At 20 years old, Jordan McIntosh is in an enviable spot being described as Canada’s up-and-coming country music star.
So how does it feel to be in that position?
“It feels pretty good, it’s nice. It’s nice that things haven’t been moving super fast. Each day, each new thing that I get to do is a step up and along the way I’m making great friends and meeting a lot of really cool people,” McIntosh said. “It’s a really cool feeling to have people slowly starting to be familiar with my music and becoming fans. Day by day it just gets better and better.”
It was two years ago as the young singer-songwriter was playing his single That Girl at Dauphin Country Festival in Manitoba, that the reality of his situation set in.
“That was the first time at a show outside of my home area of Ottawa, that the crowd started singing along. The first show outside of the comfort zone, outside of the province, that all of a sudden, during the song there is a quiet chorus, and the audience just took over and started singing it,” McIntosh said. “I just about lost it because I wasn’t expecting that to happen, so far away from home.”
His debut album, Steal Your Heart, was released in April, another new experience for McIntosh.
“The first one, you’ve kind of have been working on it for most of your life,” McIntosh said.
The album draws on experiences from McIntosh’s life in high school, and as recently as eight months ago. Working with multiple producers, the album was recorded partially in Nashville and McIntosh was able to do some recording with fellow country musician George Canyon, out of his High River ranch recording studio.
After bringing McIntosh along on tour, a mentor-style relationship formed with Canyon.
“He kind of took me under his wing. Since then we’ve become close and really good friends. He’s great to work with he’s been around and back so many times, he knows how things work, he is George Canyon, you can’t deny that so getting to work with him is always a huge honour and a massive learning experience as well,” McIntosh said.
Steal Your Heart debuted as the No. 1 Canadian country album, bringing about a sense of relief for the young musician.
“As soon as I hit that No. 1 spot it was like, alright, all the weight is lifted. It was like a sigh of relief, it’s done well already, this is good,” McIntosh said.
The old adage of having your whole life to write your first album and a year to write your second is ringing true for McIntosh right now.
“After your first you have a very small time to figure out what you want to talk about and what you want to say,” McIntosh said. “I think it’s a lot harder writing for your second, third, fourth, fifth album than your first.”
His lyrics come from an honest place, McIntosh said, taking inspiration from directly his life and those around him.
“I’ve always believed if you’re going to talk about it, talk about it, lay it out on the line because the more honest you are, the more the fans and the audience are going to relate to it, connect to it I think,” McIntosh said.
Growing up in the Ottawa area, McIntosh came from a musical family. He would sing in any competition he possibly could before catching his big break.
“Thankfully the right people found me at the right time and here I am starting the beginning of my, hopefully, lifelong career,” McIntosh said.
Catch Jordan McIntosh at the Penticton Peach Festival’s country night, Aug. 4, where he will be opening for Chad Brownlee.
For more information visit www.peachfest.com.