Set 23 | IAMYU
The ongoing expansion and development of Deep Ellum and the rapid arrival of new venues across North Texas has helped to lay the groundwork in Dallas for it to be recognized as a viable music scene on the national stage once again. Many in the local music community can feel the potential energy in the air. As the community in Dallas continues to grow, the scene and the people in it have become arguably tighter. Jordan Edwards of IAMYU is observant of this fact, perhaps more so than others, because the ambient music he makes has led him into collaborations with musicians across a wide spread of genres. “I myself really identify with the Dallas music scene because there are so different facets to it, but it’s so small… I think that’s really important for that to be a community and that there be those parallels drawn between each other.” While other cities such as New York, LA, and Chicago thrive in a competitive atmosphere, Dallas is unique in the fact that it tends to favor collaboration over competition and has taken on many of the attributes of a small cultural arts community while still functioning within the structure of a large city. As a result, we’re left with a Big Town, Small City effect where everyone knows everyone with a minimal degree of separation. In a lot ways, Dallas has had to start over new since the loss of the major record labels in the seventies and the decline of Deep Ellum in the early nineties. Lacking a strong foundation from which to spring off of, many musicians have left Dallas to pursue their music and the ones who have remained behind have embraced the DIY ethic to accomplish their goals. This is a mindset Jordan radiates, “You create your opportunity. If you want something you make it happen, and part of that is stating it and telling yourself I’m going to do this. Really putting that resonance out there.” This approach to playing and recording music is one the Dallas music scene’s greatest strengths. Musicians are not apt to sit around and wait for opportunities to come to them; they’re out there around town every night playing, making connection, and building networks.
“Everyone likes to joke, ‘Don’t Uptown my Deep Ellum,’ but things can’t stay the same and there’s no point for them to stay the same. And you can’t deny that Dallas is a business-oriented city and that money talks here. But I think that’s what’s cool is that even though there’s that status-driven mentality, there’s still room for every kind of music, and it’s inclusive.” Jordan’s flexibility lends itself to his music and is especially evident in the variety of sonic elements he incorporates in his projects. His debut album [self] released in November of last year is infused with echoes of ambient electronica, jazz, hip-hop, and house music. Songs like Moonlight Walk and Dutchies carry with them an undeniable deep soul feeling while songs such as Bouncer and Metronome are strung together in an ethereal pattern of well-developed textures creating a strong mood and atmosphere. When Jordan isn’t in the Tree House (his third floor attic studio) creating music, he is collaborating with other artists around town and performing with House of Reveries. You can often find him at New Math Mondays at Off the Record or DJing at the Mitchell in downtown Dallas on Saturday nights.
You can catch Jordan playing at one of his upcoming shows around Dallas:
May 31st | Sundown at Granada
June 2nd | The Mitchell