have these new people who sound more poppy, but what they’re doing is they’re finding a new sound. So where’s the healthy medium between those two places? When it comes to that (use of hashtags), it’s just what I feel like I identify with the most.

You’re definitely into the conscious stuff. When you and I had our part one, you mentioned Mos Def and Talib Kweli. Those are obviously super conscious rappers who’ve never had a pop hit. Is that what you came up listening to? Is it what you identify with?

Definitely I identify with it. Anything you’re going to hear in my music is gonna be some level of self-awareness and consciousness that I consciously want to write about. I want to put it in a way where people listen to it and will think about what I’m saying. I want people to go on Genius and click on verified lyrics and be like, ‘oh, this is what he meant.’  And it’s about my life. It’s personal. It’s not necessarily this double meaning, really cool thing to say. The conscious piece I definitely connect with a lot. It’s because as I was growing up and (first started) listening to music, through that music, I started learning so much. I wouldn’t say my parents raised me, and that’s not to take credit away from them, but I feel like I learned a lot of how to be and who to be through music. Music also taught me that I’m not the only person going through these kinds of things. I’ll say this: I connected with Eminem because we had very similar lives growing up. Not a good relationship with our fathers, our mothers being controlling, drug use in the house. Through that, that’s why the consciousness is so important to me.

How successful do you feel like you’ve been since coming to Columbia?

As someone who really strives for a lot of things, I always feel like I can be doing more. I think overall, I’ve been pretty successful. Last semester was my first semester at AEMMP Hip-Hop, and I was one of the record executives. I got to meet a lot of cool artists and help with their personal successes, and I finished my first semester with a 3.2 GPA. I finished my first semester here successfully which is a huge accomplishment being 800 miles away from home. I feel like I can do more, but I feel like I’ve been pretty successful.
Do you feel like your time at Bergen community college has played a role in that?

 Yeah, 100%. When I first started at Bergen, I worked very hard, but I ended my first semester with a 2.5-2.6 GPA. As I continued within Bergen before I ended up dropping out (on hiatus), I ended with a 2.3 GPA. When I came back, I came back strong. Within a year, I flipped my GPA, literally flipped it from 2.3 to 3.2. It definitely laid the ground work, one for academic success, two for personal growth and personal development. It laid the foundation because of the job opportunities at Bergen, and the extracurricular opportunities as president of organizations and clubs. I can put that on my resume, I can put those things in my portfolio. I can ask some of the highest people within the two-year institution for letters of recommendation. Things like that definitely set a foundation for here (Columbia). Dr. Davis (His mentor) was the one who wrote my letter of recommendation for (Columbia). I never read it, but he knows how I am. So 100% it laid the foundation for my success here.

Follow Jordan on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/jordanmatthewmusic/

Listen to Jordan’s single, “Narcotics,” streaming on Soundcloud here:https://soundcloud.com/jordanmatthewmusic

“A King’s Life” is now available on Spotify & Apple Music

Filed under: Artist Features

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