Jordan Hawkins, the R&B’s 24 year-old rockstar didn’t just appear overnight. This project and his stunning sound have both come together through years of passion and work, fusing together so many influences, inspirations, and collaborators. Born in Greensboro, North Carolina and raised in the church choir, he hit his stride when he picked up a guitar in middle school. Just as he began performing solos at church, he started exploring Rock & Roll thanks to an electric guitar he got from his grandfather. He followed in the spirit of true performers, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, artists who took the guitar and brought their magic to life. Hawkins came to Southern California for school, but LA quickly became the perfect place to harvest a growing passion for music. He followed that passion, and now at just 24 years old, he has found his community and found his sound, as the emerging star continues to grow.
It’s this history that helped Hawkins shape the sound you hear on his debut EP. It’s like the perfect soup. Flavors developing, ingredients blooming into new forms, letting it simmer until it tastes just right. And now, dinner is now ready, it’s hot, and Hawkins is our chef, the mastermind behind it all.
Hawkins has orchestrated something entirely new, entirely him. He’s taken these experiences and influences, breathing new life into them. The project opens with We Have, a tender introduction with so much soul, Hawkins trying to break free from the trials of past love as they step into a new relationship. Risky is an undeniably sensual follow up, from the fireplace to the dancefloor, your red wine in hand, and your lover by your side. Slow Down gives you a moment to recover. Hawkins at his most intimate here, we lean into new love even if we don’t know where it’ll take us. And just when that contemporary R&B feel has soothed your soul, Hawkins shows off the guitar chops. Make Me Feel gets you on your feet, dialing in a funky 80’s rock groove with so much heart. And just like that, we’re drenched in the neo-soul once again, as the titular Heart Won’t Stop, showcases a brass section that carries us over waves of beautiful melodies. The EP closes with a bonus extended version of 2019’s Thankful. The only feature on the EP, breathtaking vocals from Lish, shows off another wrinkle to Hawkins’ dynamic talent. He sets the foundation to make everyone's performance that much stronger. All the while, harkening back to that Greensboro church, pulling every last bit of emotion out of himself, his guitar, and everyone around him.
All of these puzzle pieces lying alongside each other just right, held together by Hawkins’ stunning voice. He’s got an undeniable tone, always in control yet still human and vulnerable. There’s a texture to his singing, the emotions always pouring through. You can hear it and you can feel it. He thrives in every register, whether cutting to the core with more personal emotions, reaching up for that falsetto, or powering ahead in those grandiose rockstar moments. It all works because it’s all so genuine.
So, welcome to the Jordan Hawkins experience. This project represents so much work and growth, and yet, it’s still just a taste, still just the beginning of this journey. Especially now, partnering with producers Charles Nutrivore and Stari to create their production collective, N.A.I.V.E. Hawkins has endless talent, both in studio and on stage. It’s going to be an honor to watch him develop, and a true joy to hear.