Say what you will about Drake, but the man can curate a fresh and exciting roster.
And sitting neatly within that roster lies a hardworking yet unassuming duo by the name of Majid Jordan, consisting of singer Majid Al Maskati and producer Jordan Ullman.
But Drake has always flirted with the downtempo and dreamy in his music, his OVO Sound artists flesh it out with albums that are well-constructed sensual delights.
Majid Jordan put out The Space Between in late-2017, an album that revels in ambiguity, thanks to lyrics by Majid and an expansive palette that blossoms with each song.
It's with their live performances that the duo are able to bring that unique and dense atmosphere to their fans in real life. And yet, despite the hushed nature of their music, they've always managed to concoct pure intimate magic within bustling festivals. There's no demands made by them before each show, because their music is inviting enough.
Before they perform at Good Vibes Festival 2018, we speak to the duo themselves about their live shows, The Space Between and their evolving identity.
The Space Between has been out for half a year — after performing songs from it in shows, what has changed about your perspective on the album?
Majid: It's still very fresh, performance wise. Depending on the show/environment were playing we like to experiment with how we bring songs into the set.
Right now we're doing a very cool live version of OG Heartthrob that marries the visual elements into it. We like taking those moments and building on them.
Jordan: When you re-edit songs from "The Space Between" it gives us new life to a project we've been very close to for the last year. It allows people to see the depth of that project and to explore songs in a new light. It keeps it fresh for us as well as the listeners.
It features an unmistakably dreamy atmosphere. How have you been able to translate that onstage?
Jordan: I feel like we have the best team in the industry. We have people who are super passionate about visuals and sound.
When you have an audio-visual experience that really works together, it synergizes on stage shows. Keeping those elements as important as one another leads to a great performance.
It's also constructed entirely within the OVO Sound crew, with contributions by dvsn and PARTYNEXTDOOR and mixing work by Noah "40" Shebib. What has been the most empowering thing working with them?
We get to rely on all of our combined experience. And we know that we are all here to provide our strongest abilities for ourselves and one another.
Being a singer of Middle Eastern descent, you've mentioned your admiration for Fatima Al Qadiri and how she is an inspiring figure for women in the Middle East.
How integral is your Middle Eastern identity to you as an artist, and how has it guided your songwriting under Majid Jordan?
Majid: I think the more we are going around the world and meeting people the more you realize that it doesn't really matter who you are or where you're from. As people we gravitate to things that we love.
Fatima Al Qadiri, I like her music regardless of where she's from — she just happens to be from a place where there aren't many females artists at the level doing the things that she does. I discovered her music first and discovered her background after that.
I love knowing that she's from that part of the world but it wasn't like "oh she's from the Middle East, I'm from the Middle East. I like her." But rather that her music is amazing and what she is doing is amazing. Big ups to her.
My background isn't something I'm thinking of every day. It's a part of me but it's not something I'm consciously bringing into the studio. A lot of my musical identity comes from Toronto. That's where I found music.
My Middle Eastern identity is something that is attached to me through language. I speak the language and understand the culture because I was born and raised there. Through my phrases and sentencing that may be how it has guided my songwriting.
Words like "dreamy", "sensual", and "immersive" have been used to describe your music, but what have been the weirdest descriptors writers/fans have used to talk about Majid Jordan?
Jordan: I saw a really cool comment I read on one of our videos. Someone said that "Majid Jordan sounds like driving a classic car through the universe." I don't know about weirdest but I think that's really cool.
What can fans expect from your show in Malaysia?
Majid: The best day ever.
Jordan: A new universe.
Majid Jordan will be performing at Good Vibes Festival 2018. More details here.