U of G Student's Debut Album Nominated for Juno
February 06, 2014 - News Release
A University of Guelph student who applied to Canada’s premier music awards on a whim has been nominated for a 2014 Juno award.
Jordan Raycroft, a criminal justice and public policy student, was nominated for Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year. His debut self-titled album, Jordan Raycroft, was among five nominees. The winner will be announced March 30 in Winnipeg.
He had been invited to attend the Juno nominee press conference earlier this week, but was not certain what the invitation meant.
“I thought it could mean nomination, but I kept my hopes low. I didn’t want to be disappointed if it didn’t work out,” Raycroft said.
“It was definitely not something I was expecting when I applied. I submitted my application on the very last day possible. And now, it almost doesn’t seem real.”
He won a 2013 Niagara Music Award for Folk Artist of the Year, and was nominated for two of the Gospel Music Association of Canada’s 2013 Covenant Awards.
“I’m a Christian, so that goes into everything I do, but this album is not just worship songs, but rather, folk music about real-life experiences I’ve had. I just happen to be a Christian,” Raycroft said.
“You don't need to be a Christian to relate to the songs. In fact, most of the people I've played for aren't. My performances are mostly in coffee houses, bars and, last summer, on a train car going through the Rocky Mountains.”
The album, on which he sings and plays guitar, is one he mostly wrote in his dorm room in Johnston Hall. Originally from Welland, Ont., he came to U of G in 2009 without much musical experience.
“I brought my dad’s guitar with me and I started to teach myself how to play.”
“I got a bit more comfortable each day with it. I still tell myself that one day I have to take formal lessons, but I just haven’t had the time.”
Some of his first performances were at the campus Bullring's Open Stage Nights, where he invited his residence friends to hear him. Those performances led to his first show.
“One of the hosts was booking a show in town with Peter Katz and looking for someone to open the concert. He asked me to play. It was a great experience. I was hooked.”
Raycroft has played more than 200 cross-Canada gigs.
“I owe a lot to the University. Many songs I’ve written come from the experiences I’ve had at U of G, and the album cover is a photo I took on campus. U of G has such a talented music community that has been instrumental in developing my sound.”
His back-up vocalists are Rose Brokenshire, a landscape architecture graduate, and engineering student Graham McLaughlin, who also played violin on the album.
Raycroft will graduate in February. He hopes the nomination opens more doors for him and his band.
“I love performing and I’m excited about what the future holds for my music,” he said.
“I hope to do more touring am planning a music video. I love playing music, so I’m hopeful I can do it for a long time.”
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