How Majid Jordan Recreated Themselves on New Album 'Wildest Dreams'

The OVO Sound duo talk spicy food, stepping outside their comfort zone, and incorporating Arabic phrases into their exploratory new LP 'Wildest Dreams.'

Majid Jordan posing together for their new album 'Wildest Dreams'

Image via Laith Al-Majali

Majid Jordan posing together for their new album 'Wildest Dreams'

Majid Jordan aren’t scared of the future. When the world came to a screeching halt in 2020, the Toronto-based duo had already mapped out a rough sketch of what they sought to accomplish that year. Plans inevitably changed, but they weren’t worried. Accepting the newfound abundance of time, singer Majid Al-Maskati and producer Jordan Ullman decided there was no rush to release new music. Instead, they used the break from life as a period of growth and reflection.

“It was just a great time to learn a lot and take advantage of being able to sit in the house and educate yourself and be safe,” says Jordan. We had other plans but [changes] happen all the time. You just gotta learn from it and keep it moving.”

After several releases in 2019 that never amounted to a proper album, the OVO Sound duo released the lead single for their third album Wildest Dreams—out October 22—called “Waves of Blue.” It’s a song that aims to redefine the meaning of the colour blue in music. Though the track still sounds like vintage Majid Jordan, the duo has infused more philosophy and depth into their lyrics.

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“Historically in music, blue has certain meanings of sadness,” Majid explains. “But I think we use blue in a different way. ‘Waves of Blue’ is a very uplifting, loving song. On ‘Summer Rain’ the colour blue is very mysterious. So it’s not really like saying, ‘I’m feeling blue,’ it’s just a different way of approaching the same word.”

“When you’re creating music, you’re adapting to what you’re learning and so is your vocabulary,” says Jordan. “The dance between what sounds good and what means something is always happening within that process.”

“That’s how you know you’re attempting to live. Going out of what you’re used to, being willing to take that risk regardless of what your ego, your mind, or even your closest friends are telling you.”

Redefining and recreating is an integral process for Majid Jordan. Their last album, The Space Between, released in 2017 and Jordan says that “If you’re not recreating yourself in four years, I don’t know if you’re living.”

“We’re not really the type of people to sit down and be like, ‘We’re gonna make an album just using this, or just talking about that,’” he adds. “We’re always trying to change and develop the way we think. We don’t really mind taking risks creatively.”

“That’s how you know you’re attempting to live,” says Majid. “Going out of what you’re used to, being willing to take that risk regardless of what your ego, your mind, or even your closest friends are telling you.”

Majid Jordan posing together for their new album 'Wildest Dreams'

The time off from everything in 2020 allowed Majid Jordan to step outside their comfort zones as well, both musically and spiritually. Their first two albums were largely self-produced, with few collaborators and producers, while this new one was created with a breadth of new faces behind the scenes. Among the features on the album are Swae Lee (on opener “Dancing on a Dream”), Diddy (on “Sway”), and OVO boss Drake (on “Stars Align”).

They explained it as finding the balance between trying new things and maintaining their identities.

“It’s kind of like a philosophy,” says Jordan. “Not changing yourself, the core of who you are but all these things around are changeable, right?”

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Some of these values come from learning experiences during the creating process while others stem from their respective upbringings, namely that of Majid, who grew up in Bahrain. His family still lives there, but visa issues, along with the ongoing pandemic, make it difficult for him to see them. Still, he tries to infuse some parts of his Bahraini identity into the music.

“I like to read in Arabic. I like to speak Arabic,” Majid says. “There’s one phrase that we have on [Wildest Dreams] where it goes, ‘I remember when I used to bathe in the comfort of your shade.’ That’s a very Arabic phrase, so I don’t know if anyone would say it that way in English.”

“We feel the pressure, kind of like eating spicy food.”

Sayings in different languages almost always lose their meaning when they’re translated, something Majid finds interesting about language. The phrases can lose their nuance and the depth of the lines can get lost in the listener’s ears if they don’t read into it. Majid’s fine with it—they’re almost like easter eggs for himself when he’s writing and playing the songs.

Ultimately, Majid Jordan want their music to change lives, though not solely through their music. Having been cooped for over a year, Jordan says it’s time to start travelling again to meet more people “and incubate what we did for other people.”

Majid Jordan posing together for their new album 'Wildest Dreams'

Down the line, Jordan wants to open up a studio. Both Majid and Jordan want to open up more doors for women in producing, citing a shameful statistic that only 2 percent of producers are women.

“We want to give women access to resources they didn’t have before, with which they can represent their voices fully,” explains Majid. “A dream of mine would be to be able to send someone from Bahrain to an art school, whatever it may be, to develop their art.”

With this new era of Majid Jordan comes an evolution of creativity, character, and maturity. There are certainly expectations that have to be met every day, but the duo isn’t breaking a sweat.

“We feel the pressure, kind of like eating spicy food,” concludes Majid. “I’ve always been scrutinized by acting or speaking a certain way. We just want to perform to the best of our ability. If it results in a hit, great. If it changes someone’s life, great. If it disappears and no one listens to it, great. What’s the worst that can happen?”

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