A Q&A With the Still Standing Song Contest Promotion Winner Matt Jordan

By Matt Jordan, Jarrett Hartness, and Dustin Herring
Interview by American Songwriter

Matt Jordan is the American Songwriter Still Standing Song Contest Promotion winner for his song “Boulder.” American Songwriter caught up with Matt to get the story behind his resilient lyrics. 

How long have you been songwriting? 

I started writing songs when I was in high school, so technically for about 15 years. But I’ve only been serious about it for about seven years. 

Why did you enter American Songwriter’s Song Contest? 

I have entered a handful of songs in other American Songwriter contests in the past. I’m a huge fan of the publication and the contests are a cool opportunity to not only potentially get some exposure if you place, but also just to see how your songs stack up against other stuff out there. There are so many great writers writing songs all across the country, it’s very validating when you place in a contest like this. 

What was the inspiration behind your song, “Boulder”?

One of my co-writers, Jarrett Hartness, and I were talking one day about how we just feel like we have something to prove, in general, but especially in the music industry. We both feel like a lot of people have kind of doubted our abilities our whole lives. We were just talking about that and I said something like ‘I have a real chip on my shoulder’ and he said ‘Man, I’ve got a boulder on mine.’ In that moment we knew that needed to be a song, and we knew our buddy Dustin Herring needed to be a part of it. So we scheduled a write and the three of us wrote it together. I think it’s just something all three of us can really relate to, and hopefully other people can too.

Who are your all-time favorite songwriters and why? 

I’d probably have to say Jackson Browne is my favorite lyricist of all time. Just the way he tells stories and the seemingly effortless poetry in the way he rhymes words and turns phrases is a masterclass in the art of songwriting to me. But I’m also hugely influenced by Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty and John Mellencamp… All that great American Rock stuff from the 70’s and 80’s. 

Are you planning on releasing any new music anytime soon? 

Yes! I’m in the middle of a pretty consistent release schedule right now. I’ve put out a number of singles this year and I have another one coming out on November 17th!

What would you tell other artists who are considering entering the contest?

I’d encourage anyone to give it a shot. There’s no real downside to it and like I said, it’s a good way to see how your songs stack up against other talented writers who are a part of it. Having a panel of judges who know the craft and have worked in the industry validate your songs, when they’re reviewing hundreds or more other songs in the same contest, can really help understand if you have what it takes to write at a higher level. 

Listen to the winning song below:

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