Jordan Moyes, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often referred to as “the Mormon Church”), is a 25-year-old singer/songwriter from Provo, Utah. In June 2018, his mom unexpectedly passed away due to a pulmonary embolism. She loved the reality TV show American Idol and encouraged him, the youngest of her nine children, to audition for the show.
Although he never had any plans to audition, his mother’s passing served as a wake-up call for him. He told Deseret News, “I felt like I had a need to suddenly do more of what I love and pursue it more fully.” He auditioned for American Idol in the summer of 2019 when the show came through Salt Lake City, Utah. Albeit he was a bit nervous about performing, his faith, his mom, and the joy he finds from being on stage helped him handle the stress. On Sunday, 15 March episode of the show, he was seen not only getting the golden ticket to Hollywood but also majorly impressing Idol judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie.
He told Deseret News, “My faith is a big part of my life and it’s something that I found myself relying on for sure, in terms of just keeping me calm and centered and grounded.” He continued, “But I also felt my mom a lot through the process as well, felt her presence with me. And that gave me confidence.”
After his mom passed away, Jordan began singing more. He wrote more music and released his first EP titled I Was Young I Was Old. He also wrote a song called “Not That Far Away” as a tribute to his mom. And he began branching out and playing shows around Arizona, Utah, and California.
In 2012, after graduating from high school, Jordan moved to Utah from his home state of Arizona. He frequently played side gigs in the smaller venues like Velour — the heart of Provo’s music scene — and Kilby Court and Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City. He said, “Ultimately the dream is to write and play music full time. A big reason for doing the whole process is to get some more exposure. … I’m excited to see what comes out of it.”
Being a part of the Provo music scene for the last seven years, Jordan has received some top-notch guidance for his journey on American Idol. In 2016, Jen Blosil, a performer at the Velour for years, made it to the top 14 during the show’s “farewell season.” In 2019, Jordan’s close friend, Ashley Hess, made it to the show’s top 14. In fact, Jordan and Ashley released a video on Instagram last week, performing a cover of “In Your Atmosphere” by John Mayer.
Speaking about Ashley Hess, Jordan said, “She pushed me to kind of go for it. And watching her experience on the show last season and how it changed her life and jumpstarted her career has certainly been inspiring for me, and I think it was exactly what I needed to kind of get over that edge and pursue it.”
Speaking about the Provo music scene, Jordan said, “I don’t know if it’s people that are raised in (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and are raised learning how to sing at a young age — I think that has a big part to do it with it, but there’s just a lot of talent here. There are people that enjoy performing and have a serious knack for it. There’s a lot of people in the community that want to help musicians. … Music is just a priority here.”
Jordan has never had any formal lessons on how to play the guitar. He began playing the guitar at age six when his two older brothers placed the instrument in his hands and taught him his first chords. Now, playing the instrument just seems natural to him.
His voice, however, is a completely different story. He told Deseret News, “As a teenager, I was terrified to sing for anyone else. Singing mortified me — to do it in public or to do it for anyone else. It was my dad mostly that kind of pushed me into branching out and performing and just finding my way in it, learning to love it and enjoy it.” In high school, he took voice lessons, participated in choir, and began performing at open mic nights. The more that he grew out of his shell, he soon learned that the joy that comes with performing far outweighs the fear.