Art is a gift to be received and shared and comes in many many forms. Paint, Cook, Travel, Poetry... you name it, if you're sharing creative energy, that's an Art. ~Steph

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Living In Color With Steph Jordan EP8

Halloween fun with lots of projects, music, crafts, entertainment and more

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Morgan Clayton -Heart and Song

I'd like to introduce you to Morgan Clayton. This beautiful multi-talented singer, songwriter, musician is on her Dream Journey and gracing us with her lovely voice along the way! 
 

Hello Morgan. How are you today? 

Quite wonderful actually! Thanks for asking.

Let’s talk about the beginning first.

How old were you when you first decided Music was what you wanted to do?

I have been involved in music since my grade school years; however it wasn’t until tenth grade that I wrote and composed my very first original song. I believe that experience confirmed my passion for the art of musical creation.

What types of things inspired you?

Foremost, my faith as a child of God and a follower of Jesus Christ is an inspiration in all aspects of my life. I know that all of myself and my talents are due to God! So I am very grateful for my abilities in an art form that I love. (=…  Now, if it weren’t for my parents I would have never been forced to audition for my first church solo in younger days! Haha, I hated it at the time, but assessing it in hindsight I can now say I am very thankful to them for it because I likely would have never mustered the courage on my own. My mother in particular has had a great impact on me musically. She grew up in a very musical family and was/is asked to sing at various events due to her beautiful voice. She was also the choir director at my former church for some time, so she has always been an encouragement and an inspiration to me as well as a major factor in my vocal development. My remarkable husband has always encouraged me in my music and he himself is the inspiration for several of my songs!  Also, my family in general has been a great inspiration. They have always supported me in my music and been present at all of my performances growing up. A lot of credit is due them for my musical progression.

When someone asked you what you wanted to be/do when you grew up, what was your response?

Well, if you asked me this when I was three, I probably would have answered, a lion! In third grade my response would have been a model/fashion designer/movie star/ singer/ writer. In junior high I was going to be a veterinarian all the way. In high school I was destined a future in music and theater. In early junior college I aspired to be a pharmacist/ coffee and book shop owner. Now, my response has evolved into a Chemical Engineer…  So, if I’ve learned anything in life, it is that the future is always uncertain; and though I may be graduating as a Chemical engineering major, I know my life is not limited to any prior direction. However, I do know that no matter where I may ultimately find myself at in life, music is certain to be there as well, anchored deep within, tugging at my mind and soul, and bursting forth into creation.

Great Answer!

Were there any major musical events for you in your childhood?

Ha, what is childhood exactly? I like to believe that we can always remain a child in spirit, regardless of our physical limitations!...but, I shall start from the beginning. (:  I sang in my church’s children’s choir growing up, however my first musical events of significance came about in junior high. I participated in singing competitions which were held amongst mine various other schools. These were my first experiences in solo performing. In ninth grade I auditioned, by means of parental coercion (as stated earlier), and received the part to sing “Breath of Heaven” for my church’s Christmas play! From that point I became very involved in music. I began singing many specials in church, and continue to sing in church even now. I became a member of my high school’s choir and show choir, which later led to my becoming a part of the choir and show choir at my junior college as well. So needless to say, I participated in many musical performances and events by means of extracurricular activities. However, of all the musical events I have been a part of, playing the role of Sandy in my community college’s production of “Grease” has definitely been the most rewarding. I love acting and singing, so the combination of both wrapped within a portrayal of a beloved American classic was certainly an experience to treasure.

How long have you been singing and playing the Piano?
 
Haha, I have been singing since before I can remember… I have been singing well since about eighth grade. (; I began learning the piano in elementary school and have progressed from there, taking lessons off and on throughout high school.

Do you play any other Instruments?

As of now, no. I had to learn a few chords on the guitar for a role I played in “A Piece of My Heart.” I was Mary Jo, a singing artist who performed for the troops in Vietnam. However, I have no recollection of those chord fingerings now. I would love to actually learn to play the guitar one day though, and possibly the harmonica.


Where do you see yourself heading with your career?

I’m not quite certain where I see my future self musically; my only vision now is more songs!  Currently my major focus is education, but my music is still a vital part of my life. When I need comfort, or relief from stress, music is always there reaching out to me. I just grab my notepad and pencil, head to the keyboard, and let my emotions take the reins. 

A dream I do have though is to one day have my songs professionally recorded and possibly even expanded upon with additional instrumentation. That would be simply amazing.

Have you performed Live yet?

Yes! I perform live quite often. However, I have only performed an original song of mine live once. It was for a talent competition and I placed second. It was a grand experience. 

video

What are you working on right now?

