Jordan Coaker isn’t letting success stop him from learning. In fact, the front man for Waterfront Fire is counting on making a deep footprint on the music industry by expanding his skill set at College of the North Atlantic (CNA).
Just a week into this semester’s Sound Recording & Production program at Prince Philip Drive campus in St. John’s, Jordan found out he was nominated for five MusicNL awards.
Jordan’s band Waterfront Fire is up for Group of the Year, Bell Aliant Rising Star of the Year and Nickel Music Video of the Year which features their song First Light
. Jordan is also up for Folk/Roots Recording of the Year and Bell Aliant Rising Star of the Year for his acoustic duo Quote the Raven.
“It’s really cool to be nominated among such great bands as Everglow, Repartee, Fairgale and The Fortunate Ones, to name just a few,” Jordan says.
This isn’t the first time Waterfront Fire has been in the spotlight. Last year, the five-piece modern rock band was nominated for three awards and took home Alternative Recording of the Year. Jordan had just joined the band two years previous for the RPM Challenge – an online challenge to create an album of original material in 28 days. They met the challenge and Jordan stayed with the band, leading to their first recording that September – First Light
Unlike the background of many other musicians, Jordan says music wasn’t actually on the radar for him when he was growing up.
“I didn’t really start music until Grade 12; I was a wrestler before then,” Jordan reveals. “My teacher got me into it… she said I should do theatre arts in my last year for my elective. Performing turned out to be what I want to do with my life.”
Indeed, Jordan says at this point in his life, he is prepared to go all in.
“This is the year that I devote myself to only music,” says Jordan. “I am so excited to be part of this industry; I figure the real way to do it is to have your fingers into all of it – lighting, live stage sound, mixing… and I’ve always wanted to produce.”
This led him naturally to Sound Recording & Production at CNA. The program feeds the industry with qualified sound technicians (and musicians), says Scott Hammond, multi-award winning recording engineer and program instructor.
“For many years I’ve seen graduates pop up over and over… every time we travel to a conference the technical crews are made up largely of our grads who provide live sound production, lighting design, stage management, etc.” he says.
“We also have graduates who are touring sound technicians, lighting designers and tour managers and those that work in other areas as well – radio, television and also audio/visual data communications companies. In fact, at this very moment, I have a graduate installing displays and cameras in our recording studio [at the campus] to make for a better experience for our current students. It’s pretty amazing actually, to see it come full circle like that.”
Hammond says it’s particularly exciting when the program has applicants who are active industry players like Jordan.
“Since education can only serve to strengthen a person, it’s exciting to see where things may lead as many self-taught industry veterans too, seek formal education. The trade-off in benefits for the new students is they begin to form connections with industry players like Jordan and others. It’s a win/win situation all around!”
Along with working on music with the band and his acoustic duo, Jordan is still exploring his love of theatre. He was recently in a production of The Sound of Music
, produced by Gussied Up Productions in Carbonear. He will be a guest in the Divas Do Christmas
show at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre this December, and will star in Billy Elliot
this coming February, directed by Jacinta Graham in St. John’s.
“Everything good that has happened in my life has been due to theatre and music so I find myself here at CNA taking the Sound Recording & Production program,” says Jordan. “It’s a natural fit.
“Once I complete this program, I’ll feel like I’ll have some real weight behind me with the credentials and I’ll be a better musician, knowing the technical side of performance – having it all will improve everything.”
Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic