‘WELCOME HOME, KID!’: Jordan Mackampa Is Authentic & Fearless in Soul-Soaked Sophomore LP

Refreshingly bold, irresistibly buoyant, and unflinchingly honest: Jordan Mackampa © Aidan Harmitt-Williams
Refreshingly bold, irresistibly buoyant, and unflinchingly honest: Jordan Mackampa © Aidan Harmitt-Williams
Jordan Mackampa takes us track-by-track through his fearless, uncompromising, and unflinchingly honest sophomore album ‘WELCOME HOME, KID!’ – a refreshingly bold, irresistibly soulful homecoming that finds the artist living as authentically as possible.
Stream: “STEP BY STEP” – Jordan Mackampa

I hope listeners take away a feeling that living in fear of others’ opinions won’t help them grow and that existing as authentically as possible is the most freeing feeling ever.

Vulnerable, fearless, and uncompromising, Jordan Mackampa is an open book soaked in stunning, seductive soul.

The London-based artist has been on an intense journey of self-discovery over recent years, reflecting on the past and present and making changes accordingly – changes in his perspective, changes in how he engages with his surroundings, and changes with his approach to music.

His resulting sophomore album is his most intimate and candid endeavor yet – an unapologetic artistic homecoming celebrating the person he’s still becoming and embracing the communities he’s proud to be a part of, all while reckoning with the trials and tribulations life has thrown along the way.

Warm, sun-kissed, and soul-stirring, WELCOME HOME, KID! is an impassioned, achingly beautiful reintroduction to Jordan Mackampa: One that hits hard and leaves an everlasting mark as the artist spills their whole, unfiltered, and unadulterated self through fourteen breathtaking songs.

Welcome Home, Kid! - Jordan Mackampa
Welcome Home, Kid! – Jordan Mackampa
Dear inner child it’s time we had a talk
I think that we should break the bread
and rise above it at all
Before it gets dark and then
we’ve lost another day
Hoping that the bad dreams will go away
We went through sh*t that
no kid should ever go through
And closed up on everyone
that we were close to
‘Cause we were terrified that everyone would leave
So we clinged on to love
We knew we didn’t need
– “Proud of You,” Jordan Mackampa

Released February 15, 2024 via AWAL, WELCOME HOME, KID! is refreshingly bold, irresistibly buoyant, and unflinchingly honest: The long-awaited follow-up to 2020’s debut album Foreigner is a deeply personal record that only Jordan Mackampa could have made. Filled with personal anecdotes stretching from his childhood growing up in Coventry to his experiences in the music industry today, Mackampa’s second full-length album sees the longtime Atwood Magazine artist-to-watch returning to his roots in more ways than one.

Jordan Mackampa © Aidan Harmitt-Williams
Jordan Mackampa © Aidan Harmitt-Williams

“It’s been a journey for sure, the most transformative one I’ve had making music in a while. But the quality of the end product will speak for itself,” Mackampa tells Atwood Magazine. “My main vision was about getting back to what I’ve always known how to do. I’ve been alive for almost three decades, but now it feels as though I’m returning to centre stage with this album being the house I grew up in, and the different rooms being the shelters that gave me comfort. So, WELCOME HOME, KID! is the culmination of a life story without holding back.”

“It’s fearless,” he smiles. “I’m walking onto every stage and studio space with a confidence and unshakeable swagger that doesn’t allow for anyone to speak doubt on my name. Ever.”

I’ll say I do a million times
I’ll say it again a billion more
I’m yours to keep forever baby
100% you bet I’m sure!
Let me tell you that I
Ive never felt like this before
A love that is good & kind & pure
I remember the times I felt alone
But whenever you hold me in your arms
That’s when I know I’ve found my home!

Actively releasing music for nearly ten years now, Jordan Mackampa has never shied away from speaking – or singing – his truths.

In naming his debut to our “Best Albums of 2020” feature, Atwood Magazine praised the British-Congolese artist as a breathtaking force of soul-inflected art and a voice of his time: “We feel both internal and external tensions rippling through Mackampa’s system as he seeks balance, [capturing a] moment in time where we are each individually struggling to reckon with ourselves as the world rages on around us.”

His latest release arrives after a period of considerable soul-searching and inner unrest, as Mackampa felt he had lost a piece of himself to algorithms, playing to what the industry’s desires rather than expressing himself through his art. Following 2021’s Come Around EP he took a step back, and – with therapy and time away form the spotlight – found himself anew.

Jordan Mackampa © Aidan Harmitt-Williams
Jordan Mackampa © Aidan Harmitt-Williams

Existing at the intersection between Mackampa’s history and present-day identity, WELCOME HOME, KID! plunges into life’s depths gracefully without ever taking its focus off the here and now. From the reflective, wistful opener “PLAYGROUND” and the heart-on-sleeve “PROUD OF YOU” to the radically revelrous “BLACCJACK THE MAC” and the dreamy, cathartic exhale “I KNOW,” Mackampa’s songwriting is confessional and all-consuming: Never one to hold back, he treats his music like one might a diary, letting his emotions run wild and free through powerfully expressive poetry and provocative, spellbinding soul sound.

