WORDS BEN MACDOWELL - IMAGES COURTESY OF LORDIN
West London-born Lordin grew up listening to a long list of musical icons, from Luther Vandross and Alicia Keys to Destiny’s Child and Whitney Houston. Their influence, alongside his passion for writing and creating music, cemented his future aspirations from an early age. He was determined, and maybe even destined, to be a performer. After attending the performing arts school, Lordin landed his first role in the West End show, Motown, before more recently landing a role in the new critically acclaimed musical, &Juliet. But when he’s not serving up musical delights on the West End stage, Lordin is laying the foundations for his very own, independent musical career, seeking to follow in the footsteps of those that influenced him from the beginning.
His latest project is the carefully crafted Lovesick, in which the singer-songwriter up-picks love in all its guises. Eclectic and heartfelt, the work successfully calls upon Lordin’s experiences to create a body of work that explores the universal feeling. Admittedly, few are candid enough to speak about it openly and directly about love but here, we sit down with Lordin to unpick the heartache that influenced Lovesick.
Ben MacDowell: Give us the backstory of your latest project.
Lordin: Last year I went through a break-up and I found myself continuously writing songs without any intention of creating a project. When I was ready to release new music, I had so many songs and ideas to choose from that I decided to work on an EP that eventually became Lovesick. I wanted to work with different producers and in different studios to elevate my sound. It took me a while to establish what worked and what didn’t, but I’m really happy with what I ended up with.
B.M: This EP is all about love. What does love mean to you?
Lordin: I used to have a weird relationship with the idea of ‘love’. My parents broke up when I was five, and I didn’t realise how much that affected me and my relationships until I got much older. I never used to think it was that important, but as time went by, I realised the importance of love. That isn’t just in terms of relationships but in life. There are so many different versions of love; you can love your job, love your friends and most importantly - love yourself. Love is everywhere, the more we can give and allow ourselves to be open to it, the happier we will allow ourselves to become.
B.M: Lovesick was born out of a break-up. Does that person know that this record is about them / that experience?
Lordin: This person does know that the songs are about them. I played the songs to him before I released them out of respect, and we get on well now so it wasn’t a problem. Obviously, it wasn't nice for him to hear, but he’s also in the entertainment industry, luckily he understands as an artist that you have to be honest and speak on things that are personal to you. Interestingly, the songs aren’t just about one person.
B.M: Oh really?
Lordin: Yes. When I write, I draw inspiration from past relationships and sometimes just a general theme that reminds me of different stages of my life. I have different partners and situations to speak on.
B.M: What are your tips for handling a break-up?
Lordin: I would say surround yourself with your good friends and family. I have been through many break-ups and tried different approaches. Eventually, it's inevitable to go through the going out and drinking loads stage, but long term I found this didn’t help me; I would get myself into more trouble.
B.M: So even though it is part of the process, it shouldn't be the way out of a break-up...
Lordin: Exactly. For me, I find working on yourself and connecting with yourself again is really beneficial. It allows time to evaluate how you dealt with the break-up, what you could improve in relationships, what you need to do to make yourself happier in life, etc. I found that, eventually, the process becomes deeply therapeutic, and putting my all into music and work really helped me get through that tough time.
B.M: Is writing about a break-up a cathartic experience?
Lordin: For sure! Writing this project felt like holding up a big mirror in front of myself, showing my flaws and saying what I need to improve. Also, it made me observe things within the relationship on the flip side, which I didn’t realise or notice before. It’s so hard to work out what's going on in your head sometimes, but when you write it down or put it into a song and listen from an outsider's perspective, everything makes sense and it’s a really cathartic form of self-evaluation.
B.M: How does it feel listening back to those songs?
Lordin: Every-time I listen to the opening track, “Burnt”, it makes me sad because I remember feeling that low and it was horrible. What’s crazy now, is that I wrote that song only a couple of months back and I’m in a much better place. It proves that whenever you feel down, you can overcome it in time and eventually it will pass.
B.M: Which is the track on the EP that means the most to you and why?
Lordin: Personally, the closing song “Fight” means a lot. It’s where I’m at my most vulnerable. I open up about learning who I am through the setbacks and rejection and feeling strong within myself. After everything I’ve been through, I am still willing and open to fight for what I want and I’m not afraid or embarrassed to do so. When I listen to the song, it makes me feel empowered and I hope people resonate with that.
B.M: What’s next for you?
Lordin: As time goes by, I can feel myself growing as an artist and I have a better understanding of who I am and what I want to say in my music. I would love to work with different people and maybe get into writing for other artists as well. However, performing will always be my first love! I had a lot of gigs planned but unfortunately, they have all been cancelled due to the current pandemic. When the theatres reopen, I will be performing in &Juliet until October at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London.
FOLLOW LORDIN ON INSTAGRAM