For FURY, Revolution Doesn’t Have To Be Monumental
Written by Vocalo Radio on June 24, 2022
FURY combines socially-conscious hip-hop with activism to empower the West Side and the city’s arts community as a whole.
When Stephanie Jordan isn’t working on community projects and social activism, she’s creating music under the name FURY, which stands for “Finally Understanding the Real You”: a nod to growth and a constant journey toward clarity. Rooted in Chicago, FURY has been performing powerful socially-conscious hip-hop throughout the Midwest since 2015 and has had songs featured in the Netflix show Gentefied.
FURY isn’t just an artist: FURY is a force of nature. For the West Side community, she proposed Columbus Park renovations promoting more green space and won the $1.5 million Chicago Community Works Challenge Grant in 2021. For the overarching Chicago artistic community, she provides a platform for artists at open mics, strives to create more spaces for the arts and provides safe spaces for creatives of all kinds to connect with each other.
“As a West Side artist, there aren’t any bars or venues to connect with other artists, so we are forced to go to other areas to find creative communities,” she explained.
Set for release June 24, “Revolution,” the lead single preceding her upcoming EP FURY REVOLUTION, outlines her journey of community activism, self-discovery, navigating the music world and how it all intersects. She lets listeners in with vulnerable lyricism and commanding vocals as she tells a story of coming face-to-face with shortcomings and strengths.
FURY broke down “Revolution,” her journey toward self discovery and her community-rooted activism.
Can you tell us a little bit about your musical journey? How did you get into hip-hop?
My parents introduced me to different kinds of music at an early age. Growing up in the ‘90s there were so many different artists out. I was a huge Queen Latifah and Left Eye fan. I always loved to rhyme, and at 13 I started putting music to my poetry. By the time I was in my 20s, I gained the confidence to pursue music seriously and started attending open mics.
“I was forced to look at who I was as an artist. I had to face my shortcomings, as well as figure out new strengths.”– FURY
Your Soundcloud bio mentions you started writing poetry at age 9. Do you remember any poets who most resonated with you throughout your childhood? How does their work compare to the poetry you write now?
My introduction to rhyming was from Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein in elementary school. I was always fascinated by how captivating stories that rhyme are. I feel the music I write is the same: stories with messages that keep you hanging on with imagery and wordplay.
Can you tell us a little bit about your new single, “Revolution?” Walk us through its creation process. What sets it apart from your past works? How are you feeling about its release?
“Revolution” is the title single from my forthcoming EP, FURY REVOLUTION. It is my first release in four years and came from the struggles I faced as an artist during the pandemic. I was forced to look at who I was as an artist. I had to face my shortcomings, as well as figure out new strengths. I am excited about the release and showing a softer, more vulnerable side of FURY.
FURY stands for “Finally Understanding the Real You.” Can you tell us a little bit about what that means to you? How did you come to understand the “real you”? What would you say to others on the path to understanding or discovering themselves?
The meaning was also a product of 2020. At this point in my career, I knew I could rap, but how was that tying into my personal life and where I’m from? As a West Side artist, there aren’t any bars or venues to connect with other artists, so we are forced to go to other areas to find creative communities. The “real me” is always searching for understanding and clarity. I believe this is a never-ending journey, which can be infuriating in itself. FURY is the dedication of time and focus to answering these questions every day as you become a new person facing new challenges.
How has music played a role in your journey of self-discovery?
Music has been a guide through this journey of life. I can hear a song and remember being a different person when I first heard and fell in love with it. Some songs I’ve outgrown and some I will always keep near and dear to my heart. Lately, I’ve embraced listening to trap/ratchet music as an escape from consciousness. I can appreciate the power of vibes over lyrics… sometimes.
“The ‘real me’ is always searching for understanding and clarity. I believe this is a never-ending journey, which can be infuriating in itself.”-FURY
How does your daughter inspire you as an artist?
She keeps me young and hip! She’s the one who got me on TikTok and makes sure I know the latest dances! She’s 11 (going on 30), so I make a point to let her develop her own taste in music. She loves art and makeup, so I’ve been working to get more in touch with my feminine side. She helps me try new things and remember it’s ok to fail. She’s my number one fan!
Congratulations on receiving the Chicago Community Works Challenge Grant! How do you balance your work within the community, parenting and your music career? How do you avoid or manage burnout? What motivates you to continue your hard work?
Thank you! The grant was an amazing opportunity for the West Side and I’m grateful to the city for stepping up and funding community development. I have made sure to work in positions that allow me to be an artist as well as an activist. Burnout is real, so I make sure to schedule me-time each week to do nothing but relax and reflect. The best thing that came from the pandemic was an appreciation for free time! Work will always be there when you get back! What keeps me motivated are other artists releasing music and chances to collaborate. Chicago is full of talent!
“Revolution doesn’t mean you have to do something monumental. It’s the million little steps we choose to take together and one day end up somewhere new!“-FURY
Aside from meeting some cool people (like Hannibal Buress), what’s the most rewarding part of hosting open mics?
Definitely connecting with artists! I brought back Lyrics and Libations with Boly Blaise because that’s where I got my start eight years ago. When everything reopened, I felt like I was starting over so I asked, “What did you do before?” That’s another way “Revolution” came about: knowing I’ve been here before but with more knowledge than the last time.
What about the local Chicago music scene brings you joy? How do you feel the community should or could work together to create a more socially-conscious space for artists and listeners alike?
I love how resilient it is! We fought for spaces and relief funds for artists, and slowly but surely I see the efforts from the city and DCASE to fund programming for the arts. The grant I won was based around public events leading to economic development and rebuilding a community. I believe art has the power to connect communities in ways political or religious institutions cannot.
What do you hope listeners will take away from FURY?
I hope they take away a passion for life and learning. I am not FURY when I wake up. Things happen to me and FURY is the perfect outlet to vent my fears and frustrations in a positive way. Revolution doesn’t mean you have to do something monumental. It’s the million little steps we choose to take together and one day end up somewhere new!
Follow FURY on Instagram and stream her music on Spotify below!
Interview and introduction by Makenzie Creden
Edited for length and clarity by Morgan Ciocca