One salient change for Mackampa, this time around, was letting his voice be the star of the show; putting down other instruments in his performances, he says, inspired him to find new ways of channeling his gilded vocals.

“From a visceral standpoint, when I consciously decided to play less guitar and perform more, it changed the landscape of what I was allowing myself to be artistically. Performing without a guitar makes the moments I pick one up even more special.”

I just wanna tell you that I’m proud of you
Even on the days you don’t feel good
But I’m so happy that you chose to stay
I just wanna tell you that I’m proud of you
You’ve dealt with more than anyone should
And that’s why I’m gonna praise you everyday
I just wanna tell ya that I’m proud of you
I just thought you should know
I just wanna tell you that I’m proud of you
I just thought you should know

Jordan Mackampa © Aidan Harmitt-Williams
Jordan Mackampa © Aidan Harmitt-Williams

WELCOME HOME, KID! is best listened to from end to end – it’s got “unbelievable replay value,” Mackampa half-jokes – and highlights are aplenty on that journey. From the irresistible grooves and deep-diving, unabridged storytelling of “PROUD OF YOU,” to the sweet, smoldering surrender to love in “I’VE FOUND MY HOME IN YOU,” the feel-good joy and euphoria of “STEP BY STEP,” the aching inner reckoning of “FRIENDS YOU’VE MADE” and beyond, Mackampa packs punch after punch into a record that seamlessly blends together the worlds of soul, funk, R&B, and gospel.

Mackampa’s favorite line comes from the song “FRIENDS YOU’VE MADE,” and speaks to those who touched his life along the way – whether or not those folks are a part of his immediate world today, they’ll always matter to him, and he makes sure they know it:

“That’s why I value my friendships,
even the ones that are fading,
so if we ain’t spoke in a minute,
I’m still praying you make it”

The highs are massive and exhilarating, the lows brooding and spine-chilling, and the trek from start to finish is as uplifting and inspiring as it is cathartic and cleansing; whereas Mackampa opens with songs that dwell in an unresolved past, he concludes in the present, with a sense of triumph, closure, acceptance, and – most importantly – pride in both who he is, and where he is today: “Yeah, I know I’m getting everything I used to pray for,” he sings on “I KNOW,” imbued with a positive perspective that sends our spirits soaring. “I’m so blessed, so blessed and grateful.

I never thought the songs I’d write
Would end up being the songs that people like
They’re singing the words right back to me
And all of the crowd in harmony
Yeah I know I’m getting everything I used to pray for
Yeah I know I’m so blessed, so blessed and grateful…
Jordan Mackampa © Aidan Harmitt-Williams
Jordan Mackampa © Aidan Harmitt-Williams

“I hope listeners take away a feeling that living in fear of others’ opinions won’t help them grow and that existing as authentically as possible is the most freeing feeling ever,” Mackampa shares. “I’ve taken away a new understanding of how f***ing incredible I am as an artist, and that the quality of my music will forever speak for itself — those that get it, get it. I’m no longer trying to empathize my art for those that don’t.”

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Jordan Mackampa’s Welcome Home, Kid! with Atwood Magazine as he goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his sophomore album!

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:: stream/purchase Welcome Home, Kid! here ::
:: connect with Jordan Mackampa here ::
Stream: ‘Welcome Home, Kid!’ – Jordan Mackampa

:: Inside Welcome Home, Kid! ::

Welcome Home, Kid! - Jordan Mackampa

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A lot of the songs on this record made me reflect on myself in my past, especially younger versions of me and how a lot of who I am today was formed in those early years. I used to look back on my childhood with a lot of sadness, especially when it came to being a somewhat curious & mischievous young black boy. As shy as I could be, there were moments when I remember how strong my desire to explore was, asking a million questions about everything. It’s only when you don’t have access to what you want that you crave it more — I want the version of me who didn’t worry about adulting, had long summer days at the park, and spent hours on bike rides that would start at 11 am, with no idea of where to go but would have to be home before the streetlights switched on. Time is a luxury you don’t know you have when you’re young, this is what it sounds like to wish you had more of it.


A long overdue conversation I needed to have with myself and my inner child. We age through life without realising that even at 28, 29, 35, and 41, we are still all the years before that. Some of the most life-changing events happened to me at times I was too young to understand what was going on, and then again when my sense of self in my teen years was fully conscious of situations. All whilst my inner child was still there not getting the support it needed because I hadn’t healed any old wounds, while watching its oldest self suffer also. I wanted to write a song that told me at every age, how proud I am of us for getting this far, despite every hurdle we had to jump — though there’s still work to be done, it doesn’t minimise the growth it took to get here.


Mary is a last-ditch prayer for someone who was at their wit’s end of trying to make things right. In a way, it’s a confession from myself of all the mistakes I’ve made as a person trying to be in love and getting it wrong. I’m no angel but I’ve always tried to make up for what I lack, in perseverance & ‘it’s not over yet’ mentality of making sure that I’ve done all I can to amend what’s been broken. Think “boombox outside your window” type of love.


