Pontus: Hi, Alan.
Alan: Hi Pontus. It’s a bit of a special evening tonight. Isn’t it?
Pontus: Why so?
Alan: Well two becomes three tonight.
Pontus: Oh, you mean we have a guest?
Alan: I can see him in front of me.
Chris: Okay! Hello there, all the way here from Hawaii.
Alan: Yeah, halfway around the world. Welcome to the show, Chris. I feel like we’re old friends already, although this is the first time I have spoken to you directly.
We have one big thing in common, which is going to be the subject of our podcast.
Pontus: What is that?
Alan: A Norwegian girl who is rather special and absorbs much of our time and consciousness.
So Chris when did you first hear Angelina?
Chris: My wife really likes to watch a lot of YouTube clips on our big TV. And we were watching a collection of Golden Buzzer moments from America’s Got Talent. And so I saw one of her biggest ones, Bohemian Rhapsody, and my thought was, wow, this is easily the best thing I’ve ever heard on America’s Got Talent.
And the first impression was just Wow this is..! How old is she? which you hear so many other people describe when they first hear her.
Alan: The brilliance about her Bohemian Rhapsody performance is that some moments she gives the big, powerful, booming voice that most people associate with great singers, but there are other times where her voice goes quiet and sensitive. And so she has a full range of skills all within those two minutes.
And it’s the variations within two or three or four seconds. It’s how quickly and how subtly they can change. And I think that is why we very ardent Angelina Jordan fans can listen to her over and over and over again because the variation constantly surprises us.
And that’s why people don’t get jaded emotionally from hearing her and they recreate that emotional reaction.
Chris: I heard Bohemian Rhapsody and one of the very next ones I heard was Summertime, an entirely different genre and style of singing. And then shortly after that, I heard a million years ago and that again, an entirely different style of singing and genre. And each one done superbly and I thought of other singers that I have really liked and I can think of them doing one kind of song really well. I always loved Janis Joplin, but she has this one style of song that she does, but Angelina Jordan… That was one thing that impressed me, that made me think that she was special early on.
Another thing that I thought immediately was, How is it that I haven’t heard of this girl? And a lot of people also say that.
Alan: And when did you begin to realize that she was not just another spectacular singer, but that she was something which goes beyond what we can really understand. When did you realize that she was something very special?
Chris: Well, one of the first things I did after I heard that [Bohemian Rhapsody] I, like a lot of people have done started listening to other clips. And I like, didn’t trust my own reaction. Am I just having this freakish reaction? And so I kind of, for validation of my reaction, started on the journey of discovery of seeing other reactors.
And I remember very early on, I started with Sandy of Smylyface cause she had that kind of initial shock and then she went through a lot of the early things. And so it kind of built up listening to those clips along with her, especially.
I think when it really started to hit me how she [Angelina Jordan] was different was on A Million Years Ago. There was a mashup of like comparing Adele and her. First of all, she just seemed so clearly better than Adele to me. And she was this young girl. But also the authenticity of it. I mean, she was just sitting there with Ivan Mendez playing his guitar and just kind of pouring her heart out. I remember when she first went high in that song, the intensity of the emotional feeling. That was one thing that really struck me as special about her. This authenticity combined with being able to convey an emotion and bring an emotion from her to me.
People have talked about her having empathy. I feel like, I’m feeling her sadness, her sense of longing. So it’s really that feeling of I’m feeling what she’s feeling. I guess that’s the best way I can say it.
Alan: I think that’s a very, very good summary and I think that’s why she is a spectacular artist, that she is able to recreate that and communicate that, especially from being so young.
Pontus: The ability to transfer that emotion across. I mean, I don’t recall any other artists being able to do it like Angelina does.
Alan: This is the definition of a great artist. to be able to communicate something, to communicate an emotion or a feeling, whether it be a poem or a painting or a song. I’m not sure that can be taught. First of all, you have to have a certain feeling and then there’s some very, very complicated transformation process which occurs between what you can realize and what you can produce.
Chris: I must say that All I Ask was just a tour de force of a whole bunch of different styles of singing in one song and extreme conveying of emotion. I mean, that last, chorus part to me it’s like, how can she be crying and singing at the same time? You know, there was that.
And then there was that fantastic run there. And the breathiness, just the right amount of breathiness. If you wanted to play one song that shows like everything that she can do is it’s that one. So I was pretty impressed by that.
We were talking about emotion and how she can convey emotion. And I was thinking, it’s not about being emotional. That’s not how you convey it. I was thinking of It’s a Man’s World. Christina Aguilera has this famous version of it, where she gets very emotional and she kind of tries to recreate the James Brown feeling of, you know, going down on the ground.
