Jordan Roy opens up about growing up Queer in a heteronormative society

By Gyor, 14.10.2022

Jordan explained how his music is a mix of pop with R&B and gospel influences. He sees the importance in representing and using his confidence as a tool. It’s about embracing your Queerness, “No social construct, no government, no religion, nobody can tell us who or what to be.”, he stated, “Not only is that my favourite line from my single “MAN”, it has also been my mantra ever since I wrote it”.

Hi Jordan, lovely to have you on our second season of Pride Presents. First question: how would you identify yourself?
I identify myself as a free spirit. A positive, open-minded, spiritual, loving and caring person. I also identify myself as a gay man and I use he/him pronouns.

How would you identify your music?
I would say my music is pop with R&B and gospel influences. I was once told that my single ‘MAN’ sounded like a mix of Michael Jackson and George Michael. Which is a huge compliment because those are two artists that have inspired and influenced me in my musical upbringing. 

Who’s an artist you are loving right now?
I love what Billy Porter is doing at the moment. I love his music but more so: I love how he uses his voice, his fashion and his performances as ways to express himself.

What does “Queer” mean to you?
To me, Queer means freedom. Free to decide whoever you want to be. Being Queer is definitely not always easy so for me it also embodies strength, love, courage, happiness, family. 

What does “Pride” mean to you?
When I was younger, my family would always switch the channel whenever the Pride parade was on TV. It taught me that Pride was wrong, not normal, ungodly and dirty.

I came out at 23 and I remember performing at Pride that year with my group Adlicious and being scared but curious at the same time. I had such a long way to go still, but as of right now I am very proud to say that I have set myself free of those thoughts I had when I was younger. Pride is so much more than what you see on TV. It’s about education, experiences, journeys, protests, celebration and freedom.

What is your most important song? And what is it about?
I’m very proud of my single ‘MAN’. When we grow up, most of us are taught how to be a “man” by religion, society or family. But is masculinity exclusively for men? Is femininity exclusively for women? Why can’t you be both? Or none? I believe we can all be who we want to be, whether that is in a dress while playing soccer or with make up and a beard. Just be you.

What’s your favourite line from the song? And why?
“No social construct, no government, no religion, nobody can tell us who or what to be.” Not only is that my favorite line from my single “MAN”, it has also been my mantra ever since I wrote it. No one can tell me who I should be, what I should or should not do. I am perfect just the way I am and I get to decide my own destiny.

How does being Queer influence your musical process?
Writing is an emotional process. And when I was growing up while closeted, I couldn’t really write about any of my true emotions. Most of the music I was writing were generic ‘It’s Friday night and we’re in the club’ kind of songs.

It took me a long time to find the confidence to be comfortable with myself and my own stories. But when I found that confidence in myself I finally started to write my very own songs with personal stories and I feel such a need to tell them. Because I know that there are other people growing up now with a similar story like mine that could really use some comforting words.

What is the song/artist that has influenced you the most in your life?
My biggest musical influence is Beyoncé. Without a doubt. From the Destiny’s Child era until Renaissance she has influenced me the most. Her vocal skills, her performances, her vision and work-ethic are all things that inspire me to do what I do and how I do it. 

What was your first experience with Queer music?
What does Queer music mean? When is music Queer? Is it Katy Perry’s “I kissed a girl and I liked it”? Or any Queer person writing music regardless what the song is about? I think it’s a hard thing to define but one thing is very clear to me: when I see how unapologetically Queer both Billy Porter and Lil Nas X are in their music, their videos and their succes it shows me that everything is truly possible. They inspired me to stay true to myself and find my own audience, instead of trying to conform to the masses.

What can we expect from you in the future?
Next to my music I’m also a vocal coach and I love that as well. Lately I have also been coaching Trans singers. I find it so important that the Trans community has a safe space to discover the beauty of their voice and how to use it properly. There is so much talent in our beautiful community and I love to help them develop it. And also: get ready for a lot more songs and personal stories in the near future. 

What’s next for you?
I’m actually going to a 5 day retreat after this interview. I’m going to get some rest, recharge and re-energize. Refocus. I’m mostly just looking forward to putting my phone away, just be in nature and do absolutely nothing. 

If you want to find out more about Jordan and his music, check out his Spotify profile.