I have one song in the making that I believe has the potential to be my best song yet. It has powerful lyrics that encompass my outlook on life in regards to my faith and the necessity of personal goals and perseverance. So, not to give too much away here, it is a very personal song for me and I am very excited to discover the outcome!

We are excited for you Morgan. Colorful wishes for a long and exciting career!

To hear more of Morgans lovely voice be sure to watch Episode 8 of Living In Color with Steph Jordan or visit her YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/nagroMROC 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lady of Soul - Renee Thomas


Cry me a River. Whew!  Renee your voice takes us back to a day when it was just as much about the delivery as it was about the message.  

Let’s just start at the beginning. Where did you grow up?


"Wow, thank you. I've gotten some really great feedback from that song. Even super producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins (I thought I was dreaming) heard it, he tweeted me and told me my voice was "dope" and asked did I do R&B, then he said "Don't ever let no one tell ur voice is crazy! Ur voice is so sick its SWINE FLU sick! Love the raspiness in it. Use that more", something I will never forget, what an honor. And I grew up in Akron, Ohio :)




Was music an important part of your childhood?

Very. Especially loved listening to Whitney Houston and Anita Baker as a young child. Music took me to other places.

How long have you been singing?


Since a young child, started off in the 'Sunshine Band' at my church, we were a lil group of kids singing our little hearts out for God. I remember actually singing my very first solo at around age 10, it was 'His Eye Is On The Sparrow', the way I felt, the reaction from the congregation, I knew singing was something I was blessed to do and I HAD to do :)

Is this something you always wanted to do?


Yes, most definitely. Feeling I can't even fully describe, when I sing.

You sing with intense passion. Where do you draw that from?

From the depths of my soul. I am in love with music, and maybe music is in love with me as well, emotions totally take over, it's a great experience.

 
video

Do you write your own songs and do you play any instruments?

Yes I do. Lyrics, melodies, all of that. I love it as well as interpreting others' songs. I can play piano, my Mom put me in lessons early. I used to do piano recitals twice a year, my teacher had lots of students, she put one together in spring, the other in winter and we'd play Christmas carols. My passion doesn't lie as much in piano as writing and singing, so I really don't play anymore.

Many of the tunes I’ve heard are Gospel. Is that where your musical love is?

Gospel is where it all began, in the church, and gospel has been heavily requested & something I love to do. I'd say jazz is where my musical love is the heaviest, although I love many genres.

Who are some of the major influences in your life?
 

Stevie Wonder, he was another one I listened to a lot along with Whitney, Anita, Mary J. Blige, El Debarge, all great artists with tons of SOUL. It doesn't end there, there are soooo many artists I love and respect, far too many to name, but these are the biggest influences in my life.

What else would you like to do in life as far as your career is concerned?


I'd love to become an established songwriter, as well as singer, for myself and other artists.

If you could duet with anyone who would it be?

Mary J. Blige, but then again, I may not make it to the end of the song, I'd probably pass out on the stage hehe.

Are there other Artistic endeavors for you?

Most definetly, like I mentioned above, writing, and I'll add arranging to that, piecing the songs together, structuring, layers, harmonies, I love it. So, writing/arranging for others, something else I'd love to achieve.

What types of things do you do for fun?


I don't do too much besides the norm, but whatever I do, I try to have as much fun as possible, even if that's going to the park, roller skating, writing, out to dinner. I love acting silly, that's fun lol. I've had some family and friends say I should be a singing comedian lol.

What keeps you going on this path Renee?

My love and passion for music, and the overwhelming feeling that my gifts were not gifted in vain, I am to use them. As long as I have them, I'm writing and singing for life, no matter what.

Are there any inspirational words you would care to share with our reader friends?

Yes, about life. It's not who you've been. who are you being? It's not about what you've done. what are you doing? Right NOW? We can't change the past, our perception maybe, that's it, but it's plenty, because we grow from what we now know, all our experiences, good or bad, right or wrong, up or down. Some thing I've learned, & I hope, at the very least, ONE person finds inspiration in that. Forward progress.

We will you much success and colorful dreams! Where can readers hear more of your music and learn more about you?

"My social networking sites. I have a myspace: myspace.com/reneethomasmusic, youtube: youtube.com/reneethomasmusic, facebook: facebook.com/reneethomasmusic, twitter: twitter.com/reneemusic and reverbnation: reverbnation.com/reneethomas"

Have a colorful day. I think I have to go listen to Cry Me A River one more time.

Steph

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(c) 2009 - 2011
Stephanie Jordan, Diviacity

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