USC artist is focused on growth

Simone’s latest single “Adrenaline,” released Jan. 10, touches on the simplicity of newfound love. (Photo courtesy of Jordyn Simone)

Some know her as the confident 17-year-old who was one of the top 32 contestants on “The Voice” in 2018. Others know her as the wildly talented member of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Vocal Jazz Ensemble, where she received the Top Artist Award for three consecutive years at the Next Generation Jazz Festival. 

Jordyn Simone knows herself as an artist that sings a fusion of R&B and a musician that seeks to defy categorization. 

“I genuinely feel like I am a combination of a lot of genres,” said Simone, a sophomore majoring in popular music. “Someone would, of course, categorize me as an R&B artist, but I have gotten so much influence from rock music and jazz. I’m trying to make a new-age version of R&B.”

With her stint on “The Voice” and high school singing career behind her, Simone said her biggest career goal is not to be the best singer but to be the most vulnerable in her work. 

“There’s a level of authenticity and genuineness that I want in my music that I didn’t realize I even cared about on ‘The Voice’ because I was just singing covers,” she said. 

Simone’s most recent single, “Adrenaline,” which mixes elements of pop and R&B, was released Jan. 10. on Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud. Simone described the song as a composition of the sweet and simple possibilities of newfound love, the “butterfly phase,” and lust. 

“It’s really easy to write in depth about serious topics like love and relationships, hate and anger,” Simone said. “It’s easy to write into those intense emotions, but I wanted to create a light-hearted song about love.”

Love is not only a theme in her music, but it’s also what continues to guide Simone’s growth as an artist. More than anything, Simone admits that she is “trying to fall in love with Jordyn Simone as the artist.” 

Simone points to artists like Ari Lennox, Lauryn Hill, Anderson .Paak, Christina Aguilera and Jill Scott as her influences. However, she attributes the majority of her musical prowess to her jazz-enthused father and piano-playing mother. She describes her dad as the person who taught her how to “fall in love and cherish the art of music” and her mom as her “businesswoman” who helps manage her career. 

However, despite her long-lived passion for music, she has mixed feelings about the industry as a whole. 

“The music industry is oversaturated,” she said. “So many people can put music out because of the availability, so it’s hard to decide what’s good anymore and what’s just popular. However, there are a lot of blessings in how available everything is in the industry. I can record ‘Adrenaline’ in my friend’s closet and have someone mix and master it and I can put it out on all platforms and reach people I have never met in my life. From that perspective, I’m really grateful because I am an independent artist.” 

As for her time at USC, Simone sees it as an opportunity that has enabled her to build a network of producers, fellow musicians and creators that can help her further her career.

“Most of the producers that I work with are USC production major students,” Simone said. “Most of the visual artists that I work with for my music videos were all USC kids. Past the idea of education, I wouldn’t even be able to do the outside-of-school stuff that I do if it wasn’t for the USC connections or their network that they’ve given me.” 

Next month, Simone will release another single titled “Paradigm.” In March, she plans on hosting a music video release show for the single, which will be accompanied with a live performance.