Rising Star Jordy Reimagines Nine Days’ ‘Story of a Girl’ With a Queer Twist (and the Band Is All In!)
When John Hampson of Nine Days heard that someone wanted to interpolate his band’s biggest hit “Absolutely (Story of a Girl),” he was “a bit apprehensive.” “After all, I did end up marrying ‘the girl’ [it’s about],” he tells Rolling Stone. “So the song means something special to me beyond being one of those earworms.”
But then Hampson learned about Jordy, the rising queer pop star who samples “Absolutely” on his single “Story of a Boy,” out Friday. When Hampson met the singer, he was immediately convinced that Jordy was the right person to give the song a new meaning.
Growing up, Jordy would listen to the 2000 classic and change the song’s lyrics to “boy” instead of “girl” as he came to terms with his sexuality. It was his way of connecting to a heterosexual love song but making it his own. “At that age, I yearned to feel free,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I was young and confused and closeted, but listening to music and singing was always my escape.”
“I never felt ‘manly’ enough to be taken seriously if I was listening to rock as a kid,” he adds. “I didn’t feel like I fit in, but to have the original artist supporting me … [and that] really heals that part of my inner child.”
For Hampson, it meant the world that a song that could’ve been “just about some crush,” meant something even deeper. “The idea that ‘Story of a Boy’ might be a cathartic pop music moment was deeply affecting and humbling to me,” says Hampson, who makes a cameo in the song’s video. “I couldn’t be happier to be a small part of something this wonderful.”
The song reimagines the Nine Days hit, and gives it a welcome twist with lyrics that speak to Jordy’s all-too-relatable experience as a queer person coming of age.
Jordy says he hopes the track makes “young queer boys” who listen to it “immediately feel heard, seen, safe, and happy.” “I like to envision queer people my age hear it come on and smile at the immediate familiarity and nostalgia, while also feeling healed from the same childhood experiences I went through,” he says.
“Story of a Boy” is the latest taste of Jordy’s forthcoming LP, Boy, out April 21. The album’s songs spotlight the struggles of “navigating adulthood.” “I’d like to think that each song touches on a different learning experience, and I hope when people listen they hear parts of themselves in it too. Be loud,” he says. “And most importantly, proud.”
And it already has a praising first review: It’s “pretty damn good!” says Hampson. “Jordy is clearly a super talented writer with an amazing voice and sense of melody.”
Over the last few months, Jordy’s been teasing the album with the release of singles such as standout “IDK Shit,” about “faking it ’til I make it,” and “I Get High,” an introspective ballad about resorting to weed to dissociate from the heavy realities of life.
Along with connecting with fans through his music, Jordy has built a fervent TikTok following comprised of queer people who feel seen by his story and welcome oversharing: he doesn’t mind shooting his shot online (see the Chris Olsen TikTok above) or poking fun at himself.
“I am proud of what I have had to overcome as a queer individual and the strength I have attained from being othered,” says Jordy, who’s up for a GLAAD Award for Breakthrough Music Artist this year. “Every kind of person deserves to hear themselves in music.”
Kelly Clarkson Reimagines Gayle's 'Abcdefu' Into a Poweful Divorce Anthem
- Middle Fingers Up