And a lot of people are very impressed by that. And so she’s being very emotional, but to me, she’s conveying a lot less emotion than Angelina Jordan is when she’s just standing there, standing there with the military band singing. There’s something about conveying emotion that is different from just being emotional.
Alan: Yeah, I think we need to use the word theatrics. You can do something very dramatic to please the crowd, but to reach the most sensitive part of the listener is something which is a little bit more complicated to do to the mass market. But I think this is a challenge that Angelina Jordan will meet.
Pontus: Chris, you had one special, that you mentioned, a vocal coach reaction that you found very interesting.
Chris: Right, this was a vocal coach, female vocal coach. She was very, very analytical. And she was kind of full of herself in the beginning of… This is her reacting to Bohemian Rhapsody, and she was giving a very detailed analysis of how she [Angelina] used her larynx, and all of those things. Very much it was about the cerebral, about the head and not the feelings.
And then there was just a sudden change and she went through at least 30 seconds of just watching the video and crying. And you could just see the emotion in her face. It was like she got Angelina right at that moment. I just thought that was a wonderful example of the emotional impact.
Pontus: Have you cried on your reactions, chris?
Chris: Yes. Well, there’s two that I… You know, I’m generally not a crier, especially when I’m on camera and both cases that I cried… It was on My Funny Valentine and this recent one Heal the World. And in both cases it was the kind of thing… Where is this coming from, this feeling of… It’s not a feeling of sadness, it’s a kind of crying-for-joy-feeling.
I remember with Heal the World, I was thinking – Oh I’m worried, I’m not even gonna like this much, this song. And by saying that at the beginning of my reaction – Oh, well maybe I’ll have to do an experiment of listening several times. And then just right in the middle it just hit me like a ton of bricks and I was sobbing. I almost didn’t know if I could finish the reaction and the feeling was, crying for joy that a voice could sound that emotional and produce emotion in me.
Definitely again, it hits hits me like a ton of bricks and totally unexpectedly.
Alan: It’s interesting because I find about three or four weeks is the gap. If I don’t hear one of her songs, when I go back to it, I cry again. If I hear a song every five days or eight days, I may not cry, but usually if I leave it at three or four weeks, then it’s almost like I’m hearing it again for the first time.
For me, a lot of what she does is the sheer beauty of her voice, And the sheer beauty that she evokes. And it touches something very deep inside of me. Angelina’s performance triggers something deep inside and it’s really, really quite remarkable. Quite remarkable.
Pontus: I get a sense sometimes that I’m sort of almost crying for some kind of pride that I’m proud of her. If you see what I mean. I don’t know if that’s the same as you were getting at Chris? If it’s like a sense of pride?
Chris: Well, I definitely have that protective grandpa feeling.
I don’t know, it’s not exactly a feeling, but one action that hearing her has spurred me to is this feeling of – I want more people to know about her. And I guess part of the motivation for this podcast is the same kind of thing.
It’s, you know, you feel – It’s got to be good for the world, for more people to know about her. I was never a big YouTube watcher or anything. And I never, in a million years would have thought that I would try to be a YouTube influencer. But I was motivated to do that strictly because of the specialness that I sensed in her.
And we haven’t really talked about this much today, so far. And that’s something that people get into as they do go on the journey, it’s the personal side of her. You know, when you realize what a good person she is.
Pontus: Then you really want to spread the message, don’t you?
Alan: That’s something which is consistent right across the board. Because, It’s the way she carries herself. And it’s the six year old giving away the shoes. And it’s the charity concerts.
And the emotion that we experience is very much all in that same direction. So everything is consistent in the same direction.
And she herself very, very openly and very directly says she wants to communicate love. And, you know whether you’re 6 or 10 or 15, to say that is a very, very big leap. But the incredible thing is that she does something which nobody can explain.
Maybe the ear has a more direct access to the brain compared to the eye. Because, maybe when you read something or you see something, maybe it’s analyzed more. But maybe, through the hearing facility it’s not analyzed in the same way. It maybe has a much more direct connection to the brain and it doesn’t go through that many filters between the ear and the brain.
Chris: A key thing that is so intertwined with all of this is, is empathy.
I got the copy of her book and I first just looked through it. It was in Norwegian and I did a translation, just using Google translate. And I cried when I read that. Because the way that she described that encounter is just so full of empathy and love. And the way that she said it, in the present tense made it more empathetic and more the opposite of analytical. She wasn’t trying to analyze what was the situation. She was just feeling it so intensely.
