Australia’s Hip Hop Doyenne: Simone Amelia Jordan Wants You To Keep Dreamin’

After roughly 18-months at The Source, she had to come home to Australia to receive affordable medical treatment. Despite crafting a distinguished career as a host, editor and journalist, leaving The Source when she did was devastating, and a dream cut short. Healing from this heartbreak, she tells Complex AU, took her years. Recovering physically was one thing, but finding a way to reorient her life was another. 

Simone stayed in Australia following her recovery. These days, she’s the Director Of Special Projects at Media Diversity Australia, runs Higher Ground Consulting agency, mentors First Nations women and women of colour in entertainment and media, and is the mother of her daughter, Leila. In the seven years she’s been home, both her life and career have continued to flourish. 

This is perhaps the core of Tell Her She’s Dreamin’. It’s a story that gives readers a glimpse of what can be achieved when one is bold enough to give their dreams a chance, and equally, what it looks like when those dreams are taken away prematurely. Most importantly, it’s a story about how we can learn to dream again in the aftermath of tragedy, and hold on to the hope that things aren’t over for us. 

In an interview with Complex Australia, Simone Amelia Jordan speaks about writing her memoir, career highs and lows, and what her future holds.

Tell me about the process of writing a memoir, there would’ve been so much to recall. 

As cliche as this sounds, it was so cathartic. When I came to the end of it, I found it very fulfilling—it felt like a full circle moment in my life. When you reflect on personal and professional highs and lows across decades, the experience is definitely a rollercoaster, but at the end of it, I realised why I’d sat down to do it. I’d also never written creative nonfiction before, so this was a whole new ballgame for me. When I learned about the Richell Prize, I did a crash course in learning what a memoir entailed. Finding a theme that weaved my life together was a big part of it—thinking about what ties my story together. When I was going over old interviews with artists, journal entries, Facebook updates and editor’s letters, the idea of having a dream and holding onto your dreams was so prevalent. It actually blew me away.