Jordan Gavet is a rising New Zealand R&B star. Having been discovered on Soundcloud in 2017 by prominent hip-hop producer P-Money, Gavet has gone on to release three singles to a warm critical reception and is quickly building a solid fanbase. We spoke to her to discuss her latest single ‘Do Better’, working with P-Money and her future plans.
You’ve released three singles now to great reception. Are you planning on releasing an album or an E.P. soon?
Thank you. I am not too sure if we’re planning on releasing an E.P. but, with everything that is going on now we’ve had to put it on pause, everything has changed because of that. It could turn into an album. We might have other ideas by then, it’s kind of an interesting time.
So with the video for ‘Do Better’ this is the second time you’ve collaborated with the director Shae Sterling how did that collaboration originally come about?
P-Money suggested him for ‘Hesitation’ which was the first single. We looked at a few directors and chose him.
With the ideas for the video is it a collaborative effort? Did you present an idea to him or did he come up with the original idea? Or do you bounce back and forth?
With the first video, I had just a real brief idea of what the video should be. I wanted it to be about where I’m from and kind of nothing to do with the song. I didn’t want it to be a typical R&B video where I’m signing to a guy or anything like that. So, we had the core elements done and he did a lot of research on his own, he went driving through the areas that I mentioned before shooting and set up lots of different things.
The second video was quite different. I basically came up with the whole idea myself and then we went back to him with the idea and he loved it and just fully understood what I was trying to portray.
The video for ‘Do Better’ is really well done. How long did it take to shoot?
We shot that in one day, it was one big long day and we actually finished under schedule. It was supposed to be some crazy long day but we got it done in around eleven to twelve hours.
Do you plan on working with Shae Sterling for future videos going forward?
Yeah for sure. Whatever the vibe calls for and obviously I want to continue having new experiences as well. I want to eventually shoot over in Australia as well.
You were discovered off of Soundcloud by P-Money in 2017, how long had you been writing and recording music before he picked you up?
I had been writing and recording probably a good ten years on and off. I started young by default, my Dad would put songs out on YouTube and I did that for a year or two as well. I kind of shied away from it for other things but I would always come back, write a song and I’d play it and then kind of disappear again, it just wasn’t consistent. Funnily enough, the time when P-Money found me that was the time when I was really really trying to make the big decisions and trying to take this seriously with real goals and be consistent. I was trying to figure that out and then hello P-Money picked me up, the timing was perfect.
So did he have a hand at all in the songwriting process or did he just take a producer role in the early stages?
With writing the songs I’ve always kind of shown my ideas to him straight away and we discuss them, he is always really encouraging. He kind of gave me the freedom to do whatever. He always thought that I was a really good songwriter. He kept playing all of my demos and the stuff I’d put out on Soundcloud and say “you are a songwriter just go away and write songs”, so he really brought that out of me. Ultimately, I did do it all myself with the producer in Sydney.
What was the experience like getting discovered by such a prominent New Zealand Hip Hop artist?
So good. There is so much to learn from him and I couldn’t speak more highly of him. Every time he’s mentioned by my friends and family I tell them how skilled and knowledgeable he is, he’s a legend. I was already a fan, but to meet him and know him in person and become friends is amazing. He’s wonderful and it’s made me an even bigger fan of him. It’s really helpful to take advice and guidance from someone that you really respect. It was a cool experience, a bit surreal at times.
The producer of ‘Do Better’ Willstah has most notably worked with Ariana Grande, so how did that collaboration come about?
So he’s from Sydney and I’m from Sydney, he had actually heard of me. When I mentioned that I had been writing songs for ten years, he said he had heard of me from back then and that he had messaged me multiple times to hit me up to try and work together and just never heard back. So we had a laugh about that. He actually tried hunting me down while he followed me and my journey. Then I moved back to Australia and I was approached by P-Money and Sony. At the same time, I came across his page and I realised “Oh we’re already friends of Facebook”. It was just around the time that he had put out a song with Ariana Grande and I was like ”who the heck is this person that has just done a song with Ariana Grande?” So, I messaged him saying congratulations and he was like “oh my gosh you finally got back to me!” And I was like “me? What the heck?” and he goes “I’ve been messaging you forever haha.”
That’s how we got together. He just helps you. He really wants to see you succeed. He’s a fan and he respects what I do. It helps having someone who is just so eager and willing to push you, push you to work and push you to be the best at what you do. He’s been awesome.
Your breakout single last year was “Hesitation” and it was met with extremely positive reception and you built quite a large fan base from it, were you surprised by how quickly it took off?
Yeah, I was. I think it was an interesting time for R&B, and more specifically New Zealand R&B, there wasn’t much of a platform for it here. So, you know it could be an advantage but also it was going to be hard to tell how people would receive it because there just wasn’t much going on in that area, especially a slower R&B track.
Funnily enough, the timing of it all worked. That lane just kind of opened up at the time that I was coming through. So P-Money was really specific with what songs he wanted out first and I agreed.
You come from a very musical background. You were exposed to soul and gospel music at a very young age. Would you say that that was a major influence on your music?
One hundred percent. My dad was in a band, he played bass. I just grew up around music rehearsals at my house. I think the stuff that my dad and my uncles listened to broadened my horizons. I can never choose who my favourite artist is because I like everything. But, I think because I started with soul and gospel music that helped in a way to open my mind up.
Did you take vocal lessons? Or were you purely self-taught?
No, I haven’t, I wish I did. I’ve actually been meaning to get some coaching because it’s a tool and you have to keep it sharp.
What does the rest of 2020 have in store for you?
Just writing more music, putting more music out and just getting myself out there a bit more. I definitely want to perform more this year. And let people get to know me and what I’m about. And just having fun with it and seeing where the journey takes me.
You can stream Jordan Gavet’s music here;
“Do Better” Music video;
“Hesitation” music video