At 23, Jordan ‘J Rick’ Christie is a local boy gone global. An underdog that now finds himself the backbone of one of the strongest camps in the world-beating field of contemporary British music. With Essie Gang, and their enigmatic prize-fighter Octavian, he is beginning to reap the rewards of his unfaltering determination; a quality which, he says, came from the adoration he holds for his late uncle, legendary British boxer, Errol Christie.
By trade, Jordan is a producer, and he tells Clash that’s all he has ever wanted to be. But now, touring the world, DJing across London, and recently signing his debut solo project to Warner Records, he finds his position more indefinable.
“I’m a producer, an artist,” he states. “I’m a London boy. I get fucked up. I make music. I can do videos. I just fucking do my thing, but firstly, I’m an artist.”
Like his uncle, Jordan grew up in Coventry, and moved to London as a teenager to single-mindedly pursue the only career path he ever really wanted. Leaving home at 17 was about him finding a place for his music, and for himself, where his creativity would lead to opportunity, and not the scorn of his strictly religious parents.
“That’s why we were so close,” Jordan reflects. “The way that his life went was similar to mine. We both moved out when we were young, and we both went to London to sort the foundations of our careers early. Where my parents’ viewpoint was so different to mine, his wasn’t. And he was a legendary boxer, you know what I’m saying?”
Sonically, the drum-lines and pulsating, quasi-rave instrumentation that Jordan has such close affinity to reflects the scope of his self-determination, but it’s the subtle melancholia he brings to his music that made Octavian’s breakout hits ‘Party Here’ and ‘Hands’ so irresistible.
In 2017, the same year Jordan, his family, and boxing fans around the country lost an idol when Errol passed, ‘Party Here’ was released. It’s a fitting tribute that Jordan’s debut EP, a primarily instrumental project full of substance and heart, is called ‘No Surrender, No Retreat’ - a mantra of the man himself.
Skipping nimbly between orthodox and southpaw, familiar beats and unwieldy melodies, J Rick is ready to go the distance with this music shit, and claim the title in the name the underdog. Don’t look away, and don’t underestimate.
Words: Robbie Russell
Photography: Cosmo Webber
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