Today we’d like to introduce you to Jordan Coffing.
Jordan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story actually starts in Los Angeles California. My parents were originally from Houston TX but moved to LA to pursue their careers, my father as a musician and my mother as a graphic artist. We were raised in a small beach town called El Segundo, just minutes from the ocean. My childhood was pretty unusual, I grew up going to the studio with my dad and having lots of musicians around the house so naturally, I wanted to be a musician. I sang in choir competitively and performed in local theatre productions.
My sunny California days came to a halt in the middle of my 8th-grade year when my parents decided to move us to Houston to be around more extended family. Needless to say, I and my siblings were not happy about it; I’m pretty sure the myspace account I made, “Not A TX Girl” is still lingering on the internet.
I had a hard time fitting in at school and didn’t really make any friends. All that changed once I made it into HSPVA (The High School for the Visual and Performing Arts). I was surrounded by creative and talented people who to this day are some of my best friends. In school, I took mostly music classes, private voice lessons, theory, music history, piano, and choir. I also took guitar lessons outside of school which is where I got into jazz music. Jazz completely changed things for me, singers such as Betty Carter, Carmen Mcrae, and Ella Fitzgerald, blew my mind. After graduating I decided I wanted to study Jazz music at the University of North Texas in Denton. I heard amazing things about the program and was so excited to dive more into an art form that I had quickly become obsessed with. At UNT I definitely got my butt kicked, but learned a ton and truly honed my craft.
I began writing music in a songwriting class at UNT. Prior to this class, I had not finished a song, the typical crippling self-doubt got the better of me, but the pressure of a deadline and the inspiration from my classmates really helped move things along. I played my music around Denton with a band of some amazing musicians and friends from school who really helped shape the music. After graduating I decided it was time to record these songs, the band and I drove to Houston to record at Wire Road Studios.
Throughout this whole creative process, I was trying to think of a stage name. I knew I wanted one because having some separation between myself as a person and as an artist was important, plus it would make me feel a little less narcissistic when it came to marketing. I landed on the name RHU, which is a variation of a childhood nickname, “Jordy-Roo”(short for kangaroo). I changed the spelling simply because I didn’t want it to be so close to the word “poo.”
After living in Denton for five years I moved to Dallas with my now Fiance who is a saxophonist I met at UNT. I perform my original music as RHU at more intimate venues such as house concerts and listening rooms.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I would say life is never “smooth.” I have dealt with a lot of self-esteem and imposter syndrome issues but have really taken this year to work those things out, therapy is such a great thing, and I think everyone needs it!
RHU – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I like to think my music is very honest and unique. It’s a blend of several styles and has multiple layers for the listener to uncover.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
My belief is that as long as you are happy and doing something you love, you are successful.