Meet our Musician!
music, people, chico state, ivan, students, moved, musician, brothers, started, learned, experiences, songs, talking, realized, teresa, living, hear, la, touched, friends
Joshuah Whittinghill, Teresa Hernandez, Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz, Introduction Music
Joshuah Whittinghill 00:00
As we are recording this podcast in Chico, California and are employed by the University, we acknowledge and are mindful that CSU, Chico stands on lands that were originally occupied by the first people of this area. And we recognize the Mechoopda and their distinctive spiritual relationship with this land and the waters that are run through campus. We are humbled that our campus resides upon sacred lands that once sustain the Mechoopda people for centuries.
Introduction Music 01:01
Joshuah Whittinghill 01:05
Hello, welcome to Episode 3.5. And you know, if you’ve listened you’ve heard our intro song we’ve been using for the last few episodes. Today we are in for a very special episode. We have as our guest today, no none other than the one and only Jahny Wallz. He’s our musician that wrote and sang that song recorded it did all the work on his own for that song for the most part. But Jahny Wallz also goes by Ivan Paredes. Or you could say Ivan Paredes goes by Jahny Wallz. However, you however you met him. You never know that first, right. But I’m Josh Whittinghill, along with the amazing co-host, Teresa Hernandez.
Teresa Hernandez 01:52
Hello, everyone. Welcome to our episode.
Joshuah Whittinghill 01:56
How are you?
Teresa Hernandez 01:59
I’m doing good. Thanks, Josh. How are you doing, Ivan?
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 02:03
I’m doing great. I’m excited for this little interview episode. What not.
Teresa Hernandez 02:09
I am too. I’m excited to get to know you a little bit more about you. So like our listeners, it’s going to be my first time, well second time meeting him but my first time kind of hearing about about him his music and kind of more of a story. So I’m excited to learn more about you along with our students and or faculty staff listeners, whoever’s tuning in, and I can’t wait to get started.
Joshuah Whittinghill 02:34
Yes. So, the other day Teresa you and I were kind of brainstorming, we’ve gone through looking at dozens and dozens of possible royalty free things for music and then out of the blue somewhere. I got hit in the head with like, oh, reach out to Ivan see what he’s up to. So I play some of the music and we found a couple of tracks we were both excited about. And I think it was during our meeting we actually called Ivan. He answered his phone, in the middle of doing this day job of parenting and
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 03:08
You got lucky dude. I usually don’t pick a random phone call. But it was a 530 number. And I was like, you know what it’s probably somebody I know.
Joshuah Whittinghill 03:20
Well, that’s great. We were really excited that you answered. That’s great. So so it just worked out. And then all of a sudden, we said hey, let’s see if Ivan wants to come on the show. And boom of course right away. He said yes. Being a musician and in the recording arts industry and, and just excited about some of these new platforms and things that are happening with him personally and also for in the in the career field that he’s working in. But before we jump right into it, we want to remind people, what first generation one of many podcasts, what our mission is, and it’s our goal, our mission and our goals are to create an archive of discussions with and about first generation student experiences. In and out of the classroom. We hope to continue raising awareness and understanding to provide voice for students and alum as well as present resources for faculty, staff and other students who are working for and collaborating with first generation college students. All right, so let’s jump right into it then. Ivan? Man, I remember the first day I met you. You came into summer bridge, you were here as a first year student. The year, I can’t remember what is it, 2003 or two?
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 04:34
Joshuah Whittinghill 04:36
One even, oh my gosh, look at that.
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 04:38
It was it was it was I think it was closer to 2002.
