Majid Jordan, the name sounds like just one person but in fact, Majid Jordan are two very talented guys with quite the growing fan-base despite their sparse music releases and enigmatic background. Made up of Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman, the duo are Toronto based producers and performers who also work under the name Good People, and they know exactly what they are doing when it comes to creating great sounding music.
The pair met while attending the University of Toronto in Ontario and while their individual production work has seen Ullman drawn to the EDM sounds of Zedd and Deadmau5 with Al Maskati immersing himself in down-tempo Deep house inspirations, the two producers have continued to work closely together leading to the formation of Majid Jordan. The duo were lucky enough to meet fellow Toronto native Drake who, having seen how talented they are, signed the duo to his OVO Sound imprint under Warner Bros Records. Majid Jordan were the masterminds behind Drake’s popular 2013 single “Hold On We’re Going Home” which peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, selling over 2 million copies in the US and over 207,000 copies in Canada.
Crowned as the “Best Song of 2013” by Pitchfork, this song had many listeners hooked, singing and quoting its lyrics on social media for the most part of the year. The song, with its catchy and infectious musical backdrop and very memorable lyrics, gave Majid Jordan the first strands of recognition that they deserved and they made their US TV performance debut on the Ellen DeGeneres show alongside their label boss Drake in September. Not long after that, they (as Good People) released an excellent EP on Soundcloud titled After Hours. Consisting of eight tracks in total, the project continued in the same vein as what we heard from them on “Hold On We’re Going Home”. With similar tones and melodies, it is a collection of down-tempo Deep House, Disco, Chill-wave, Reggae and R&B songs that showcase the unique sounds of the singer/producer duo.
Starting with “Take Control“, one of my favorite songs on the EP, it has a laid back Reggae rhythm to it that not only makes you want to lie back and just take in the various different melodies but also makes you want to groove to it. The lyrics talk about taking control of your soul and not letting anyone tell you how to be or how to feel, which really goes together with the Reggae theme and sound. Another song that stands out on the EP is “Hold Tight” with its 80’s styled Disco groove and House leanings to it. The track has a bass-heavy rhythm and bassline which switches between a quiet groove and a loud commanding backdrop and is one that definitely demonstrates Majid Jordan’s incredible production skills as they employ a mix of different sounds and vocal samples that echo beautifully to great effect.
Their captivating chill-out music is definitely one that will be suited to either the club scenes or the privacy of your car stereo or bedroom audio system. One listen of the Afterhours EP and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed. Other highlights on the EP include the EP’s curtain call “Chill Pad Deluxe” with its smooth vocal display over a glorious and spacy bass-heavy synth keyboard backdrop, the groovy “Give Me A Reason (For Lovin’ You)” and the slow-building “Far Away” instrumental track, which beautifully leads into the towering “Tea & Coffee”.
Jumping between varied flavours and sounds from Deep House to 80’s Disco to R&B to Electronic Soul to Dance music on this Afterhours EP with resounding aptness and flair, Majid Jordan do more than prove their credentials as forward-thinking producers and music-makers that it’s simply no wonder that Drake signed the duo to his label without any published music from the duo. If the Afterhours EP is only a flicker of what we can expect from Majid Al-Maskati and Jordan Ullman, then the world is surely their oyster.
It would be nice to see Majid Jordan come out with more releases as their sound is fresh, eclectic and innovative to say the least, the duo are definitely something the music landscape needs. There is no doubt that the future is bright for Majid Jordan and I am excited to see what they have in store for listeners in 2014.
Download: Majid Jordan – Afterhours EP
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Words by Feliciana Lumona // Edited by Ayo Adepoju