Jordan Paul is a 22 year old artist, entrepreneur, creative connecter and more currently residing in Flint, Michigan.
If you visit Jordan’s social media you will certainly be intrigued by his fashion, positivity and more that he promotes. Everything that I do is a learning experience, and in having the opportunity to interview Jordan, I learned quite a bit.
I didn’t know it at the time of course, but there are certain things that Jordan says throughout the interview that would later help me as a creative. It is is my personal belief that there are certain gems within the city of Flint, and Jordan is one of those. We initially agreed to meet in Downtown Flint, at the local Café Rhema. When I arrived, there were about three people inside. I ordered some hot tea, enjoyed the Christmas music that was playing and waited for Jordan to arrive. When he did he brought in a light with him. His aura, certainly did show the positivity he promotes.
Check out our interview below:
Allahnastevie: A creative connecter, explain what that means?
Jordan: When I first moved here (Flint), I just started to meet people. I had no friends and the family I had, I wasn’t super close with. I would go to Barnes & Noble, and I would go to Café Rhema (they know me very well here). I would just sit here, I would read and write, but I’d listen. I would listen to people talk and if there was a moment for me to walk up and interrupt in a not so creepy way, I would and I would just start talking. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time but it was networking.
I continued to do that and it led me to meet a lot of creative people like yourself. Artist, rappers, singers, producers, anyone in that creative field. I was all about my business, I was about marketing and branding. So I said that I would just do the business side and maybe I could help them, and eventually that went into managing people. I did it for a second and I found that I really didn’t enjoy it. Although I did enjoy meeting people, and helping them find other people that would help in what they were doing and take it to the next level.If you are a photographer and you need a model I can help you find that. If you’re a rapper and you need someone to produce or write with, I can find that person. I say that I am a connector because I stay in the equation after the fact, and that’s really important.
AS: Essentially what does being a public figure mean for you ?
Jay: Finding out what it means to me, I think about what it doesn’t mean. What it doesn’t mean for me is flashing money, and trying to get people to follow me by putting on contest. People do that and it does work but I don’t take pictures and try to flatter myself like in a way where I’m not being real.
Being a public figure meant for me that people knew who I was, they knew what I did they knew my thesis, and they knew what I was about and most of all they knew me.
I was physically able to be touched and I looked to be in the public. I wanted to be out and about , so like I said I was downtown all the time, people started to get to know me, mostly because of my hair it would stick out before I had dreads I had free form locks that would stick straight up. At first I called myself an entrepreneur heavy, I told people to not worry about what it is you do but who you are because that’s what you should base everything around, and so I would call myself an entrepreneur , Social Media Marketer, and eventually I had this moment of realization where I was like am I really this? Am I really good at this ? I had a little identity crisis, but then I realized no I’m Jordan, I’m Jay, that is who I am. I’m going to base everything off of me and so in being that figure I wanted someone to say “okay when I think of jay I think of positivity I think of business in the sense of doing it in your way and not the traditional way”, and that’s really what being a public figure means to me. It doesn’t mean that you have 100k followers, it means that you are visible to the public and you have a cornerstone on a certain idea.
AS: Who are some people that inspire you ?
Jay: Oaklin Mixon is a big inspiration. He is an entrepreneur. I’m really inspired by one of my first mentors Garyvee. My brother big time because I got to watch him start from the beginning. In the beginning he was really negative when I first met him, but I balanced that out. He just started understanding and comprehending a lot of things by himself, you have some people that are really one way but it’s only when they are around certain people, and it’s not really who they are. He continued to inform himself about whatever he wanted to learn about. I’m that same way too; he taught me things and we would go back and forth we inspire each other. Shout-out to everybody in Flint who actually goes out and do what they do unbiasedly and just without scruples. It’s like I want to do this I’m going to be a filmmaker.. here you go. Picking up a camera I don’t care if it isn’t the best quality. I’m going to do it and that inspires me, because the moment people see that; people are like it doesn’t look that good, well are you doing it ?
AS: What all do you do as an artist?
Jay: Well I just got into music recently, my brother is helping me with that. I played the piano took lessons , I didn’t really enjoy it but I had an ear for music. I love to sing, I played around with the idea in my head. I began to start writing poetry, my dad wrote poetry and so I guess I got it from him. It wasn’t until being here (Flint) until I was around so many artist by managing them that I realized that I really wanted to do this myself, this is something that I would like to throw my hat into. I know business really well so let me see if I can adapt this into my creative side. Right now I’m really getting comfortable with my voice. I sing in the choir at Ebenezer Ministries in Burton, MI. So that allowed me to get comfortable with my voice and learn. I haven’t released a track yet because I’m just focused on writing and getting comfortable with recording, but its coming.
AS: Do you plan on moving the culture forward, if so how ?
Jay: Literally the funny thing is I wrote a line in a song and I said “I got my mentor standing at attention, like oh my goodness he can save the culture, push it forward save it from the vultures”. So that’s funny that you asked that. (laughter) Yes! I plan on pushing the culture forward.
AS: So you promote positivity?
Jay: Yes I do. Its like a fine line because when you promote positivity people feel like it’s really corny, like who is happy all the time? No one is happy all the time its not about that. Happiness is a mood and positivity is a mindset. I can be sad all day, but if in my mind I know that I’ve been here before, I got out of it I’ll continue to get out of it and then I’ll be fine. That’s how I go about everything, that’s how I recommend everyone should go about everything. When walking to work you may not enjoy it, for instance I’m not one for authority, and I really don’t like working at someone else’s establishment, when I have my own ideas of how things could be ran better, but I reconciled with that process. I use the time at this dayjob and talk about what it is that I do, and that’s given me connections. I’ve networked with local people, my boss is a local photographer, he was someone that knew me from the community.
He knew me from my social media work and it was just like he knew about that positive vibe, and when he saw me he was like I want you in my department. I read a book that helped me adjust my thinking . It basically talked about how all throughout the day we have thoughts but we never stop to slow down and think. For instance, I was walking in the mall passing an iPhone repair store, and I thought that I should apply, and immediately I was like” nah, I can’t learn that”. I had to stop myself like wait a second; I went to computer repair school for networking, I know computers.. cellphones aren’t that far off, I’ve replaced iPad screens before, that’s doable why am I feeling like this? Oh because its new and I’d have to be in an uncomfortable place for a second. People are so scared of being uncomfortable that it literally cripples them from moving forward. At the end of the day you have to say what’s the worst that can happen?
Look at everything from every angle, life is way too short in this form of reality, in our physical bodies, to sit there and mull over every decision. Not to say that you shouldn’t think, but after a while planning is procrastinating, you can only sit there and talk about what you’re going to do for so long. When are you going to do it ?
Be sure to follow Jordan on all Social Media platforms:
Facebook: @Jordan Paul (Jaywithbenefits)
Watch our interview live on Jordan’s Facebook
Also check out Jordan’s story on thehubflint.com