Meet Jordy, the Heart-On-His-Sleeve Singer Who's Stuck in the Friend Zone

Dante Velasquez Jr.
Jordy

Jordy Shulman’s hazel eyes manage to sparkle even over a patchy FaceTime connection. He can’t help it -- the 23-year-old, who performs under his first name, is all too excited for the world to hear “Just Friends,” the latest single from his forthcoming EP, Welcome to the Friend Zone (due early 2019).

Sporting a pale pink sweatshirt and a caramel-colored beanie, Shulman is classically handsome, resembling a young Jake Gyllenhaal (“You are too nice,” he says of the comparison). But even he has been on the receiving end of the “just friends” speech too many times to count.

“People in this situation, we never know,” Jordy explains. “It could be my personality. It could be that the other person is in a place where they don't want to be dating anyone. People fit or they don't, and I've had feelings for people where we clearly don't fit -- and it hurt really bad.”

It’s that nothing-to-hide honesty that makes “Just Friends” instantly relatable. Whether openly talking about being turned down or struggling to make it in his adopted home of Los Angeles, Shulman is unafraid to wear his emotions on his sleeve.

He moved to Los Angeles one year ago (to the day) and admits there have been many ups and downs: “It's a hard city to live in. Dating [specifically] has been really difficult. I'm not a huge app guy, and you just won't find me at The Abbey. You won't find me at a lot of places where people like me congregate. I get anxious in those settings -- I'm just trying to figure it out.”

Jordy says that the track was mostly inspired by two unsuccessful attempts at dating after moving to LA. Inspiration struck when a guy who had been giving him flirty cues (“He would, like, FaceTime just to talk, and I was totally into it,” he shares) told Jordy the feelings weren’t mutual. Fed up, he texted his roommate, co-writer Will Jay and the pair cranked out the song at the piano in their living room that same night.

“Just Friends” is only a taste of Jordy’s sensitive charm; his earnestness shines through on previously released better-off-alone anthem “Be With Me.” Both tracks will be included on the EP, which Jordy promises will continue to explore themes of rejection and loneliness through the lens of hope and empowerment.

“Every song isn’t a celebration of happiness, but every song is masked by really happy production,” he says. “And I want to do that in a way that reclaims that rejection, that reclaims the loneliness.”

His advice for doing just that? “If you’re someone who is looking to share your life with someone, if that’s a goal of yours and you’re alone right now, take advantage of being alone. This is the only time you’ll have to do things just for you.”

Check out the new music video for “Just Friends” (premiering on Billboard) below.

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.