Earlier this year, series 5 of The Voice UK showcased multiple talents including the raw and roughly refined vocal talents of Jordan Gray. She, ironically, tackled Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Women,” for her blind audition. Her sonorous soprano vocals resonated pure emotional eloquence. She immediately grabbed my attention, leaving me wanting more. Alas, neither of the four judges hit that red button…what?
But wait, JJ Soulx drops out for ‘personal reasons’, and Paloma Faith quickly calls on Jordan to fill that gap. #teampaloma. The ensuing controversy in selecting her revolved around having a ‘reserve’ singer and political correctness. Political correctness? On a talent show? Did I not mention that Jordan Gray is transgender?
When I was a child, I never realized that I was a girl, I just didn’t think I was a boy, I felt like an alien
Jordan Gray @, a twenty-seven year old singer and keyboardist, with mesmerizing blue eyes and a wild curls of raven black hair, calls Horndon-on-the-Hill —a quaint, sleepy, village— in the county of Essex, England, her home. “When I was a child, I never realized that I was a girl, I just didn’t think I was a boy, I felt like an alien,” Jordan said. She has been performing for a little over 10 years, the first 8 years of which she was performing as a Jordan Redford Gray.
The best way to describe my experience was like being in a bubble…
On April 9, 2016, Jordan was interviewed by the Edinburgh Evening News. Here is an excerpt of that interview:
“The best way to describe my experience was like being in a bubble – and when it pops it’s easier to breathe again.”
Going on, Gray said she was pleased to note that towards the end of her time on the show, she was considered purely on her performances, rather than by her gender identity.
“I think towards the end of my time on the programme it stopped being about my gender and more about my performances.
“It was such a wonderful stepping stone in my life and I’m very proud of what I’ve done.”
It is easy to be captivated by the pure enthusiasm Jordan brings her music. Her rendition of Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out” was mesmerizing. She channeled David Bowie, as she does often when she’s on stage, in my opinion. Her unique voice has a wide dynamic range, enabling her to hit high and low notes effortlessly. I personally love the raw edge she has.
From The Voice UK “Quick fire with Jordan”:
- What pop star’s poster would you hang on your wall right now? “Jessie J and Alt-J’s”
- If you could have witnessed any music event in history what would it be? “Seeing Jeff Buckley perform live in concert”
- What song do you like to sing in the shower? “Please Come To Boston by Reba McEntire”
- You’re headlining Wembley! What would you have on your rider? “Water, a well known sub sandwich melt, and Tottenham cake.”
- What famous person do people say you most resemble? “A female Mark Bolan”
- What is the best prank you have ever pulled? “Putting a garden hose down the jeans of my passed-out bass player after a gig.”
Controversy notwithstanding, Jordan Gray absolutely deserved to be a ‘contestant’ on The Voice. She earned the respect of her #teampaloma teammates, as well as the adoration of series’ judges and fans. She was eliminated in the semi-final round, despite delivering a staggering rendition of “Dancing In the Dark.” Her other songs included a blistering performance of “Shake It Out,” and a deeply emotional version of “Real Gone Kid,” which virtually brought Paloma Faith and Boy George to tears.
The sweetest part of the human heart is knowing it can change
Jordan Gray —Tall Dark Friend— has a long and sustainable future as a talented songstress and keys player. In 2012, she released “Pop Psychology”. The track “Corridors” and “This Is Pop!” set Jordan apart as an artist to watch. Jordan was performing as a male on this album. Her iconic voice resonates just the same. Three years later, in 2015, “The Baffled King” was released, and if you haven’t heard it, you should. Her “Hang With the Happiness” is filled with energy and raw emotion. Destined to be an classic, her coda lyric, “The sweetest part of the human heart is knowing it can change,” is something I also believe in.
mir, irini, peace, amn