When Jordan Igoe was six years old, her mother got her an agent after hearing her sing "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. She could definitely sing, but Igoe had stage fright and couldn't do it in front of people.
"If you can believe it, I was a shy girl growing up," says the charismatic, not-quiet-at-all Igoe. "And I choked every time I got on stage. So my mom let it go for a few years."
But coming from a big family of musicians, music was everywhere and impossible to ignore. Igoe joined the choir in fifth grade. She picked up the piano at 10 and the guitar at 15; that's when she started writing songs.
"I had taught myself piano and learned 'Für Elise' because of how beautiful it sounded when my mother played it," remembers Igoe. "When I taught myself guitar, I immediately started writing music. I'm left-handed, and even before I could get any sort of a strum pattern down, I wrote my first song."
By this time, Igoe was just getting over her fear. Her initial efforts involved writing songs and recording them on a karaoke machine.
"I got up to sing them at the [Wando High School] guitar club," she remembers. "There I was amongst a slew of hardcore punks and metal heads, this tiny little blond girl singing my sad little numbers. I puked at my first show, but the more I played the more the stage felt like my home."
Igoe then moved on to a four-piece girl band and performed solo at churches and special events. She even played at an amateur wrestling match before hitting the bars and clubs, where's she's been performing on and off for the last decade.
Recently, she's been holding down Juanita Greenberg's on King Street every Wednesday evening with friends. The get-togethers are usually a three-piece configuration with Igoe, mandolinist Aaron Firetag (of Folkgrass and Skwirl Grinda), and her sister, fellow singer/guitarist Jessica Daisi Igoe. The loose collaboration has since evolved into a mish-mash of alternating friends, including local indie musicians Mackie Boles, Brandon Gallagher, Tim Edgar, Marshall Hudson, and Caleb Bodtorf.
While Igoe has developed confidence as a solo act over the years, she loves playing with a big crew. "I want a full band because rockin' is in my soul," she says. "It just brings so much more energy and ideas than I can possess on my own."
On top of her Juanita's nights, Igoe plays three to four times a week, fully embracing the life of a working musician. She headlines the Mill in Park Circle this weekend.
After participating in the Awendaw Green Music Festival at Patriots Point earlier this month, she feels as good as ever about her own part in the Charleston music scene.
"[Awendaw Green founder] Eddie White is one of the most influential people the music scene has the pleasure of knowing," she says. "He's a constant inspiration to hundreds of musicians, including me. There's no room for egos out there. It's just good positive music making and people meeting. That atmosphere and community is why I play."