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Draper Journal

Get your autographs now: Talented artists in it for all the right reasons

Jun 25, 2018 02:59PM ● By Jana Klopsch

By Michelynne McGuire | [email protected] 

Jordan James Pinkston performed a set of his original songs from his new album “Truth,” released on May 14, at the Caleb Chapman Sound House in American Fork on June 8, alongside three other artists who also shared their talents.

Pinkston writes as often as time permits, between being a busy senior next year in Draper, balancing teen life and working toward his career ambitions.

“I write every day,” said Pinkston, but goes by Jordan James as his stage name. “That’s my real passion, is writing music.”

He would like to look into pursuing “commercial music and get a scholarship for that to be able to go to school,” said Pinkston.

Pinkston is easy to admire, such drive and hard work that goes into all the talent, not to mention the percentage of proceeds from his songs donated to a charity.

“Fifty percent of sales go to for Ronald McDonald House Charities Intermountain,” said James. “What they do is they help families out, giving them a place to stay when they are sick or injured.”

His latest released album is titled “Truth,” which is an EP — a six-song mini-album — themed on some of the realities of life.

“The reason I called it ‘Truth’ is because of the truths of life — break-up songs, love songs, and there is the song ‘Fighter,’ which is about fighting diseases,” said Pinkston.

“Fighter” is “really personal,” said Pinkston; he wrote it for a friend. 

Pinkston plays the piano while singing his songs; he works to portray a positive message with his music, with the intention of uplifting and motivating others.

“The songs that I write are very personal to me,” he said. “I put my heart into it.”

In honor of his cousin who passed away at the age of 18, Pinkston wrote a song to help soothe the pain of such a difficult loss for his family. His aunt has expressed to him how much that song means to her, said Pinkston.

That was the “first time I felt like I made music for a purpose, and I wanted to do it more,” said Pinkston. 

Dealing with the loss of his cousin and some of the realities of life, music is his way to express and reach others who may be going through the same.  

“It’s like a medicine to me,” said Pinkston.

Greg Hansen, a radio host on FM 100.3 and an independent music producer from Utah, was the MC at James’ release party.

Hansen, having previously worked with some big names in the music industry over the years, has transitioned to become an independent music producer, giving him more freedom to develop genuine talent independently of record labels.

The singers who performed at the release party — Pinkston, Kalaya Arne, Easton Shane and Sophie Kae — are “a destiny in music that has been made obvious,” said Hansen.

Hansen hopes his efforts to help their aspirations will contribute to “flood the market with virtuous talent,” he said. 

“It doesn’t matter the music style if they have integrity,” said Hansen.

Arne, 18, was a devoted soccer player, but she had sports-related concussions that turned into harsh headaches, and when those headaches became overwhelming, it was time to take a break from soccer. 

Luckily, Arne found music as a great outlet, turning a negative into positive.

“I always knew that I loved music,” Arne said.

Her mother and father, Vicky and Lou Arne, have been glad to share in this new transition for her as a family.

“She’s been in pain 24 hours a day, seven days a week for about four years,” said Lou Arne. “Music has become more of an outlet for her. She can express herself through the music.”

Pinkston and Kalaya Arne met at Nik Day Studios. Soon realizing they attended the same high school in Draper (Corner Canyon), Kalaya Arne and Pinkston became friends and sang a duet together, “Meant To Be,” written by Pinkston.

Kalaya Arne is on the Mutual Theme Album for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in a band called the Jazz Khakis.

With a unique indie-soul voice and a great confidence on stage, it’s no wonder Kalaya Arne and her band took second place at state in a Battle of the Bands competition.

With her success and enjoyment for singing, Kalyaya Arne still has plans to go to college, and she’s leaving in January for a five-month humanitarian trip to teach English, she said.

Easton, 15, an upbeat singer and guitarist, has a knack for comedy, amusing the crowd with his jokes.

Easton performed his original song, “The Girlfriend I Don’t Have,” and a song close to the heart about his father, who is in the military working for the National Guard Draper, titled “This Uniform’s for You.”

“(The song) became the theme song for Our Military Kids Organization,” said Easton’s mother, Becca Christiansen.

The Our Military Kids Organization is a nonprofit offering support to children who have parents in the military.

“They just flew him out in April to sing for their big convention, and he sang that song and represented, and got Our Military Kids of the Year award from them,” said Christiansen.

Each one of these genuine talents has a different story, each one making their mark on the music scene, all of them with a common theme of sincere authenticity.  

Pinkston and Easton have music videos that can be found on YouTube.  

Songs can also be found on Spotify, CDbaby, Amazon and iTunes.