Rebecca Jordan Smith grew up in a tough love part of Cleveland, Ohio, schooled on her father's vinyl collection, absorbing what she now knows was an eccentric, but essential mix of Aretha Franklin, Joao Gilberto, The Cure, and Tom Petty. She studied classical piano as a kid and taught herself to play guitar.
A stint as a biomedical engineering major in Nashville was short lived. Rebecca moved to L.A. hoping to do something creative and found herself in the role of the accidental actress. She studied Stanislavski and Meisner. She made a few films, most notably as a lead actor in the ensemble cast of "Liberty Heights", written and directed by Academy Award winner Barry Levinson. She was signed as a recording artist to Elektra Records and toured with Lilith Fair, Matchbox 20 and Third Eye Blind. She was then signed to J Records, where she languished in label purgatory. Rebecca eventually came to feel stuck. On instinct, she moved to New York. The chaos was inspiring; one by one she met her bandmates and began playing downtown clubs.
Rebecca's original compositions began to garner attention and recognition followed: the Songwriters Hall of Fame's prestigious Abe Olman Award, an Independent Music Award nomination for Best EP for the self-released "Souvenir", a finalist in the NPR Mountain Stage NewSong competition. Raves too: "If there was ever a mascot for NYC's neo-soul scene, Rebecca Jordan is undoubtedly one of the top contenders, a young torch singer with an appreciaton for the old" (The Deli Magazine, NY)
Music fans and press took notice: performances at The ASCAP Foundation's Kennedy Center New Composer Series, Brooklyn Academy of Music's BAM Cafe, the Mumford and Sons-curated Communion NYC,
After meeting veteran producer Phil Galdston, Rebecca was encouraged to create an album of her own. Together with Phil and her bandmates, they recorded "Asphalt Heart,” nine original songs blending her soul, jazz, Americana, and pop influences.
A music video for "Anchor" was premiered by AFROPUNK and featured by American Songwriter and The Alternate Root.
The song "Record Player" premiered on BBC Radio 2's Weekend Wogan and landed in The Alternate Root's Weekly Top Ten.
Rebecca's songs have been recorded by Prince, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Adrian Younge, Alice Smith, and Isabela Moner, among others.
Rebecca's reputation and experience have led to engagements as a producer in commercial music, a creative manager in music publishing, and most recently as faculty for music arts programs on the campuses of Pace University and NYU.
"Asphalt Heart" is available digitally on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon.
Photographer: Falcon Griffith