The Chatham Arts Council is investing in artists through our Meet This Artist series, introducing you to 12 Chatham County artists each year in a big way. The fine folks at Hobbs Architects in downtown Pittsboro are powering our Meet This Artist series this year. Architecture is art, and the Hobbs crew values art in our community. So, take a look. Meet your very inspiring neighbors. Meet musical artist Jordan Pickett.
It’s a scorching July day in Silk Hope, North Carolina, and the air is thick with the scent of peaches and the spirit of genuine southern charm. Meet Jordan Pickett, a 20-year-old Christian country singer and songwriter, whose passion for music and unwavering commitment to his beliefs have captivated hearts far beyond his years. Dressed in a classic plaid shirt tucked into a pair of blue jeans, Jordan exudes an aura of humble charisma as he sits outside Howard’s Farm and Mema’s Fruit Shack off of Hwy 64. His striking blue eyes squint with sincerity, complementing an endearing asymmetric smile. Jordan speaks on the love for his community and on staying true to his roots. But beneath the surface of this carefree scene is a young man with an unyielding determination to make the most of his musical talents.
Thank you for coming by to chat with me. So, you were working this weekend? Where have you been performing?
Yeah, so, Friday, I got the chance to go back up to Deckerz Bar and Grill in Myrtle Beach, me and my bass guy in my band, Dylan Wishon. He was there with me performing. We left that night, woke up Saturday, and had the opportunity to perform for Saints & Sinners Tavern, which is a great new place–used to be known as Baxter’s, but now they’ve renovated it. Yesterday, they were using their location as a place for filming the new Moonshiners TV show coming soon to the Discovery Channel, “The Dealer Life”. They had a motorcycle benefit ride called Bootlegger’s Run and we had the honor to be a part it this year. And then, of course, we had church this morning, which was a great blessing.
So do you play at church as well?
Yes, ma’am, I do. I play piano, and I also sing a couple songs every Sunday. I am the music director for my church, Mount Vernon Global Methodist Church. We’re just having a good time praising the Lord together. I love it!
When did you start playing guitar and singing?
Well, my Grandpa passed away in 2017, and that was when I wrote my first song. I kinda uncovered my outlet for emotions and also my gift from God of music, writing, and playing. Didn’t know I really had it ‘til that time. So, I guess, about four years or so, I’ve been playing and singing out for the public and doing this thing.
As far as my band goes, I put that together this year. That’s been another step in the music world. It’s another learning curve for me. I’m always trying to surround myself with people that are better than me so I can learn from them, and just figuring out that next step in order to get better. This year, it was forming a band. Our debut performance was at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, as I was nominated for the “Entertainer of the Year” award with the CCMAs.
Wow. That’s incredible!
Yeah, CCMAs (Carolina Country Music Association) is a music community that I have been blessed to be a part of for a few years now. Every month, Sweet Tea Carolina Country hosts an “Artist Showdown” where they spin upcoming artists on the radio and the listeners vote for their favorite. By winning your month based on fan votes, you get the invite to the House of Blues for the awards ceremony. So everyone be ready to vote for Jordan Pickett!
Did you listen to a lot of music growing up?
Yeah, so, my influences, I guess you could say, have always been classic country. My dad, he’s got memories of him and his dad, spinning Don Williams CDs on repeat when they’d go on road trips together. I love Don Williams to this day because of that–listening to stories of their time and the music. I have similar stories of me and my dad with a Randy Travis CD. He had one that stayed in the van. We would listen to that all the time. Every time we got in the van that Randy Travis CD was on.
I have wonderful memories of being in the truck with my dad as a kid, listening to country. So much of the draw of country music is about the storytelling. Do you return to those themes in your own songwriting?
Yeah! Actually, one of the latest songs I’ve got going around is called “Feels Like a Memory.” I wrote it simply about missing home, but keeping in mind soldiers who fight for our country, those who have fought and gave it all, and how a lot of their time is spent away from home and family. So, I tried to put my mind in a soldier’s boots and wrote about what I might be thinking and feeling. The Maverick Radio NC was the first station to air it and I am grateful for their support. B93.9 #1 for New Country | Home of the Bobby Bones Show also picked up on it and has actually played that for the last month after the interview I did with them as the “Carolina Country Artist Spotlight”. It landed me a performance at Koka Booth Ampitheater and gave me a lot of exposure around here. I had a lot of friends reach out to say they heard me on the radio. They didn’t really know what I did, but they do now!
You’ve got a lot of the Chatham community behind you, and your church community too, I’m sure, are all rooting for you. What are your ambitions? Do you see yourself going all the way with music as a career?
You know, I’ve had a lot of talks with myself, and I’ve had a lot of talks with God, and I’ve had a lot of talks with my parents as well about what the future holds. I guess the short answer is, we really don’t know. As much as I’d like to plan out my life, I’ve given my life to God. I just believe wherever he takes me, I’ll go.
Yes, I’ve got dreams and aspirations of what I might want to do, but I’m also 20. I don’t know what I’m gonna do! Even though I’ve booked myself out a year ahead, I live my life a day a time. I do love music. I love singing at church, and I love singing out at the bars–I mean, I don’t drink; it’s not my lifestyle, but it’s a good feeling when I can get a whole crowd out there singing “I’ll Fly Away” at the end of the night.
So, maybe I’ll make it big one day, but maybe I’ll just stay here in Silk Hope and do music the way I’ve always done it. The reason I’ve had so many conversations is I’ve seen so many people who have what I have right now, and they go to Nashville, because where everyone says you’re supposed to go to be big, rich, and famous; its known by the world to be music city! But their whole life changes, sometimes for the good, but sometimes the focus on music and their purpose, the reason they went there to begin with, goes away. I’ve always feared that, but I’ve always been confident in my roots of home and where I come from. My goal is to do music, and to make enough money, and be a family man. I think a lot of people struggle to have all that together.
Well, in the immediate future, you’ll be playing a very local gig in Chatham County at MOSAIC on August 25, where folks can check you out.
Of course! Well, you know, I got that call a while back and decided to book it. It’s a little bit of a funny story, ’cause I booked it as a band gig, and I didn’t even have a band together yet! I was like, “I’ll figure it out! I’ll be there!” I’ve worked really hard on getting the band together and getting everybody gelled and in sync. This is a great opportunity to showcase that to my hometown. I’m really excited for it. It’s a great big stage overlooking a beautiful lawn, with more than enough room for anybody that wants to come out. It’s gonna be an awesome time!
Jordan Pickett is staying busy and booked! To learn more about him and his band, visit his website, where you can find links to his social media and follow his upcoming performance dates. And here’s where you can check out the 2023 events at MOSAIC Family Commons, including Megan Doss and special guest Jordan Pickett on August 25.