Joshuah Whittinghill 04:43
Okay. And, and from the very first day, Ivan would not stop or he couldn’t even control his energy and excitement about getting into the world of music. I mean, just he came to college. He knew this is what I want to do. So I wanted to share that because That was that was just I mean his energy all the time. And he couldn’t even hear, he could barely even control himself sometimes. Just in talking about that he was actually now finally in a place as a college student, to start to explore music and learn more about it and just move on. He just wanted to graduate in like four days, and be ready. So Ivan, can you tell us a little bit about your backstory of of, Oh, and maybe I should do that first, maybe actually read the bio that you sent to us, maybe that would be a good place for us to go through. So our guests like I mentioned, Ivan Paredes aka Jahny Wallz, is a music artist and producer and instructor. He currently resides in San Jose, California. He was born in Mexicali, Baja, Mexico and soon moved to the States fleeing from an abusive father. His early life was full of struggle, and he moved a lot. But an avid course in seventh grade changed his life, he realized education was the key to get out of this bad dream he was living in. Ivan found his voice through music, poetry, and free writing, while a student at Chico State. So you can expand on that. I know Teresa mentioned, she’s excited to hear about your story, I always like to hear from you. So tell us a little bit of your background of prior to becoming a college student.
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 06:26
So I lived in a single parent home. You know, like, like I mentioned in my bio moved a lot. I grew up with four older brothers. So I basically got to see, you know, drugs, sex and rock and roll at a very young age. So even though I was a late bloomer, like, you know, when it comes to, like, you know, me being a, an adolescent into teen, I was super mature in the head, because ever since I was a little kid, I was seeing a lot of very real life experiences, you know, that happening to my mom, as a single parent. And then also my older brothers, you know, going through a lot. My I, like I said, it’s kind of bios are kind of rough, because I feel sometimes I don’t want to, like, you know, kind of give people the reality of what I went through. It’s, it wasn’t all bad, you know, because there was a lot of values and stuff like that my, my mom instilled in my mom’s family instilled. But the reality is that I was a first generation, you know, immigrant. In going through a lot of these, like, things, I lived through all the errors my brothers made, we’re talking about gangs, you know, inherited anger, drugs, you know, just things that racism, you know, like, prit, you know, things like that, like just battling a lot of these things. And then just, it that that was my upbringing, man, to tell you the truth. I, I never, I was always a good kid at heart. Because I saw a lot of the things that I shouldn’t be doing it, I learned, I that’s how I kind of learned. So it was more like, me and my friends, I have a friend in LA, we kind of we talked about this where we’re like, do do what I say, not what I do. You know, it’s kind of like something that I ended up understanding from my older brothers, you know, and then seeing their errors. It’s almost like, I was the youngest of five, and I could not look at my mom and say, I didn’t know. So that’s what basically led me to do the right things. I don’t get me wrong, I did a lot of stupid things. I you know, just like everybody, first generation that grew up in these areas, these these hoods, you know, what I mean? These urban areas, and it’s, it sucks, you know, you see a lot of things you can, you can get in a lot of trouble just for being stupid. But luckily, luckily, there is a light in me, man. And it took me a long time to give myself credit that I just knew to try to do the right thing. You know, and for me, I just felt like there was a lot of ignorance, like a lot of ignorance in our history, a lot of ignorance in in the things that will get you in trouble, the drug addictions, you know, the, like, with violence with gangs, and I had to, I had to go in and in a quest to realize why my people, my family, my friends, you know, are struggling with these with these things. And, and I just came to a realization, like when I was in seventh grade, even though, you know, was like, hey, I need to educate myself. Like, I know, I can I know, I can throw down I know, I can fight. I know, I could fight. I know, I can do this. I know it can be a bad boy. I know. I can, you know, get, you know, the party and stuff because I see my brother. But it irk me that I didn’t understand my own history. And I didn’t understand why why my own people were plagued with drugs and my and not doing good. You know, because I knew that there was people in my family too, that that were they’re very hard working. They’re immigrants to this, this family, this, this country and for generations back even before me, have been in this country, so I was very the bored across me. And I needed to realize why, what why I was experiencing these struggles. And, and, and to give myself a little bit of strength. So that’s basically what led me when I was 16, I got out of the house. Okay, I left the house. Teresa was talking about, about her parents, and they don’t understand sometimes that, you know, you’re, you’re on the phone. I mean, you’re, you’re on the phone, but like, it’s not physical work. So I had that to my mom was a lot. I was her youngest. She had me when she was a little bit older, there was a big generation gap. You know, she didn’t understand me, I had to get out of the house when I was 16. Okay, I live with, I started living my best friend. And even and then there even more, I had to make sure I had above a 3.5. And I got above a 980 on my SAT to get the hell out of where I was at. Okay, and, and I always try to like do, like, things that were intense sports and things like that I was all about it. But basically, in a nutshell, was I had to educate my mind. And I had to get out of that that cycle. And I had I had to go on that quest. That’s it.
