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Meet Jordan Terrell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jordan Terrell.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jordan. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My mother said I have been singing and entertaining since I was able to talk and walk. I have always loved music and the arts no matter what genre. Growing up in the San Fransico- Bay Area allowed me to be exposed to many different styles and genres of the arts. My father worked in the music industry all my life and my mother has always had a love of the arts so I was never denied access to them. My first exposure to the stage was when I was still a baby by Grover Washington Jr., a legendary Jazz musician who my dad was working with at the time. My dad likes to joke that because of that experience, I chose to become a musician. Once deciding my path at the age of six, my parents did everything to help and encourage me. My childhood was spent in dance studios, on stage, in lessons for voice and piano and starting in middle school theater. In high school, I chose to focus solely on the voice considering it was my first love. Fast forward through college, in December of 2018 I graduated with a BFA in music with an emphasis in VoiceArts.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Growing up, I was always told that the entertainment industry is one of the hardest industries to break into. You hear the word “no” a lot and must be able to handle criticism and rejection. I feel like having a parent in the industry helped me prepare for that. My father always held me to the same standards as the people he worked with.

The more difficult struggles I’ve had to deal with have surprisingly come from other musicians who don’t consider vocalists as musicians. I have come to realize that it is a universal problem in the music industry. Almost every vocalist I have come across has a story on the subject. What most people fail to recognize is that as a vocalist our instrument is our body. We cannot physically see our instrument, we rely on what our body and technique tells us. If we mess up our voice, we cannot simply just go and get a new one, and for that reason I am extremely aware of how I treat my body. I think that some people just see someone on stage singing and think that it must not be super difficult but in reality the amount of work and preparation we go through is at the same level as everyone else on that stage. As a female artist, who is also a POC, I face the constant challenge of being stereotyped as difficult or a diva for voicing my opinions.

Another major struggle that I’m still fighting is the unexpected death of my father. Losing him so suddenly was a mountain I was not ready to climb. I think of my father as the reason I’m an artist. He always had such admiration and respect for everyone he worked with and always got the same in return. Over the duration of his career, he achieved the highest level of respect from the people he came in contact with. I can only hope to achieve that same level one day. Growing up, he pushed me to my limits and let me know that I can achieve anything if I’m willing to work hard for it. He was my foundation, the bar that was set that one day I hoped he could see me surpass. Losing him was like time had stopped. I stopped everything to reevaluate everything I am and who I want to be personally and artistically. Working through grief is a process and has allowed me to explore many other artistic endeavors and for that, I am grateful.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
When it comes to my music, I haven’t quite yet determined my style, I’ve studied a lot of different styles and like to listen to a variety of genres. I don’t like the idea of having to fit into one specific genre. The style of my music really is a product of where I am in my life at that specific point.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’m fortunate enough to have had many opportunities throughout my career to learn from many of the artists my father worked for. I have been able to experience and witness the amount of people, hard work and preparation it takes to put a tour together. I am extremely fortunate and grateful for these experiences and to all the people who have been apart of them. I deeply value the lessons and knowledge that I have gained through those life-changing experiences.

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Image Credit:
Daleon Studio, Curtis Dowd

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