Welcome to The Drop, Refinery29's home for exclusive music video premieres. We want to shine the spotlight on women artists whose music inspires, excites, and (literally) moves us. This is where we'll champion their voices.
Growing up isn't easy, especially when you're doing it under the scrutiny of millions. But 19-year-old Jordyn Jones is not only embracing her coming-of-age but relishing in its excitement and beauty in her newest video for pop/EDM single "think about u," premiering exclusively on Refinery29.
The video features Jones at its center, with scenes in which she's dancing or serving looks spliced together over textured camerawork. In one frame, she's dancing alone in a warehouse; in another, she's sitting on the floor in a pink, fluffy dress; in another, she's wiping off temporary tattoos of herself that adorn her face and neck. Throughout she sings confidently about the person who she can't get off her mind: "I don't need your body to survive/ But now that I've got a taste why would I try?"
The Michigan-born singer is the embodiment of the Gen Z multi-hyphenate, with talents that range from singing to dancing to social media influencer. Jones roots are in dancing and got her start on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition at the age of 12. She later added modeling and YouTuber to her resume and has amassed over 5.5 million followers on Instagram alone.
But now that she's getting older, she's honing in on her passion for music with a new EP set to release later this summer. Through her work, including January's "boy bye" anthem "Leave" and the sultry "think about u," she's taking more control over her image and becoming increasingly candid about the highs and lows of modern relationships.
Refinery29 spoke to Jones over the phone about her new video and growing up in the public eye.
Refinery29: How did “think about u” come about?
Jordyn Jones: “I get sent a ton of songs and for some reason this one stuck out to me because it was just as if I had written it — like I was the one who was in there, making the beat. I wanted to record it and add my own flavor to it, of course, but it was perfect for what was going on in my life at the time, and even still now.”
How is this song a good representation of what's going on with you right now?
“I really connected to the lyrics. I've grown up so much in the past year, and so this song is a lot more grown up for me. It’s really crazy for me to be swearing in songs because I don't swear in my normal life at all, so this got me out of my comfort zone.”
How did you decide on the aesthetic that you wanted for this video?
“I knew I wanted to video to mainly be me. When I first thought about what I wanted to do, I said ‘I don't want a boy. I don't want dancers. I want to be alone.' This is my first mature song and it was my favorite, too, so I wanted it to literally be all about me. And I also wanted to dance, and for that to be some of the focus. It's like a cinematic video in the end. I'm really excited with how it turned out. It definitely focused on all of my strengths and just being a baddie. That's all I wanted.”
What was the significance of having those temporary tattoos of yourself?
“I was honestly very skeptical of that idea at first. But you can see some of them were modeling pictures or dancing photos from when I was younger. So to me it was kind of wiping away that, starting fresh. Me growing up, letting go, and just really focusing on my music career. That's how I interpreted it, but I want people to take away whatever they want to take away from it. I don't want to tell people what to look for, what to see, or what to feel.”
Which artists’ videos do you like, or look to for inspiration?
“Britney Spears, definitely. I just knew I wanted it to have a more fresh, young, cool vibe. Britney's always been someone I've watched and looked up to. But I actually really liked Taylor Swift's videos growing up. In my opinion, every video she's ever released has literally been amazing and just a statement. You have to watch it six times to understand it and it's just amazing. And I really like the Katy Perry ‘California Girls’ video. I always watch that. I first started singing because of that song.”
What has growing up in the public eye been like for you?
“Still to this day, I get people saying ‘I like the old Jordyn better,’ or ‘she's growing up too fast.’ But in my opinion, I'm still growing and maturing so people are going to follow me during my ups and downs and see everything I'm going through. People know it's going to happen. I'm not going to stay young forever, so people need to understand that I'm going to grow up like everyone else does.”
How do you deal with that kind of pressure?
“I watch and learn from other people [who’ve gone through the same thing]. So I thought, the first time people are going to see me swear, it isn't going to be in a livestream or Instagram caption. It's going to be in a song and video that I put time into. I definitely have younger fans — the people who come up to me span from 13 to 19, I would say. So, my age and a little younger. I don't want parents to go on Instagram and see me naked on there or whatever. [Laughs] I just want to be a little something for everyone.”
Did you ever feel rushed to grow up?
“I’d had people who were telling me, ‘Okay it’s time to grow up now.’ I was holding back because I still want moms to be able to come up to me and say, ‘my kid loves you.’ I want to be a good role model. Unlike a lot of people, I say ‘You choose your demographic. You choose who watches you.’ If I was to go crazy then obviously I would be completely changing my demographic. Obviously, some people would still be there to watch me and look up to me. Some new fans would come. Some old fans would leave. But I'm trying to always be the person who just gets new fans along the way but always keep my OG fans. Because that's really important to me.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.