Teresa Hernandez 11:17
Yeah, no, and it’s true, it’s definitely kind of it comes to a point where you have to do what’s right for you. And you have to realize that kind of like that little piece of selfishness is like, I need to get out of this, like my house, I need to do kind of this thing on my own to be able to let myself thrive. And you’ve kind of talked about like your how your different experiences have shaped you to put you on the path of as to where you’re at now. Can you talk a little bit more about about that. So kind of like your education, specifically, that you maybe specifically education within formally, so within school, like, how Chico State experiences, or even High School, what your experience is kind of how that shaped, you are talking about a few of those experiences, and just maybe outside like culturally, like you’re in formal education as to kind of what you’ve learned, you know, maybe through your, through your brothers, your experiences like that from your family, or friends or even, you know, people mentors, especially regarding your music, and kind of along those lines.
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 12:23
Yeah, um, well, obviously, I touched up a little bit about history. You know, um, I think, one of the first course links that I took at EOP, we learned, I think, I think it was the untold, no, not not that. Basically, it was it was like a Multicultural and Gender Studies. I believe that was a class. I don’t know, it, it gave you the real the real history of the United States. Okay. That was a very eye opening and it gave me a lot of a lot of perspective as to why, why we were struggling my brown, black and yellow brothers were like, struggling. Okay, so that was one of the first that was one of the things and then not only that have just been a part of EOP and then being around people that were like me, like it helped them because I realized that I wasn’t the only one going through these these issues. Yeah, and, and and and I didn’t call on it, you know, I after that I started to realize, I just, I just need to know the truth. Even even now with politics and all this stuff. Like, there’s so many ways to address it.
Joshuah Whittinghill 13:39
This is the awkward pause of zoom. So while we wait for Ivan’s camera to refresh, again. We want it to him. I haven’t mentioned avid and for listeners that aren’t sure about what that may be. We wanted to kind of touch on that. It’s it is for it stands for advancement via individual determination. And it is a nonprofit college preparation program that’s designed to help students develop skills needed to be successful as they move through education and especially into college. It places an extreme emphasis on on growing, writing skills, critical thinking, teamwork, organization and reading skills. So Jahny is back with us but he mentioned avid so we kind of wanted to give you that explanation to see where where some of his turning and tipping point was when he started to become a little bit more focused and understanding of education and wanting to move forward. So welcome back there Ivan.
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 14:44
There’s power out again. So I decided to turn off the Wi-Fi and I’m just on the phone so
Joshuah Whittinghill 14:51
Oh, okay. Perfect. Thank you. Thank you know, and so you were kind of mentioning some of the stuff in college you got to that opened up your eyes in your mind, and were able to see bigger pictures of more historical systemic issues in place that had been affecting different communities. So if you want to pick up from there.
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 15:11
Again, and I talked, I touched up on on just in general, like, it’s, for me, just even going through history in high school and in elementary just seemed really odd to me, because my reality was so real. You know, like, one of my, one of the first, like, memories of me when we moved to the States, like I said, God, thank God, I never, we never had issues with that, you know, we had family here, and, and my grandparents were American citizens, and thank God, because a lot of people don’t have that. But one of the first memories that I have is, is following my mom going with my mom to pick apples in Washington, you know, like, like, in a field, you know, what I mean? It’s just hard work. So my reality was real. And, and so it was, it was, it was refreshing to learn the real history of the United States, you know, at least in not a cookie cutter fashion, you know. So that was, that was great. I mean, and then, like I said, EOP was great. Going in there with a lot of different students. But Teresa also, as she said, the some of the things that were not taught in school. Well, I’m I even though like, you know, with my bio, I’m very real about the situation, because I’m proud of what I’ve overcome. But the reality is that my brothers errors have taught me a lot. And they have taught me a lot too, because they, my mom, and my brothers taught me to survive. So that is a whole other education that is, is just as valuable. Because at the end of the day, you got to survive, like, things are getting so real now, like, I mean, and you know, with with, if you see the news, all the protests, all the racism, all the crazy stuff, that stuff exists, I lived through it as a little kid. And then a lot of that stuff is coming out. But though not the, the non-traditional things are like the things that I love. My family are so valuable. And I learned that when I moved to Los Angeles, when I graduated college. It was last I thought I had a. Look, check this out. I’m gonna tell you right now. I thought I had a bad life growing up, before I went to Chico. Chico was like a breath of fresh air. Big time, literally. Right? And, but when I moved to LA and the hardships that I that I encountered as an adult, as an adult, like in 2008-2009, like when I was out there and the, you know, there was a there was a recession, or what do you call it? There was a
Teresa Hernandez 17:51
Yeah, the resession in 2008.
