From toddler sing-alongs to his recent record deal, Jordy Shulman has spent his life singing.
The Northbrook native Jewish pop singer, whose passion for music has defined many of his life choices, recently signed his first record deal after his quarantine song "Long Distance" went viral on TikTok.
Shulman, who performs under the name JORDY, wrote the song based on an experience meeting a date on Instagram and visiting him for the weekend. Unlike many songs about long-distance relationships, Shulman sings about the "extra beautiful" side of dating at a distance, and wrote the song as a "gift to celebrate all the long-distance lovers out there."
JORDY's rising star status has landed him on high-profile shows like the
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Shulman, now in his 20s, first went viral after a variety show performance during his sophomore year of high school that represented the end of his coming-out process. "I was standing up as an openly gay 15-year-old to an auditorium of 1,200 seats; it was important for me to speak up for those who didn't have the power to do so yet," he said.
The performance was inspired by the idea of creating a space where fellow students who had not come out yet could feel loved and safe. "As an artist now, this is what I continue to do--create safe spaces," he said. "For me, it's nothing but love, always."
He credits his upbringing in the Chicago Jewish community with thematic inspiration for his music. From his time at the JCC for preschool and summer camp to his bar mitzvah at Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook and BBYO involvement during his high school years at Glenbrook North, Shulman loved the "warmth and energy I feel with the community."
"What's so special about the Jewish community and what I learned growing up as a Jewish person is we value familial relationships, friendship, good conversation, and learning from our mistakes," he said. "At the end of the day, I'm not talking about Judaism in my writing sessions, but I am who I am because I was raised and included in this incredible community."
In addition to "Long Distance," many of Shulman's newer songs draw inspiration from the depth of emotions he felt during the pandemic. His upcoming album,
, will feature a dozen songs reflecting on experiences from body image issues to losing his grandmother, from rejection to falling in love--all in quarantine.
"I want people to feel like they're having a conversation with me, face to face, sitting on the couch, talking about what's real," he said.
Shulman enjoys sharing the creative process with his fans on social media. He details his days in the studio and inspiration for his lyrics and chats with people who find meaning in his music. In addition to his global community of fans, the Chicago Jewish community holds a special place in his heart.
"I never felt afraid of being who I am in the Jewish community, and I want to say thank you for loving me for who I am, listening to my music, and sending lots of love," he said. "Hopefully we'll all be able to dance together at a show very soon!"
JORDY's big show takes him to Chicago on November 27. Buy your tickets at