Windser Blends Anxiety and Optimism on “Trouble In Paradise” [Q&A]

Jordan Topf is Windser, and we have the pleasure of introducing him to you today. His new single, "Trouble in Paradise," reflects an electric-infused indie pop sound that serves as a reflective mirror for all listeners. The euphoric melody intoxicates your ears while the lyrics remind us of the struggles of being human. Echoing the inner dialogue of Windser himself, the lines "don't you run / don't you run / don't you run / from what you could become / all the trouble in paradise," are energized by a faster-paced rhythm that seamlessly blends anxiety and optimism.

The single is released in anticipation of Windser's upcoming EP. With dreamier production and wistful songwriting, the rising artist introduces a new, more intimate chapter of his catalog.

Ones to Watch: Tell me about who you are as an artist. Who is Windser?

Windser: I started making music as Windser in Spring of 2020. When lockdown hit I needed to hide away and process how crazy things felt. I brought all my guitars and studio gear up to the mountains in Northern California and wrote and recorded my first song "July." It was an incredible release, because it was a direct reflection of how I was feeling at that exact time. We also shot a music video while I was living up there!

Windser is a street in Santa Cruz, California. The street I grew up on. It's a melancholy dreamworld where the redwoods meet the salty ocean air, lost boys, haunting fog, and late night house parties. Those early experiences shaped my sound and still resonate with me to this day.

What's the message behind "Trouble in Paradise." Tell me about the creative process of writing/producing it.

It's a song about my transition to life in Los Angeles. I lived in New York during and after college before coming here to make music and I'll never forget what it felt like to arrive in LA and feel completely lonely in a new place. But no matter how you feel, the sun always shines in Los Angeles. At that particular time I was experiencing this intense contrast of emotions from the move and starting over. But once it sunk in I made peace with the change. "Trouble in Paradise" is my homage to this city for all of its beauty and darkness.

I wrote, produced, and mixed the song at my studio in Echo Park with help from Sean Silverman who played bass on it. It also features live drums by Bryan DeLeon.

Who were your greatest musical inspirations as a child? Who are you favorite musical influences now? Why and how do you think it’s changed how you approach creating music?

When I was a kid my dad showed me classics like Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones, my mom was into folk and jazz music like Joni Mitchell and Miles Davis. I spent my early childhood obsessed with guitar and becoming the best player I could be. I'd lock myself in my room and play for hours and hours; it was love at first sight. Then there was a shift in high school when I started writing songs and fell into the lead singer role of my band at the time by accident. We were really into punk and garage rock and would play coffee shops and record stores around Santa Cruz. At the end of the day I feel very fortunate to have come from a musical family that were cool with my early explorations playing in those bands and skipping school to go on tour.

My taste has evolved a lot since then - lately it's been a lot of Chris Isaak, Mazzy Star, Beck, and newer stuff. I have a playlist I update regularly on Spotify.

 If you had to pick three records to play on repeat for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?

Such a tough question! I'd say, The Velvet Underground & Nico. This record changed me and how I write songs. Lou Reed has always been someone I admire. I'll never forget hearing, "I'm Waiting For The Man," for the first time.

Beck's Sea Change. This album helped me through a lot of different phases of life. It's also produced so beautifully. Shoutout to Nigel Godrich.

Animal Collective's Feels. This record I can't say enough good things about. It's weird in all the best ways. The sounds are underwater… psychedelic. It's a trip. Specifically the song, "Banshee Beat."

How do you think "Trouble in Paradise" introduces the new season of music you have coming?

"Trouble in Paradise" is the next single off my new EP, coming February 2022. It's the most "live" sounding recording Windser has made so far, expect a more fully realized project. The EP has a dreamier mood, layers of vocals, warm guitars, modern rhythms, and folk-inspired story telling.

Is there anything else, pertaining to music or not, that you would like to use this platform to say?

Here are some groups I support:
https://saveourshores.org/
https://fairfight.com
https://www.musicares.org
https://www.blmla.org

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