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 17:54
Yeah, it was bad. I went out there with a shiny resume, couldn’t get a job. Okay, it freaking devastated me, you know what I mean? And luckily, I bounced. It bounced. I bounced from it. I took a loan, and I started my own business. And I said, Forget the corporate world. That’s a whole nother can of worms. Okay. We’ll talk about that later. But I the things that I learned from my parents and from my brothers, really, really, had were shining when I moved to LA. I mean, I lived everywhere out there in Los Angeles, I did not give up I fought so hard. It was nuts. Listen to live struggle, the song that I have. It’s one of the first releases that I did in 2015. Official releases. It talks about all the things that I went through in Los Angeles. We’re getting scammed on Craigslist, living in different areas with prostitutes in the corners, like, you know, going and getting social services, you know, just to survive. I just had no quitting. But it was the things that I learned from my brothers. But things that I learned from my mom, it, it’s the thing that kept me going, and it’s survival. You know, it’s survival, not being afraid of the situation when somebody is being hostile. My brothers, they taught me hard, you know, like hard, like, you know, being punched in the face hard, but at least I knew what that felt like. And I knew when somebody was getting to that point, and I knew how to either step away from it or be ready for it. You know what I mean? And so, those things are some of the things that I learned, you know, and just, just being cool, calm and collected, being it and then understanding how to be in different areas. So even though you know, I learned a lot at school, don’t believe you know, but those things are very important. They’re they’re very important. They’re very important.
Joshuah Whittinghill 19:51
Excellent, thanks for sharing that. Then I can, as I said earlier, how excited you get when you share your stories and talk about things You can you can feel your passion, about your own experience. But also, more importantly, even from when you were a first year student. During that year, it became apparent that you also wanted to always try and help other people.
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 20:12
Joshuah Whittinghill 20:13
By sharing your story, or giving them information or something along the way. So it’s not anything new for you. It’s part of who you, who you grew into as you went through all those experiences.
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 20:22
That’s why I’m a musician. That’s why I’m a musician. I didn’t become a musician and look pretty, you know, luckily, luckily, I thank my parents, but I was just joking. I thank my family, I just, it’s because it’s like you said, it’s selfless.
Joshuah Whittinghill 20:37
Yeah, and, um, and then just talking about the experience, not just for you as an individual, but you touched on a number of different times and ways how this is affecting communities, you know, on the whole and in larger situations. And so I wanted to point out while we’re on that, and you talking a lot about Latinx community, and experiences, that Hispanic Heritage Month, you know, kicked off a couple of days ago. And so if you are in wherever you’re at, because Chico State has a month long calendar of events, planned all the way through October 20th. And one of those events coming up in the middle October, on their calendar is the audacity to live a student’s story of surviving the brand of the American dream. Right. And so that’s going to be one that’s similar to what you’re talking about. But they have a number of other different events coming up, learning about what grant projects are happening on campus and the change makers involved with that. Nutrition and health. They have a whole handful of different events. And if you want to, you can go to csuchico.edu, forward slash diversity. And you’ll be able to see the calendar of events on that website, but also encourage you wherever you’re living during this time, you know, seek out possible events that are happening around your community, or ways that you might be able to get involved with Hispanic Heritage Month now.
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 22:07
That’s a good tip, man.
