Most artists dream of getting the chance to work with top record producers like David Foster, but when you’re a champion on The Voice, the show’s best-selling artist and extremely kind and gracious like Jordan Smith, the dream quickly becomes reality. When Hello! sat down with the Kentucky native at Toronto’s SoHo Metropolitan hotel to talk about his debut album Something Beautiful, the 22-year-old opened up about a memorable moment he shared with the Canadian music legend that inspired the lead track on his album, “Over the Rainbow.”
“[Executive producers] Roma Downey and Mark Burnett invited me over to their house along with David. We were having dinner and in true fashion of David Foster we ended up around the piano,” recalled Jordan. After singing a few songs, the musicians landed on the famous Wizard of Oz ballad and instantly agreed that the song needed to be on the album. “It was just so perfect and felt so right.”
Here, Jordan reflects on working with David, using music to inspire others to believe in themselves and how he and his fiancé Kristen Denny are finding time to plan their wedding in the face of his ever-growing success.
What is the biggest thing you learned working with David? I've always been inspired by him and respected him as a musician, so when I found out I was going to work with him I was floored. Once we got into the studio together we meshed so well. Surprisingly, I was never nervous about singing in front of him or anything like that. I learned from him how dedicated you have to be, not just to be good and sound good on the album, but to be good and be authentic.
Your songs are so inspirational. What's it like to have that kind of impact on people? I get messages every day from people on Twitter or Facebook about how they were inspired by something I sang or just me being myself and being able to do that on television. That's one of the best parts of this job. It's what keeps me going. Performing is great and I love it, but it's a lot of hard work. At the end of the day there are things that make it worth it like the thought that there are people who are at home who can really be touched by this and it can make a difference in someone's life. That's really the motivating factor for me. Music for me is just about the message that it carries.
How is wedding planning going? Well we're planning on getting married this summer. Someone was saying earlier how 2016 is already shaping up to be a bigger year than 2015, which was the biggest year of my life! There's just so much happening but we're planning as much as we can and we have really supportive friends and family.
Has it been difficult to find time for romance? It's a learning process for us to figure out how all this works. We're navigating through unchartered territory with all the attention I'm getting and all the opportunities that come up. But we find time. We make sure we talk every day. It's definitely a balance of being able to communicate and learning a whole new set of ways to make our relationship work.