Jordan West is a drummer, vocalist, and songwriter from Indiana currently based in Los Angeles, CA. She received her B.A. from Ball State in 2014. In October 2018, Jordan visited Ball State as part of the School of Music’s Entrepreneurial Artist Residency Series. She presented a TED Talk, performed, met with a recording class, and presented a career seminar with fellow alumni Sam Chenoweth and Eric Salazar.  We interviewed Jordan in between events and are excited to share a few excerpts below.

Jordan’s Advice for Students

“It has been nice communicating things to the students that I didn’t know when I left and that I wish I would have known. Overall, I’ve had a great time talking to everybody. My best advice I can give is be really involved with everything.

Take all the classes that you think you want to take and you can audit the classes so you don’t have to take it for a grade. If you are interested in marketing, business, or composing take it now. Trying to go back later, especially if you want to go right into your music career, is difficult not just financially, but in general. Do it now; practice as much as you can now because there might be a couple of months where you won’t be able to. For example, I didn’t play for a while when I moved because, I didn’t have a place to play. So be good when you get there, don’t try to get good when you are there.

Use the time now and the facilities here to get as good as you can and learn as much as you can. Definitely, hold on to the connections you make here. I still talk to my friends I made here and some I work with professionally. I just wrote a piece for TV with one of my good friends that I met here.

It is not enough to be great on your instrument, I think you need to have more skills. You need find a way to combine your skills to build your own business. Essentially, this is what you are doing. You are the product you are trying to sell to people. Having skills in business, marketing, social media, writing, talking to people, and collaborating are all really important. The more things you can do, the more money you will make which will make your creative life a lot easier. It is hard to be creative when you are struggling.”