The deacon of funk John Gordon returns to BuzzMusic, this time taking a more in-depth listen into his track "Missing me" off his recent EP 'Luv Junkie.' With an experienced and personable background in the industry, John Gordon went from hiding his talent in fear of "messing up" to venturing into neo-soul jazz bands and eventually into his solo R&B career with nothing but class.
His recent hit "Missing Me" is said to be one of those expressive songs written slightly under the influence in the middle of the night, and getting hit with a wave of emotion surrounding post-breakup regret. John Gordon blends the likes of nostalgic and pure R&B with timeless jazz grooves that speak fluently with our feelings.
"Missing Me" opens with a mid-tempo drum break establishing the mix of R&B and jazz from the very beginning. John Gordon begins serenading us with personal lyrics of wishing he had put more effort into a relationship, jam-packed full of those post-breakup thoughts that pitch camp in the corners of our mind.
While the supporting instrumentation remains incredibly soulful, especially with textured brass elements and layered harmonies from the Three iii's (Cori Robinson, Nophi Mitchell, and Danni Gee), which evens out the limitless passion that "Missing Me" strikes us with. John Gordon's songwriting pierces right through this track, exhibiting his fearless approach to creating while tying in the soul that R&B should always provide. John Gordon serves us those debilitating emotions and expresses himself through grooves that reach into our hearts. "Missing Me" definitely isn't a track to scroll past.
Be sure to check out "Missing Me" here.
Hey John Gordon, a warm welcome back to BuzzMusic! After taking a deeper listen to your song “Missing Me”, we’re incredibly moved by your precise lyricism surrounding breakups. What helped you write and conjure up these emotions to perfect your message within “Missing Me”?
I’m sentimental to a fault. Give me an opportunity to walk down memory lane and I will. So “Missing Me” began late at night, after being out drinking with friends, coming home alone and wanting to text somebody I shouldn’t. That person you never really got over. So what helped me conjure up those emotions? REAL LIFE. I still wonder if he misses me.
We’ve heard that within your song “Missing Me”, John Gordon was accompanied by the Three iii’s and their beautiful brass and background vocals. Why did you want to incorporate these jazzy elements within your song, did you have a specific sound in mind prior to creating?
I had this retro-soul, jazzy, torch song with a touch-of-Sharon & The Dap Kings-vibe in mind for this tune. From the start, I wanted this to tug at you and make you remember the love that never quite worked out. Because that’s how I was feeling. And when I brought it to Anthony Robustelli and David Innis, my producers, it really came to life in such a bigger way than I had originally imagined.
So to clarify, the “Three iii’s” are actually my dear friends and background singers, Cori, Nophi and Danni. They sing with me whenever I perform live and for this song, yes, I wanted that live feeling. I wanted to add that Motown girl group sound, Martha & The Vandellas, The Supremes. Each of those ladies has a unique tone but they all blend well together. And I love to croon. Soulful crooners also have soulful backup singers. So they are an integral part of the sound.
Anthony, came up with the horn arrangement, which really takes the song to an unbelievable climax. Sure, we could have programmed it all and saved time and money. But we all agreed, live horns were going to add that sense of strength, drama and authenticity that you can’t get from programming. Those horns are KILLER! Shout out to Paul Brandenberg, Robert Susman and Dave Mullen for bringing the brass!
John Gordon is said to have much experience within the industry, from being a gospel singer, in a neo-soul jazz band and venturing off into your own solo career. What lessons have you taken away from your journey that helped shape who you are as an artist today?
Always come from a genuine place. People know when you’re faking it. But when you sing from a vulnerable, genuine, truthful place and you believe what you’re singing, the audience will be right. there. with. you.
Surrender to the flow. Performing is just like praying or meditation for me. It’s spiritual. It’s the most profound feeling for me and I’m always trying to get back to that feeling when I’m singing. When I let go and surrender to the flow of the music, I find that the ultimate connection with the music AND the audience. But it’s a great metaphor for life, as well. When I let go and stop fighting or struggling for what I want in life, those things come to me more easily.
Do what you love. Follow your gut and do what makes you vibrate from the inside out. In those rare instances when I had to take a break from singing, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t being me. I need to sing, to write, to perform, even if I’m not making money. I’m lucky to have figured out what my gifts are and what makes me happy. Isn’t that why we’re all here? So I do music for the LOVE of it, not for the fame or the money. I’ll always do it.
You’ve mentioned that living in NYC has helped you see the struggle that many people from different communities endure. How does John Gordon give back to people in need, and would you say that your “giver” mentality ties in with your music?
Giving back has been a part of my DNA for a very long time. From service projects in college to raising money for AIDSWALK NY and donating my time and money to organizations like CityHarvest, God’s Love We Deliver, Ali Forney Center, the Human Rights Campaign, Immigration Equality and many others. We are a country of so much excess and yet there are people struggling to just get a meal or live decently. Don’t even get me started on the erosion of rights and the political system in our country. If everybody did one thing, took on just one cause to help someone else, this would be a much better country. Ok, I’m off my soapbox.
I’m currently promoting donations to the MusiCares Covid-19 Relief Fund to assist musicians struggling during this pandemic. We need music and creators more than ever right now.
What's next for you?
“Missing Me” is the debut single from my upcoming EP, Luv Junkie. So expect more music coming really soon. I’m working out how to perform online and which platforms will be the best but I do want to share this music live. There’s nothing better.
And I’m still writing new material. I’ve been listening to a lot of house music lately. It would be fire to write a house joint.