Joshuah Whittinghill 22:11
Yeah, so and we’ll have the website in our show notes. Once this is posted up to so people can have the link to the website there. So, So you talked about, you know, education and your upbringing and things, but you said you are a musician, but that doesn’t tell us much. So So what are you up to now? With your career after all the different things you’ve gone through and hustled and, and tried to make for yourself? Where are you? What are you up to now in your career?
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 22:37
So I stopped in LA, right? So I at the Chico State, I was there for about six years. Okay. Some of it was voluntary, and some of it wasn’t, you know, it I got, I got a major Music Music Industry option recording option, right, and then a minor in Spanish. But I, I literally, I was doing a real job at school, doing events that the pinnacle of my career, my college career, I was at the top of my class with music industry, not in grades in experience. Okay, I was I had a budget of $15,000, like, like, two, three times, three, four times a year to book of large artists, you know, 15, even up to even 20. So I booked a lot of bands that I liked a lot of bands, you know, a lot of people I was a multicultural coordinator. So I brought in a bunch of artists. Before that I was the president of the Spanish club. So I was I was organizing and doing events. So when I moved to LA, I had a shiny resume with all kinds of things, all these activities that we’re doing, but over there, it didn’t mean anything. It didn’t mean one thing for me. Right. And this is happening now.
Joshuah Whittinghill 23:53
We have a special guest.
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 23:55
Little mini me.
Joshuah Whittinghill 23:58
Okay, what’s what’s his name?
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 24:00
Gavino Jahny Gavino Paredes.
Joshuah Whittinghill 24:03
Nice. All right.
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 24:04
So okay, so going back, um, what was I talking about? LA. Um, so, when I moved to LA, I had a hard time adjusting to the corporate world, I think because it was the whole, like, 2008 recession. And it was hard. I mean, I was paying close to $5 for gas. It, I had a change of heart dude. I was at a temp agency. I was I had a friend that was going through all these industry jobs. I had I was doing I was doing a dealing with agents from Los Angeles and New York already. I was good on the phone. I was a good negotiator. Because all my other friends that were that were like they were working there. They were getting, there we’re getting tooled on, on the phone and I was able to, to because of my upbringing. It helped me be a good negotiator because, like I’ve taught, I was taught, if somebody is nice to you, you’re nice to them. If somebody is nasty to you, you’re nasty to them. And I know it’s kind of a no, sometimes you can’t be nasty, you know, you have to be you, especially if you’re like, working, you know, you got to keep it, you know, whatever, you have to walk away, you walk away, first of all, you walk away. But that’s, I took that to that, like, when, when I had agents that were trying to be really nasty with me be like, you know, and, but I okay, well, then I won’t talk to you all, I was straight up, I was able to keep it 100. So I was successful. But when I moved to LA, I had a change of heart, I wasn’t getting jobs. I really wasn’t trying to do the corporate world. So I ended up just taking out a business loan and, and to start my own business. And from then on, you know, from then on, I started doing recording, um, it took me a long time to start making money. So my friend started hearing some of my music from college, my college projects. Josh, you are a Recording Arts Major? You know what I’m talking about? I just had recording projects that I because of like other bands that didn’t show up, I started I was a songwriter, I, I luckily, I started writing around the time of EOP and later on, and I started writing, and then they turn into poetry. And then I always played guitar. So finally, I started making songs. So, I had songs. So my friends, when I was living in downtown LA, you know, working doing events, and then leasing an old building, my friend started listening to my music, and I had all this equipment and things like that and they were like, like who’s? I was like, that’s me. Like, that’s tight, bro. That’s, that’s sick. That’s, that’s awesome. You should write music. I’m like, Nah, dude, I’m trying to make money. Like, I went to school to better myself and my family. I’m not, I’m not trying to take a gamble. But guess what, being an artist became my therapy.
