As Grandson, Jordan Benjamin combines bluesy hard rock guitars, trap-influenced beats, and lyrics about the hardships of everyday life. Benjamin was born in Englewood, New Jersey, but grew up in Toronto in a musical family and was raised on classic rock, hip-hop, dancehall, and other genres. After teaching himself to play guitar and piano, he started beatboxing and freestyle rapping, and began recording demos of songs while a student at McGill University in Montreal. Benjamin relocated to Los Angeles and worked on tracks with producers Kevin Hissink and HighxLand, and the single “Bills” was released in September 2016. The track, which earned over a million streams, landed Benjamin a record deal with RCA, and in 2017, he issued a flurry of wide-ranging singles, including “Kiss Bang” and the politically charged “War.” A pair of cautionary and topical singles, “Overdose” and “Thoughts & Prayers,” followed in 2018. Switching to the Fueled by Ramen label, Benjamin found success with his single “Blood//Water,” which was featured on his debut EP, A Modern Tragedy, Vol. 1, later that year. Led by the single “Apologize,” a sequel EP, A Modern Tragedy, Vol. 2, appeared in February 2019.
The mysterious nothing,nowhere. is the emo-influenced project of a New England singer and songwriter who covers his face in promotional photos and makes a habit of wearing hoods while performing. As revealed in interviews, he started playing acoustic guitar at the age of 12, at first attempting emo-style versions of popular rap songs. After devoting time to a series of short-lived bands throughout his teens and beyond, he decided to work solo. Again merging elements of hip-hop with guitar-based instrumentation, and citing songwriters such as Sufjan Stevens, Owen, and (Sandy) Alex G among his inspirations, he started using the moniker nothing,nowhere. in April 2015.
The project’s first album, the nothing, nowhere lp, appeared in June 2015, followed by the EP Bummer later the same year. Working on some of the tracks with producers he’d met on SoundCloud, the latter was recorded in his parents’ basement in Vermont around the time he committed to pursuing music full-time. The EP Where Are You? followed on Synergy Records in early 2016, and in 2017, and the album Reaperarrived via Pete Wentz‘s DCD2 label and Equal Vision Records. It featured appearances by Dashboard Confessional and Lil West. In 2018, nothing,nowhere released the full-length Ruiner, which included the single “Ornament.”