NYCS Swag Spotlight Update Jordan Rager

Jordan Rager

“I think country music is at its best when we don’t try to say- I’ll say not just about country music- but about all music, I think music is at its best when we just enjoy what we enjoy listening to […]. It should be that simple when it comes to music.” – Jordan Rager

Back in April 2018, we had the pleasure of interviewing rising artist, Jordan Rager as he was on the brink of a new career move and signing with Riser House Records. Check out our original Swag Spotlight here to learn more about that move, as well as, his backstory. Most recently, we caught up with the singer to chat about his new sound, new music, and what fans can expect from him in 2020.

For the last six years, Rager has been working hard in Nashville to get his music out there and to build his fanbase. Since signing with Riser House, the momentum has picked up, as he is finally able to release the music he is most passionate about. “All I’ve ever wanted to do was put music out that I believe in and have a team of people behind me who believe in that music and I have that now,” he tells us. “2019 was a lot of kinda reintroducing myself to people.”

Over the course of the year, Rager has released five songs that truly personify, who he is as a singer, songwriter, and a performer, including the two most recent tracks “The Wrong Ones” and “Dirt In My Veins.” The former came about by happenstance when the singer joined forces with songwriters, Michael Whitworth and Brent Anderson.

“The three of us were in very different places relationship-wise,” he shares, adding, “We’ve all got this different perspective on relationships at the time of writing this song. That’s kinda the conversation that we’re having that got us on the topic of ‘it takes getting it wrong to get it right,’ that’s the thing we kept going back to.” The trio of songwriters included details of their own experiences in the creative tune. As Rager looked back on the writing experience he decided that “…it was just the perfect formula to write that song that day.”

In regards to “Dirt In My Veins,” the Georgia native delivered a song that is an enticing ode to his hometown. “That song was the first thing that I wrote after signing with Riser House. That was kinda the song that like, kicked off, call it a new direction, a new sound or a new attitude, that was the song that started it because I wrote as honestly as I possibly could about how I feel about my hometown.” After writing the track, Rager decided that he was going to take that approach to all of his music and no longer try to fit a mold.

Although the songs have garnered success, the singer-songwriter admits that it was a scary decision to change up his sound into something that felt more genuine and authentic to him. “If I’m being honest, I was incredibly nervous going into 2019 because I knew that this new music, all five songs that we were going to release this year, I knew that sounded different than what people probably expected from me,” he explains. “I used influences that I had my entire life and for lack of a better term, I kinda got weird on a couple of songs.”

For Rager being transparent and honest in his music and having fans connect with his lyrics and melody is the ultimate reward. “As a writer and as an artist, there’s no greater high than having somebody say ‘I understand completely what you’re saying,’ ‘I’m right there,’ ‘you wrote that song about me,’ stuff like that.”

At this point in his career, Rager is an artist who knows who he is. His vast influences, such as Post Malone, Ed Sheeran, 2000s alternative and punk rock, and even Rock ’n’ Roll, keep his music at the forefront of creativity. He is someone that is going to continue to take risks because he is truly all about the music. Looking ahead, fans can expect a ton of new music in 2020. The singer will also be getting back out on the road to play the songs for his fans. “I’m excited to keep rocking and rolling and to keep building this machine that we’re trying to build!”

To keep up with Jordan Rager follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“The Wrong Ones” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.



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NYCS Swag Spotlight: Jordan Rager

Jordan Rager grew up in Loganville, Georgia, a very small town that didn’t offer much to do.  Yes, he played baseball but from an early age, he believed that music was an absolute dream job. His mother, one of his biggest supporters, would take him to bars and clubs when he was merely 14-15 years old.  That is where Rager cut his teeth, learning to perform for all different people, his mother always sat in the front row and then escorted him out immediately after he got off the stage. “I remember walking off stage that first show and I told her ‘I want to keep doing that’,” he tells us in a recent interview.

After finishing high school Rager decided college wasn’t for him and pursued his music career.  “I really wanted to dig into this music thing and give it my best shot,” he explained.  “I picked up a guitar and started learning how to play and started writing songs.”  He started writing with a few buddies who grew up in surrounding towns and they would carpool to Nashville a few times every month, eventually leading him to make the move permanently when he was 19 years old.  Focusing mainly on songwriting when he first got to town as well as what kind of artist he wanted to be and what he wanted to say, he worked hard to write music every day.

Eventually, Rager was asked to join Justin Moore’s Off the Beaten Path Tour, which gave him his first experience being out on the road. “The coolest thing about Justin is that he is genuinely an awesome dude on and off stage, so I really feel bad looking back now, but I basically shadowed him. I followed him around like a lost puppy because I wanted to learn everything I could from him,” he laughed. Learning not only the way that Moore interacted with his fans but also with the band leader, the crew, and even the vendors at the venue, he made sure everyone felt appreciated, something Rager has taken with him and will never forget.

His latest single “One of the Good Ones” was released earlier this month with Riser House Entertainment.  The nostalgia-filled jam was written by Ross Ellis, Chris Stevens, and James McNair.  Ellis, who he is close friends with Rager, sent him the demo, knowing what a big Atlanta Braves fan, in particular, a Chipper Jones fan he was. “From the first listen I knew it was something I had to have. I’ve never felt that way about a song before. It’s never been a first listen, that’s mine,” he explained. He told us about how it has been a few years since he released music, but now he feels that he has a real grasp on who he is as an artist and “One of the Good Ones” is the perfect reintroduction to that new sound.  “I didn’t know the difference between, ‘Oh that’s a good song’ and ‘Oh that’s a good song for me’. And I think this time around I have a much better idea of what I should and shouldn’t be doing.”

After signing a recording and publishing deal with Riser House Records, Rager talks what it’s like to work closely with his friend and fellow Riser House Records artist, Mitchell Tenpenny. “He is a good bud of mine and I get to watch all angles of his rise to stardom, which is cool and it’s been awesome to see him get going because that dude is immensely talented and one of the hardest workers I know, its great to see a good guy win.” Tenpenny joined New York Country Swag for a Live Swag Session in Times Square back in December.

Looking ahead, Rager is recording a brand new EP with songs that he has written over the past year and is excited to have his fans hear his new music. “I’m excited to get back on the road and kind of reintroducing myself to places I’ve been before and going back and playing some of my favorite parts and playing my new stuff for people. I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks about it and I am hoping for a great 2018,” he tells us.

Be on the lookout from new music from Jordan Rager, be sure to be following him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC!

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