Backstage with Majid Jordan at the Adidas x MLS Celebration
The R&B power duo talks musical domination, soccer’s influence, and Toronto pride.
Hailing all the way from Toronto, contemporary R&B duo Majid Jordan joined Adidas in celebrating 25 years of Major League Soccer, walking before fashion’s elite on the #Forward25 runway as part of New York Fashion Week on Wednesday. Paying homage to their home city, the synth-pop masterminds debuted Toronto FC’s newly-designed “Unity Kit,” alongside 25 updated iterations across the entire league.
Featuring an intertwined striped pattern, intentional in representing the team’s diverse fan base, and the EQT collar, which pays respect to classic ’90s uniforms, Toronto’s new jersey manifests the city’s unmatched sense of unity. The jersey showcases Toronto FC’s unwavering commitment to fostering that aura of unified diversity, boasting the team’s signature crest in the center and a silver star in honor of the team’s 2017 MLS Cup championship. On the back, Toronto’s flag soars aside the 28 surrounding regions within the GTA, a true nod to the city’s unequivocal pride.
It’s that same sense of Toronto pride that Majid Jordan instills into each electronically explosive track they produce. Blazing up the charts over the last several years with two studio albums and countless collaborations with the likes of Khalid, Quinn XCII, and PARTYNEXTDOOR, these Canadian hit-makers are no stranger to the limelight. Signed to fellow Torontonian Drake’s OVO sound label, Majid Jordan’s soaring star is certainly one to watch. With such an impressive repertoire of musical prowess and a fierce desire to make Toronto proud, no dream is too large for this musical power team. Although this may have been their first time walking the runway for New York Fashion Week, it’s certain that no task is too daunting for this inseparable pair.
V sat down with the dynamic duo backstage before the show to ask about their musical inspirations, their times on the soccer field, and the power of their long-lasting friendship. Read what Majid Jordan had to share below.
V Magazine Let’s start at the beginning. How did you guys first realize your passion for music?
Majid Al Maskatij I started singing. Some people liked my voice. They said, you know, you can actually do this. And then I met Jordan and he told me he produced. I told him let’s make something before I leave the country because I was there as a student at the time. I think just our dedication to that first mixtape that we made and put out online anonymously, that’s when we fell in love with music.
V So Maj, you sing, and Jordan, you produce. You’re the ideal duo. How did you first become friends and how did you escalate your relationship to a professional level of music production?
MAM We met at my birthday party. We hit it off. And then he was like, “I got my setup in my dorm room. Let’s go make some music.” And then, school finished, and he was like, “I got a basement. I’ll set it up in there.” We made seven songs on that first project. After that, we got discovered and signed a record deal. I immigrated to Toronto. I’ve been there for twelve years now and it’s home for me and that’s basically it. Now, we get to tour the world and perform shows and come to events like this.
V So incredible. You produced your first song in 2012, correct?
V So, you’ve been in the game for eight years. In that time, what lessons have you learned?
Jordan Ullman We’ve learned so much. I’ve learned to really value the people that I have in my life. I think I’ve learned that more and more as time goes on, like having somebody like Maj in my life. I never had a brother, I’ve had close friends and stuff, but somebody to really not only create something with but just to have in my life. It means a lot, you know. And so having somebody in your life for eight years who you can spend so much time with and just create, it’s incredible. So I think that really is one of the biggest things I’ve learned is to keep those people really close to you, and don’t forget that.
V Yeah. Having that connection as well as being able to create together is really powerful. You’ve been able to bring that energy on tracks with the likes of Drake, Khalid, PARTYNEXTDOOR as well as many others. What’s it been like to collaborate with artists like that?
MAM It’s been amazing. It’s like everything we do is communication-centered. And I think just being open really helps when it comes to working with other people because sometimes people are so talented and they have this kind of vision and idea. In those moments, it’s a little abstract, but you’ve got to let people go with that and follow, as opposed to trying to lead and take the direction every single time.
V Going off of that idea of abstraction, when you guys are in the studio and you’re working through a new piece, where do you draw inspiration from?
JU I think a lot of our inspiration comes from conversations about what’s going on and how we’re feeling. It’s a mix of what we’re listening to, what we want to listen to and how we see the live show progressing or how we want to go to this country and perform over here. We really pull from anything, you know?
V What’s your connection with Adidas and the MLS? Are you soccer fans?
MAM Yeah, I mean, we’re representing Toronto FC. I grew up playing soccer. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a professional. It was one of my first dreams. I only started making music when I was 18, 19 years old. And for me, it gave me even more freedom of expression, I feel. And so, yes, soccer has always been a big part of my life, and I still play weekly with friends. When I first moved to Toronto, I played as a way to meet people from all around the world. So I was actually under age when I moved to Toronto and there was this one guy on my team who was Columbian and I kind of looked like him. He gave me his ID so I could go out and actually meet people. It was a way to connect, you know, and just have fun, exercise and live.
V Amazing. Switching gears, what do you guys have planned next? Is there another album coming out?
JU There’s an album coming.
MAM Yeah, definitely for the summer.
V What are your plans for this next track list?
MAM To keep it concise. We have a lot of material, and I think we should just keep it on the lower limits. We don’t want to make a 20 song album. We want to keep it concise so that people can go through it and really pick their favorites.
V Right. You guys have been able to accomplish so much as artists. Looking at everything that you’ve already done and everything that you still have yet to accomplish, at the end of the day, what do you want to be remembered for?
JU That’s a great question. I would say definitely for good music, for being good people, and that we’re from Toronto and that we can represent Toronto on a level where we actually reach people.
Below, indugle in Majid Jordan’s latest release: “Caught Up” featuring Khalid.