By Cameron Lee
May 9, 2022
In 2015, when budding R&B singer-songwriter Dexter Jordan first met Dreamville songstress Ari Lennox at a music showcase in Charlotte, he probably didn’t imagine sharing the same stage with her down the road.
Over the weekend, Jordan, who’s been a fan of Lennox’s music even before they met, performed with the Grammy-nominated singer in her hometown in Washington, DC, at Broccoli City Festival. The festival featured performances by Wale, Summer Walker, Wiz Kid, Gunna, Lil Durk, and was headlined by the DC native herself.
Jordan recalled memories of his favorite song by Lennox, “Backseat,” and his emotions during the set singing backup vocals.
“Being on stage to sing the background to that [“Backseat”] was literally crazy. Like, I remember listening to that on repeat on SoundCloud for so many years. So to actually do that in real time was…I definitely needed to get a drink afterwards,” Jordan said.
The moment was also special to Jordan for much deeper reasons. Jordan’s sister, Jessica, who was in attendance, was a huge source of motivation for him throughout his life and career. Their mother passed away in 2016 from breast cancer and the prophetic moment manifested from Jordan’s late mother’s encouragement was as joyful as it was somber.
“To know that I performed, I did something so out of the ordinary right before Mother’s Day, kind of made me understand that I was just meant to be there,” said Jordan.
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Jordan got the offer to sing as one of the three back-up vocalists for Lennox just a few weeks ago through a DM conversation. He spent a week in DC, rehearsing with Lennox and her band for a few days before Saturday night’s headlining performance at the Festival Grounds at RFK. Jordan even had a few solos: most notably for “Whipped Cream” and a cover of D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does it Feel).”
“It just felt so good to be in an element with so many different musicians that are so talented,” Jordan said about the experience. “Being in the presence of her team and the band. It was just a full circle moment. She’s [Lennox] just been a supporter, and a friend, a true friend.”
Jordan, who is also a talented solo artist in his own right, released his debut album, Blue, in 2019. The album addressed a lot of his emotions dealing with tragedy, juxtaposed with radiant neo-soul/hip-hop beats and complex harmonies. Jordan is currently working on a new album, and the experience sparked inspiration.
“It feels good to be back in a space where I can say, you know, I’m ready to create a project. Like an album. So I’m really excited,” said Jordan.
Watch more videos of Dexter Jordan performing with Ari Lennox at Broccoli City Fest, and listen to Jordan’s 2019 debut album, Blue, below.