Re-Creation Remixed: Jordan Mackampa Performs James Blake’s "Retrograde"
The soulful singer/songwriter offers his take on James Blake’s hit single, “Retrograde,” while also performing his own track, “Alibi,” on the Acoustasonic® Player Telecaster®.
By Mike Duffy
A song like James Blake’s “Retrograde” is one of those tracks that chills to the bone, with an ethereal vocal progression and haunting chords on the guitar. It takes a special artist to do it justice when asked to perform a cover.
But good thing Jordan Mackampa was here to tackle it for Fender’s latest edition of the Re-Creation Remixed video series.
Backed by two background singers, the London-based singer/songwriter stood in front of the smoky stage carrying only his Acoustasonic Player Telecaster to offer a take on Blake’s classic that paid homage to the original while adding a new twist that dives even deeper into the soul. “It’s a song I’ve been in love with for God only knows how many years,” Mackampa said of “Retrograde.” “I’ve always said, ‘I’ve got to cover it, but it had to be the right time.’ For me, what first grabbed me was just how simple it was but then also the intent behind how James was singing it."
“I think it’s important to strip it back and see what the lyrics are saying and then how I can interpret it from there.”
That’s just what Mackampa does in the video above, as he showcases the full capabilities of the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster. With streamlined switching and a powerful Blend Knob allowing any player to move seamlessly between acoustic and electric tones, “Retrograde” was a perfect workout for this revolutionary guitar.
Mackampa didn’t stop there, however. For the second song on the set, he dove into his more immediate catalog with “Alibi,” a standout from his 2021 EP Come Around, which has already garnered a healthy amount of buzz around the world with its soulful lyrics and heart-wrenching harmonies.
“Alibi is an homage to a lot of soul and disco and funk,” he said. “It started out with just the guitar and the vocal, and then the harmonies and the ‘oohs’, which I took a lot of inspiration from James’ work and tried to implement into ‘Alibi.’”
Watch Mackampa in this edition of Re-Creation Remixed, and click here to shop the Acoustasonic Player Telecaster.