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Dropout UK @ Alexis Jordan Showcase, Studio Valbonne

Roc Nations New Artist Introduces Herself To The UK Media

I think it’s safe to say that when the managing director of Columbia Records UK is the ‘compere’ for the evening at an artist showcase, then said artist is kind of like a big deal. The said managing director is none other than Mike Smith who was responsible for singing acts such as Blur, Gorillaz, Arctic Monkeys and The White Stripes in a career that has spanned over 20 years. So yeah, kind of a big deal.

So who is this artist then? ALEXIS JORDAN, an 18 year old singer/songwriter who gave award-winning production team Stargate (Ne-Yo, Rihanna, Beyonce) ‘that special feeling’ when she first met them, so much so that they signed her to their Star Roc imprint, a partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. This was her introduction to the UK audience just in time for her debut single ‘Happiness’ to be released in the UK next month.

The performance set was short and sweet, comprising of four tracks from her debut album, including of course the electro-dance lead single ‘Happiness’. From the moment she hits the stage, her presence lights up the entire room and maybe that’s because it’s not what you were expecting as the image of Alexis Jordan in the press release portrays somewhat of a ‘Plain Jane’ character and what you get on stage is quite simply, a super star.

The first track (Good Girl) is an up-tempo sassy pop number which is backed by a supporting 4-piece band that provides an excellent musical backdrop to this great opener and it allows Alexis Jordan to showcase her amazing voice. Just the kind of song you want to kick off the show with.

As with throughout her performance set, her vocal range is shockingly good. I didn’t think she would but she hits all the notes (high and low) with ease and with precision. Certainly there is always room to take it one step further but Ms. Jordan truly has an amazing voice and her vocal capabilities leave me in admiration. At this juncture, it should be worth mentioning that Alexis’ two backing dancers who share the stage with her on the opening track as well as her last performance are a fine addition to the set. They provide an edgy feel to the set and do not distract or detract from the spectacle.

The second track (How you like me now?) is another up-tempo pop number but that is the only similarity it shares with ‘Good Girl’. This one is a radio-friendly, gutsy and uplifting ladies anthem that’s got a wonderful glam-rock feel to it. The lyrics, as you would expect are nothing extraordinary and there is no shock here. For the third track, Alexis Jordan slows things down with an R&B mid-tempo love song that once more provides a great platform for her voice and I don’t know if it’s the effects of the live band but she reminds me of a mix between Kelly Clarkson and Jordin Sparks. Very ballsy. Very rock chick.

The final number of the evening is her lead single, ‘Happiness’, an electro-dance infused pop record that sounds like it was specially made for an European audience and although sometimes the production on this track edges over Alexis’ vocals, as the song goes on, she comes into her element and her vocals match and even overpower the larger than life production. The dance routine mid-way through the song goes down a treat as well.

All in all, Alexis Jordan comes off as a polished and well-groomed performer with a very likeable and vibrant personality, budding stage presence and amazing vocals to match. It’s quite hard to think that this new pop sensation in front of you is only 18. With ample opportunity to develop her craft further, her plan to leave her mark on history and music may not be that as farfetched as I earlier thought. Mike Smith, Jay-Z and the good folks at Stargate have struck gold with this one.

Happiness the Single is out on October 17th via Columbia Records UK.

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