There’s that saying: try to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. Well, she’s kind of taking that to the extreme. She’s putting herself in somebody’s lack of shoes and giving them her shoes.
Alan: Many people are analytical by nature or they’re scientists or their work demands that they develop great analytical skills and that sort of moves away from having a rich, emotionally developed world. And so Angelina is bringing us back in that direction, which is how we were as babies and as children. And that is more normal and healthy. And that’s really how we should and could be. And so it’s almost like a revelation for us to have this.
Pontus: Chris, have you noticed any changes in behavior in yourself since you discovered Angelina? I mean, apart from being a YouTube influencer?
Chris: Well, there’s a recent example where I made this clever joke that involved exaggeration. Where if you take it literally, and you don’t understand that it’s supposed to be sarcastic and exaggeration, it can be very hurtful.
And it was, it was hurtful to somebody that I was close to. And I reflected after that, that if I had taken a second and said – Would Angelina think that this was a good idea to say a joke like this? And could this person take it the wrong way? And so that’s an example of how I was definitely influenced by thinking about how she would have behaved. Or how I think she would have behaved.
Pontus: We can almost like remove Angelina from the equation and still have the benefit of what she has done for us. What she has meant for our new and improved me.
Alan: That’s a really good point, Pontus. Do you know what that reminds me of? It reminds me of the role of a parent. A parent trains and guides, but then there comes a point where then the child goes out to the world and it’s on their own and then makes independent choices, independent decisions based on what they have integrated.
Pontus: I was a very shy person when I was growing up. And look at me now I’m on YouTube. I don’t know how you feel, Chris?
Chris: Oh, I am also very shy. So that was another thing that was surprising to me that… I’m actually extremely shy and that I would be willing to put myself out there on YouTube… Yeah, so that’s the Angelina effect there.
Alan: Well, I also was very shy to complete the trio and you just go through a life and grow through things and come to realizations. Being an Angelina Jordan fan has sort of reaffirmed my belief in certain principles about life. I’m not going to use the R-word and talk about Religion, but it’s given me a very deep sense of peace and comfort.
You don’t expect to have access to that from a singer, especially a child singer.
Chris: People talk about, often in a negative sense, how it seems like most of Angelina Jordan’s audience skews older. Like us three old fogies here, you know? They see that as a negative thing, it’s just nostalgia for… Well, we know that that’s not true, that it’s just nostalgia for a certain type of music, because she does all different kinds of music.
But I was thinking about that. Why, why is it then? And I think that it’s actually another indication of how good she is. Because for people of our age, that filter of what music is supposed to sound like, we don’t have that as much. We’ve gone through a whole lifetime of listening to many different kinds of music.
And so if hearing all of these great singers of all these different genres growing up, if then we can land on this 15 year old and say –Wow, she’s one of the best I’ve ever heard. To me, that is more of an endorsement of her than, some teenager liking her. Because they don’t really have so much to compare with.
Alan: That’s a very good point, Chris. It’s not only because we’re getting on in years, we have also become a connoisseur. Not just of music, but we’ve become a connoisseur of emotional integrity and also a connoisseur of life. And all of these categories, Angelina Jordan ticks all the boxes.
And that’s why we appreciate her, because we have a different perspective after being on this planet for 50 or 70 years.
Chris: Yeah. People who have experienced a lot of life, if they are impressed by something or moved by something that tells you something about the quality of it. More than if they haven’t had a lot of life experience.
Alan: And the thing that the three of us have in common is, each one of us in our own way have been so impressed with the uniqueness and the emotionally moving aspect of Angelina Jordan that we have gone to the incredibly complex trouble of starting a YouTube channel around her. It’s almost like a calling for me to do that.
Angelina’s level of artistry is so high that we feel, the three of us, that we are artists just in trying to communicate what she’s doing.
Chris: Right. I feel like, when I’m thinking about it seriously, I don’t think I’m really having that much of an impact. But the main thing is that she gives me that feeling of wanting to try.
Alan: No, but Chris in 30 years time, there will be a statue of you in the center of Hawaii. When Angelina Jordan becomes world famous.
Alan: Thank you Chris. To come all the way from Hawaii all the way to Europe, just to speak with us. I hope the trip was worthwhile for you?
Chris: Yes. It was a pleasure talking with you guys.
Pontus: I hope you found it interesting to be a part of the show?
Chris: Yes, definitely a first for me. And I was just glad I was able to think of things to say.
Alan: Thank you, Chris. We appreciate your contribution.
We are constantly looking for people who want to share their Angelina Jordan story and experience.