If you came along to our fifteenth issue launch event over London Fashion Week Men’s, you might have had the luck of meeting Jordi Whitworth, the multi-talented (and incredibly nice) British musician and model who is on the ascent, and not just in the UK, but throughout North America.
Known for his role in five-piece boy band, Overload (a 2014 X Factor finalist), Jordi is embarking on his solo career and has just released his first single, Fire. You can also catch Jordi on E4’s Stage School – the reality television show set at D&B Academy of Performing Arts.
In between his filming schedule, studio time and preparing for his headlining tour in the fall, we caught up with Jordi to talk style, going solo, the number '45' and his brand new single.
Hi Jordi, thank you for coming to our fifteenth issue launch, and with such a busy schedule. Did you go to a lot of London Fashion Week Men’s events?
Thank you for having me it was a great night. I wasn’t able to attend many shows this season because of filming, but last season I attended quite a few shows and it was amazing to see such standout personality in the clothing and I also met so many interesting people.
What was your favourite show last season?
I don’t have a specific favourite, but I am always a fan of any designer that has the courage to do something different. I am that type of guy that would walk into a store and look for the piece that most people would never consider.
Congratulations on your transition into a solo artist. How has the journey been?
The journey has been amazing so far! It is something I definitely prefer as every decision I now make comes from me. At first it can be a little intimidating because when you are in a band, you have four other guys to back you up in case you make a mistake or forget a line, but when you are a solo artist, it is just you on that stage and there is no hiding mistakes. But now that I am a solo artist, I am able to focus on the music that represents me and the style that works best for me. Unlike when I was in the band, I am now involved in every aspect of the recording process, from writing the song, to producing – it’s a great feeling knowing that I am finally able to share with my fans who I am.
Tell us about Fire…
So, Fire is my new and first ever single as a solo artist. The concept behind the song is two people meet each other for the first time and instantly catch each other’s attention creating an intense bond between the two. I think everyone in their life has experienced this type of feeling with someone before, whether it was short-lived or something that turned into a relationship. I wanted to release something that people would love to turn on and dance to, but something that also had meaning behind the lyrics.
Listen to Jordi Whitworth’s Fire on Spotify:
You recently toured North America to promote Fire. What was your top city to visit?
I would have to say my favourite city is Los Angeles because I love the Cali lifestyle. There is this feeling that everyone is part of the same line of work or trying to fulfil their dreams, and that makes things more welcoming. Every city I visited had their own unique qualities that made them great places to visit, but Los Angeles is just one of those places I could visit a hundred times and never get tired of it. But one thing I don’t think people quite realise is the truly massive size of the city; it just seems to go on in every direction you look.
Did you always want to be a musician? How did you get started?
Surprisingly I never had intensions on becoming a musician when I was younger as it wasn’t something I was ever brought up learning about, but when I got scouted for the boy band Overload I knew it was a hidden passion I had found. After I started performing, I instantly knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. At first I was a bit nervous because I thought I was starting this dream too late in life, but one thing I realised and one thing I always want my fans to take away from my career, is that you can start to follow your dream at any age— you just need to work hard and surround yourself with people who will continue to push you towards your goals.
X Factor – is it defining or a stepping-stone?
X Factor was definitely a stepping-stone for me and I value the lessons I learned while being part of the show. As I have continued to grow in this industry, I [have] realised that I don’t just need X-Factor to give me my shot and that goes for anyone. I think people get caught up thinking it can only happen nowadays if you go on a show like that.
You performed in front of 24,000 people at one of the most renowned stadiums (Wembley) in the world. What was that like?
Well, considering that was the first time I ever did a performance, it was the most overwhelming and thrilling experience of my life [laughs]. It is hard to explain that feeling, but it is that feeling that drives me to keep performing and recording. My goal as an artist is to perform live in front of fans as much as possible.
Not only are you killing it musically, you also star on E4’s Stage School and have been invited back for a second season. What’s a typical day like when filming? Do you have a stylist, or do you style yourself?
So, because the show is based around the performance school D&B, we have to wear ‘school blacks’, so it's pretty easy to put an outfit together [laughs]. The show is wicked; I love filming with the cast and the crew. I do love a bit of drama in the show.
Describe your style…
If I were shopping with my mates, we would go into a shop and they would be the ones saying ‘you can’t wear that, it’s too loud'; that would be the item I would wear. I think my style is quite out there at times, but in a modern-day fashion sense. What is the point if we are all walking around wearing the same thing?
And what’s the story behind your tattoos?
All of my tattoos have special meanings behind them. My favourite is the one on the top of my back; it is angel wings with the number ‘45’ in the middle. It is really important to me because angel wings are a symbol that my family and I use all the time, and the number ‘45’ is my motocross number that I grew up racing with. It is a constant reminder to stay grounded and that there is a life outside of this crazy world of entertainment.
If someone wanted to replicate the ‘Jordi Whitworth' blonde locks, what do they need to do?
[Laughs] Go to my stylist Ross Fraser at Collections Hair in Weybridge. He is a wicked stylist and [a] good friend. But my hair naturally grows really fast, so there is no point in me trying to keep it short. People are always surprised to find out how little time I actually spend on my hair in the morning. Most of the time I use some dry shampoo and some hairspray that Ross gave me, and I let it just do what it wants.
You’re getting ready to tour the UK. Where are you most looking forward to gigging?
I think all over the UK is going be a crazy experience because I have groups of fans scattered throughout the country, so it will be nice to finally meet them all and perform my own music. Many of them have been on this journey with me for so many years, and I want them to know that they are the reason I love what I do. So now it is time to bring the music to them and thank them for sticking by my side for so long – I love you all.
Any other plans in the works?
This year has been absolutely crazy for me in the best ways. I have just been given the go ahead on a main movie role, but I’m not allowed to give too much away at this time, but more on that soon…
Jordi Whitworth will be headlining a ten-city tour this fall, and on August 5th Jordi, Ryan Robertson, and Ollie Garland will be performing together at the O2 Islington in London as a one-off Overload reunion night. For more details, click here.
All photographs by Lhoycel Marie Teope