Jordan Mackampa Celebrates Black Boy Joy

Jordan Mackampa Celebrates Black Boy Joy

By Erica CampbellFeb 15, 2024

In new his album Welcome Home, Kid!, London-based singer-songwriter Jordan Mackampa embraces queerness, blackness and healing while unlocking a new era of self-expression. The soulful album, which drops tomorrow, is a direct reflection of his journey to confidently stand in his identity as he hits on topics that range from toxic heartbreak to genuine love and doesn’t shy away from discussing sex, intimacy and imposter syndrome.

“The main message of Welcome Home, Kid! is what ‘Black Boy Joy’ means to me told through three phases of growth, love and acceptance,” he tells PAPER. “It’s my ode to coming home to my truest form without any anxiety as to how I’ll be perceived now existing as my most assured self.”

That return to his truest form started back in July of 2021, when he created a 43-page manifesto that dug into aesthetic inspiration, musical references and came complete with a list of producers he’d like to work with, brand collaborations, video stills and posters he loved. “II basically treated it as a guide or bible to keep me on track during the recording process of the album,” he says. “[I] sent a copy to everyone that was involved in the project, so that there was no confusion about what I was trying to achieve.”

Today, Mackampa premieres the video for “Step By Step” here at PAPER, a reflection of the manifestation of that manifesto and an ode to celebration. Groovy, upbeat and ridiculously danceable, the track takes on the energy of a celebration, the sounds and callbacks that push you to make any backyard into a dance floor.

“This song and video has a lot of elements I’ve loved for so long in one place,” he says. “Everybody has that one ‘must have cookout song’ when they’re with friends and family." Now, on the eve of his new album, he hopes the song will become a mainstay at parties where the main focus is bolstering joy. "I wanted to add my music to that incredible list of tunes that makes you get up and move, whether or not there’s a plate of food in your hand.”

Photography: Aiden HW