We had the good fortune of connecting with Jordyn Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jordyn, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
In 2013, I started my freshman year at Michigan State University studying Environmental Engineering and Geology but, growing up, I always wanted to be a professional musician and composer. After attending a composition workshop during my third year at MSU, I was ultimately encouraged to pursue music in my formal studies. I decided to change to Jazz Studies and Music Composition which also meant I would lose my STEM scholarship. To make this change, I had to financially support myself by paying for school & necessities on my own. Juggling three jobs, being an active leader, and pursuing two music degrees has taught me more than I could have ever imagined about who I am, who I want to become, and how to deal with the hardships life throws at you one day at a time.
During my, first semester as a music student, I was able to begin recording my debut record for my singer-songwriter project “Composetheway”. With this project, my mission is to embody the notion that in this life, you are the composer, the writer, the leader, that gets to decide the ways in which you choose to live & lead your life. Prior to being in the College of Music, I didn’t know any musicians at MSU but was able to recruit some of my classmates to learn and record my music professionally. I also applied for the Running Start Live Pitch Competition where I was awarded $400 towards the production and release of my record in additional to raising $1,500 via GoFundMe.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
In May 2019, I became the first African American woman to receive a Bachelors Degree in Music Composition from MSU, as well as the first MSU student to receive Bachelors Degrees in Jazz Studies and Music Composition concurrently & no, it definitely was not easy!
The music I write and have written for this project is meant to encourage people to live for themselves while empowering each other and empowering themselves. The demo I released entitled “Connections” and the music on this release reflects a collection of experiences and ideas that have helped me understand and refine my perspective on the ways in which personal relationships, interactions, and connections function/occur. It also emphasizes the reality of situations that are dealt with in society including social injustice. I aspire to continue advocating for the creative voices of people of color and being a trailblazer for women of color in the music industry.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I just moved to Brooklyn, NY a few months ago so I still have bit of exploring to do myself! But 2 things are for sure, first: we’re definitely hitting up Danbo Ramen & second: we’re definitely going to see live music somewhere. Both are absolutely mandatory
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mentor, MSU Distinguished Professor Rodney Whitaker, has given me tremendous insight, inspiration, and wisdom-filled with invaluable knowledge on what it takes to lead and create a community in an uplifting music-making environment in both professional and educational settings. The Jazz Studies program at Michigan State University is a family of musicians dedicated to carrying on the legacy and history of this music while most importantly bringing people together from all over the world to share their lives and perspectives in paying respect to those who’ve come before us musically. Thanks to the leadership of Professor Whitaker & his endless dedication to students, community, and Jazz, I aspire to carry on his teaching philosophies and legacy as a leader in music . Also, shout out to my Momma <3