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The City Journals

Pinkston pursuing his passion

Mar 07, 2018 10:37AM ● By Travis Barton

Jordan James Pinkston performs his original song, “Change the World,” at the inauguration of Draper’s elected officials in January. Pinkston is a junior at Corner Canyon who plans to release an EP in April of six original songs. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

If you missed the inauguration of Draper’s elected officials in January, it means you probably missed Draper’s budding music prodigy in Jordan James Pinkston. 

A junior at Corner Canyon High School, Pinkston was part of the ceremonial proceedings, performing his original song, “Change the World,” in the city council chambers. 

“It was quite an honor to sing for the mayor’s inauguration,” Pinkston said. “It was a really cool experience, a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing.” 

Pinkston capped off the ceremony with his soulful singing while playing the keyboard. Madeline Ross, a former contestant on “The Voice,” also performed. 

While it was an honor for Pinkston to sing at such an important community event, music entered his mind in sixth grade and hasn’t left since. 

The Cleveland native who moved to Seattle when he was 4 went from singing in sixth grade to writing music in seventh grade. Having moved to Draper five years ago, Pinkston is now working on his first EP, a six-song mini album, which he expects to finish in April with his music producer, Mitch Davis. 

“We did not see this coming, having Jordan recording his own album,” wrote Jordan’s mom, Christine Pinkston, in an email. 

All her children have taken piano lessons from kindergarten onward, but she said Jordan “always loved writing stories.” 

In middle school, Jordan would write and perform songs during lunch in the cafeteria. But, Christine said, sports were his primary focus with Jordan having played baseball and basketball since age 6. 

Which may have made it even more unpredictable when Jordan quit basketball to pursue music last summer. 

“We were surprised when he chose to pursue music rather than continue on the (Corner Canyon) basketball team,” Christine wrote. “But all those hours on the court are now hours at the piano, writing and recording songs for his album.”

Whether it’s playing the piano, writing music or even producing the melodies, Jordan runs the musical gamut. 

Jordan describes himself as a soul/pop artist with contemporary influences. “I like guys like John Legend and Sam Smith, but I also like jazzier (styles) like Shawn Mendes.” 

He wrote his first original song, “Change the World,” in 2016. Which potentially coincides with when the family gave away their old piano and bought a baby grand piano in September 2016. 

“He has played and recorded songs on it every day since,” Christine said.  

Jordan said his first song is about how people come together through music and how simply “doing that one thing can change the world.” His inspiration came from songs like John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” 

The song’s music video was released in August 2017 featuring over 20 Draper residents and footage from the I Am Draper City event. Jordan’s song will now be the theme song for the service day organized by Draper residents. 

“I wanted to show in my music video a bunch of people just helping for a good cause and then I ended up talking to a guy named Chad Booth (one of the event organizers), who asked if he could use my song for their video,” Jordan said. 

Christine said it has been exciting to see her son’s effect on people. 

“There is such joy in seeing your child share his talents with others,” she wrote. “Who knows how many people will be inspired, but one thing we do know is that for us, it has ‘Changed the World.’” 

In addition to the album coming this spring, Jordan also played in Salt Lake City at the Salt Palace Convention Center acoustic stage for MusicCon SLC in early February.

Brimming with musical talent, Jordan said his plans are to release the album and then “try to get a scholarship, see how far I can go. It’s what I love to do.”