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Draper Journal

CCHS senior wants to help others through music

Jun 04, 2019 02:33PM ● By Katherine Weinstein

Singer-songwriter Jordan James Pinkston will release his new album, “My Desire,” in June. (Photo courtesy Christine Pinkston)

By Katherine Weinstein | [email protected]

Jordan James Pinkston (stage name Jordan James) is a very busy young man. A senior at Corner Canyon High School, the Draper singer-songwriter is preparing to graduate and will leave to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this summer. His second album, "My Desire," is coming out in June, and he continues to write songs, record, perform and give piano lessons. 

In spite of his schedule, Pinkston makes time for his friends. "I have sessions two times a week," he said. "When I'm not doing that, I'm writing and hanging out with friends."  

Being a friend is very important to Pinkston, whose new album is geared toward helping people with depression and anxiety. Pinkston has family and friends who have these issues. "Everyone goes through it, especially in your high school years. It's not expressed very much and is sort of hidden. So I wanted to write about it," he said. "The suicide rate is worse in Utah. It's a really important topic that isn't spoken about enough." 

As his mom, Christine, explained, Pinkston's new album marks a departure from his earlier work in its overall theme. His first major single, "Change the World" (2017), was an inspirational song that asked, "What can you do to change the world?" Pinkston's first album, "Truth" (2018), consisted mainly of pop love songs. His new album is about helping others to empathize. "People who are struggling want to hear that you get how they feel," Christine said.

The titular song on Pinkston's new album, "My Desire," uses fire as a metaphor for hope. "The theme is about cultivating the fire inside and keeping it alive," said Pinkston. "It's about the desire to live."  

Other recent songs are about relationships. "I just put out a single about two weeks ago, 'So Difficult,'" James said. "It's about how being in a relationship with someone can be confusing." Another recent song, "So Far Gone," tackles the issue of moving on from a relationship. 

Pinkston has a strong desire to help people through his music. His single "Fighter" is the theme song for Ronald McDonald House Charities in Salt Lake City. Pinkston has donated 50% of his profits to that charity.

He describes himself as an acoustic soul-pop artist. Pinkston counts John Legend and Sam Smith among his influences. Lately he has been listening to more R&B and popular music. Pinkston listened to songs by Jeremy Zucker while recording "My Desire," explaining that Zucker's music also deals with anxiety and depression.

He has been working with his mentor, songwriter and music producer Nik Day, to cultivate his songwriting skills. "Jordan does get gigs here and there but spends most of his time writing songs," said Christine. He will, however, perform at the Big Summer Bash, a free live music festival happening at the Provo Towne Center June 7–8. Pinkston will play his set at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 7.

Ever since Pinkston decided to give up basketball for music in the summer of 2017, his pursuit of a career in music has had an impact on his family. "It's been an interesting ride," said Christine. "Jordan's music was a big support for his older brother when he came home from his mission. We all attend his charity shows. It's helped us to get more involved in the community. We are grateful to the many people who have supported Jordan with his music. Draper is a great place to live."  

In July, Pinkston will leave to serve his mission in Phoenix, Arizona. He hopes to make music part of it. "Everyone tells me I'll be able to use music to teach people," he said. "Whatever the Lord wants me to do with my music I'll do it. " When he returns from his mission, Pinkston will attend Utah Valley University on a music scholarship.

Pinkston's music is often heard on the "Sunday Sounds" program with Greg Hansen on FM 100.3. His new album, "My Desire," will be available for purchase on iTunes or to stream on Apple Music or Spotify in June. His videos can be found on YouTube.