I’ve always wanted to write a love ballad that felt like the old school Soul & RnB songs I’d see classic Black movies playing in the background. Whether it’s a new love you’ve found or a relationship that’s celebrating an anniversary, I want this song to be just as familiar to those in love, as playing ’ Let’s Stay Together’ by Al Green, but with more of a bounce.


I’ve been going to family gatherings since a young age, engrossed by the combination of good food, music and mutual love. This song helped me put my own spin on that feeling I loved so much, now being able to enjoy those moments in my adulthood the same way my elders did. Influenced by the likes of Beyonce’s ‘We Like To Party’ and Earth Wind & Fire’s ‘Lets Groove’ you get a real “Sunday cookout at auntie’s house” vibe from this track. Drake once famously said “I’m just here making all the music that they party to” — I hope this song becomes one of those that goes down in history as one of those moments.


This a diss track venting my frustrations in one go at feeling disposable in some of my friendships, questioning if the support I’ve given them, would be given back. It touches on my anger at the music industry in how it breeds this jealousy amongst artists through an algorithm. Friendships go through phases, you get close, you drift, then get close again, but for me this song made me explore how many friends I really have, how many times I had to be the bigger person & hold my tongue, to keep a bond going that’s only benefiting them. The last verse says everything I would need anyone to know about who I am right now — replay it thrice until you get it. When I play it live it feels like leaving the world best voicemail on a phone call, which I really enjoy.


The best way to describe this song is ‘Lockdown’. During a time when my pent-up sexual energy was at an all-time high and physical contact with another human being was at subzero, this song is the result of all those feelings. I was deprived of sex, going crazy in my solitude, but rather than wither away, I thought it would be best to write about what I was experiencing. I trying to form connections that would’ve been in person, virtually, but was getting so caught up in lust/fake infatuation that in every movie I watched, regular or one of a more adult nature, the women I’d see on screen, started shifting and changing until their faces looked like whom it was I talking to at the time, which only heightened the longing I felt for them.


If “you were my baby, my f*cking cinnamon apple” was a song, it would be this. It’s a case of me catching feelings far too quickly, not realising that I may not have been the only person who had their interest, all while being told that it was gonna go the distance and be this extraordinary love because we clicked so well together. When I imagined myself telling this story to my guys, I had this vision of them reacting in the most shocked way they could with “say it ain’t so” being the line they repeated as I continued the story, with back and forth of all the details I could remember much to their disbelief that this could all take place over such a short time.


I’ve been watching very explicit RnB & Rap videos on MTV Base since I was too young to know what most of those songs were talking about. TTSG is my ode to that time in musical history, the pining after a girl, a dramatic story that didn’t make any sense, topped off with the sunglasses in the rain white shirt moment. However, my version of all that concentrated more on a time when I was having that feeling of whether should I stay or should I go, because of insecurities my partner at the time was having that were affecting our relationship. So even though I loved & cared for them, I was undecided on whether it was enough to stay and fight.


This song gives a Jordan Peele “Us” kinda energy, without the orange jumpsuits. It explains how someone from your past, whether it was a former best friend or in my case an ex, deep deep down could still have a tether to you and this song for me, was realising how attached I truly was at the time. Even though our relationship had ended months prior, I would find myself in situations unable to say no to them, worrying about what they were doing/whom they were with, crossing my own boundaries to make them happy, checking my phone to see if they had messaged to say they needed something, only to be left hurt once I was done fulfilling that request because the love we had during our relationship to give me that feeling of gratification wasn’t present anymore, but the hold they still had over me was.


I’d been a fan of MTJ (Maths Time Joy) for years now so I jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with him. I had this idea of making something moody with a ‘drive alone at night’ vibe for a while, with the hook that you hear at the beginning of the song coming to me in a dream. Daniel Wilson was key in the intent behind the lyrics too, not trying to be too clever in what I was saying. Being able to take this to Blake Straus with all the references I had and turn it into something more gritty and ‘mean’ in its production was exactly what it needed for the message to hit home.


This song is me living my best faux fur coat and sunglasses energy! I was in LA living my best life, wanting a soundtrack to capture how good I was feeling in my skin, listening to funk/disco songs on the pier in Venice Beach — real main character stuff. A few days later, with some extra sauce from The Orphanage, ‘Blaccjack The Mac’. was born. I wanted that ‘getting ready for a night out’ aura to come across, so imagine someone with a silk shirt on, chest out, having the time of their life with their friends at the bowling alley & you’re in the right place for how this should make you feel. It really is the horns for me.


On my trip to LA in March 2022, ‘I Know’ was the first song I wrote during my time out there. Without knowing it, it would be the antithesis of what that journey to work on music would be like and eventually what the album would represent. It took about three days to sit down with myself whilst out there to think ‘f*ck, you’re doing it, you’re in Los Angeles writing for your album.’ So with that energy in mind, I carried that to all the other songs I ended up writing for this record, with more swagger in my step — it felt like a nice way to end the album too.

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:: stream/purchase Welcome Home, Kid! here ::
:: connect with Jordan Mackampa here ::

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Welcome Home, Kid! - Jordan Mackampa

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? © Aidan Harmitt-Williams

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