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Raise your own bar

Two men smile while standing close to a professional-looking microphone. They are in a sound booth.

Jordan’s passion for music started early. As a teen, he went from making beats to selling them around the world. He now runs Centreline Studios and mentors the next generation of hip-hop youth. Jordan credits NSCC music programs for helping him turn his passion into a living.

“Music is the way I reach out to my community. I want to inspire the kids I work with to believe they can do anything they set their minds to.”

Learn more about Jordan’s passion for music, his NSCC experience and the career he’s building in Halifax:

Q: What artists sparked your love of music?
I’d say it was less about the artists and more about the environment I grew up in and the type of music I was around. When I was younger, I listened to what my mom listened to in the car and on the stereo. She would listen to a lot of R&B music like Mary J. Blige and Jodeci and a lot of urban R&B that was popular in the mid-90s. And my aunt was one of those people who always had music playing at her house. She was listening to a lot of R&B and hip hop, so I’d listen to that when I visited her. So yeah, I grew up to a lot of that.

Q: What drew you to study Recording Arts?
By the time I was 13 I’d figured out how to make music by myself on my computer. I was still making music at the end of high school and it was something I was really passionate about. I knew it was what I wanted to do. My mom went to university and is an advocate of post-secondary education, and she always wanted me to go to university or college, too – it didn’t matter what for, it was just important to her that I go. We looked into several schools, but NSCC’s program was about a third of the cost and half of the time commitment, so that’s ultimately how we made the choice. I ended up loving my time at NSCC.

Q: What did you like best about your NSCC experience?
Honestly, the best thing were the connections and the friends I made with people in the industry. I see some of my NSCC instructors around at shows and I always chat with them – they’re some of my favourite people. These are people that I now consider friends, which is kind of awesome.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a music producer?
A music producer’s job is basically to sit down with an artist and try to make their idea the best it can possibly be. Usually an artist will have an idea for a song and a producer will come in and just kind of give it some direction, just to make it the best song possible. That process of collaborating and making something out of nothing is one of my favourite things. When you’re finished, you get to sit back and listen to something that didn’t exist an hour ago. It’s one of the best feelings.

And the way I listen to music now has totally changed. I’m listening less to lyrics and more to sonics, how loud the drums are, how the vocal are mixed, and all kinds of other stuff. It’s pretty cool.

Q: Any advice for the next generation of NSCC students?
I’d probably go back to what I liked best about NSCC – the connections. My advice to future NSCC students is to make as many friends as possible, because a lot of those people are going to be in the industry and you never know who you might need to call on or connect with down the road. It’s one of the most important things I learned.

Q: What music are you loving right now?
I love listening to Will Smith’s son, Jaden Smith. He’s a new rapper and he’s awesome. I love all of his work.

Hear more of Jordan’s favourite tracks on Spotify. Press Play.