Five Questions With… Allegra Jordyn
At 16, the Toronto singer/songwriter has just recently begun exploring her creative possibilities, with impressive results. Here she discusses finding her self-confidence, life changes, and the inspiration of John Lennon and Bob Dylan.
By Jason Schneider
At just 16, Toronto songstress Allegra Jordyn is already aiming high with her debut EP, Possibilities, drawing inspiration from some of music’s most celebrated storytellers including John Lennon and Joni Mitchell. The five self-penned tracks on Possibilities—out Nov. 16—offer a glimpse into her experiences with first loves and heartbreaks, self-confidence, and the pursuit of her goals.
But what draws a listener into her world is her distinctive voice, whether it’s accompanied by just piano or guitar, or in more fleshed out arrangements. With strong backgrounds in music theory, composition, and performance, she is equally as comfortable in the studio as she is performing in front of audiences of any size.
It’s fitting that Jordyn chose to title her first release Possibilities as she views it as her first step on a journey toward fully exploring all of her musical capabilities. Always looking to push her limits, expect to be hearing a lot more from this dynamic young artist. Possibilities is available through allegrajordyn.com
What inspired you to write the songs that are on Possibilities?
I started writing these songs last fall, shortly after I arrived back home to Canada from the summer program at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Before that summer, I wasn’t that confident in my own writing or sharing my music with others, and this was mostly because of a extreme fear of criticism. Through mentoring sessions, songwriting classes, and collaborating with other young talented musicians, I was encouraged to shed these insecurities and start writing music that I was proud of, not what I thought people wanted to hear. The first song that I wrote became the title track, and after that the songs just kept flowing. I stayed motivated by using writing as an outlet for different situations that happened in my life. I wanted to share my personal experiences, and turn them into music that people could relate to, feel something from, and hopefully be inspired by.
How would you describe your artistic evolution so far?
That’s hard to answer because I feel my life changing every day. My writing reflects whatever situations I happen to be going through at the time, and music is my way of transforming my thoughts and feelings into something I hope will connect with other people. While writing this EP, I think I found my voice and who I wanted to be as an artist. There are so many great artists that I am inspired by, but since making Possibilities I’ve learned how to stay true to myself and my own sound.
What's been the most significant change in your life over the past year?
Looking back over the past year, the most significant change would just be growing so much as a person and as an artist. As a high school student, it can be tough to find the time and a relaxing, creative environment to make music. This past year I’ve had tons of motivation to make time to do what I love, spending tons of time in the studio alone, writing, and performing, especially compared to past years. Soon I’ll be graduating high school and pursuing my music in other places, so my life will continue to change drastically over the next year.
What do you recall about your first time performing in public?
My first time performing in public must have been when I was very young, probably six or seven years old, so I don’t exactly remember it, but it would have been singing and acting in a musical at school or camp. I do have one specific, early memory of that actually, the performance that inspired me to pursue music in the first place. I sang a cover of [Leonard Cohen’s] “Hallelujah” in the dining hall at summer camp when I was 10 years old, and received a standing ovation from the whole camp. Before that day, I only sang for my roles in musicals and didn’t have any real desire in taking music seriously. But from then on, music became something I felt that I was meant to do.
What song by another artist do you wish you had written?
It is a tie between “Imagine” by John Lennon and “The Times They Are A-Changing” by Bob Dylan. Both songs are truly powerful, with incredible lyrics and inspiring messages about peace and making a change in the world, which is a subject I strongly support and believe in.