Joshuah Whittinghill 24:04
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 27:01
It became my therapy. And then I started realizing, when I was in, when I was at the university. When I was at the university, I connected to a lot of people from different parts of the world. And sometimes I would get people from different parts of the world be like, What are you? Where are you from? This and that they didn’t. Some people, you know, if people don’t know that you’re Mexican. And so for me, I started realizing, like, Hey, I got some some sort of a world appeal. So I’m going to use that. And not only that, is I said, being musician is selfless, because guess what, um, I realized that
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 27:41
It not only was a therapy for me, but I know that it’s good for other people to hear music from people that look like them, or stories that are that they’re related to. So I started doing that literally, my friends pushed me into being an artist. And then when I was like, heading my own business and and depressed and like in the middle of the grind, I, it just became who I was, and became who I was. And that’s what it that’s what it became. So fast forward. 10 years. I’m living in San Jose. I’m an instructor I produce I produce from home I have a little studio, I produce my last album, I produced everything. Okay, I’m talking about every instrument, every composition, every every lyric, everything I did. I don’t like to do it that way. But I did it. I did it that way. And so what you hear like the beginning of the Eastside song, that’s, that’s something I recorded here. It’s a remix from an older song, but it’s but but the percussion but but but thur got to goo to goo psshh. I’m doing all that stuff, the bass, the guitar, the keys, everything. And it’s a blessing that I became a music instructor because about 2013 I realized that I could play a bunch of instruments. And when I was like having a hard time making money with my business, I started incorporating teaching and that was one of the best things that I could do. Because I’m getting way better as a freakin songwriter. You’re way better as a musician. And not only that, I get to geek out with my students. I have some frickin rock star students, man, if you check out JWP08 on on YouTube, you’re gonna see some little 11 year olds playing Desperado on the piano and singing and doing all kinds of stuff. And it’s not so that that’s what’s going on now. And then I’m obviously when I was in LA, I made a lot of connections. So now I’m actually going back and tapping into that. I’m just like, and trying to work on the industry that way, but basically, I did not want to go into the corporate world and to be quite honest with you. I’m not trying to I’m not trying to bring my violin out here again to you, but you know what? The last thing Paredes did not help me to get calls back. Okay, let’s just keep it real. It’s who you know. And and that’s just the reality. I when I realized that then I was like, Okay, I’m not gonna trip on it. Because and Chico. I got to I was very successful with my college career towards the end, because it’s I put in the work, and I and I figured out how to get into that bubble. So that I was being seen, you know, and so once I realized that to you know, think about LA is in the grand scheme of things, it’s, you know, so anyways, I hope that answered the question.
Teresa Hernandez 30:20
Yeah, it did. No, thank you for that. Um, and you, I know, you, you at the very last part of that you kind of dish out everything you so you’re different, you know, your talents and music and your different talents in music when it comes to instruments and everything in and as to from what you’ve composed and your lyrics in the songs. And so, that kind of brings me to want to ask you, how has music influenced your life? or What does what does music mean to you? And I know that it’s the definition is different for everyone. And it can be, you know, very philosophical, it could be very straight to the point. So kind of interested in knowing, in your own in your own words, what what does music mean to you?
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 30:58
You know, Josh, he at the beginning, he said that I always knew what I wanted to do when I got to college. And I think he remembers to, I think what he does, uh, he, he remembers 2003 when I actually decided what my major was, but I don’t think he remembers that I did not know what I wanted to do. I did not know what I needed wanted to do. As a matter of fact, that was kind of quiet. You know, I kind of kept to myself, and I and I, and I gained confidence. You know, as I got, I got this, I went to my GE and I went to some music courses. He gave me confidence because he was a he was a Recording Arts major, too. You know what I mean? So but I was searching and, and for me, it was very important to choose something that I was gonna make money but but, you know, it is what it is. It wasn’t until I was a junior I wrote, I declared as a major. But music. I didn’t know this. But Music has always been a part of me and my family. In one way, shape or form. Okay, I was very, I was very underprivileged. You know, growing up, I remember being a seventh grade or eighth grader, I couldn’t even afford $10 sticks. Okay, to be in the band. My brother played drums. He never he never let me play the drums. It was kind of like step brothers. Like he whooped my ass if I got it, excuse my language, but if I got, you know, that’s my drum stricks, don’t touch my drum sticks, you know, but but when I remember being five years old, and him being like 10 years old, teaching me basic Mexican rhythms, you know, like Colombia, Bolero, not Bolero that was a little to advance, waltzes, polkas, you know, like, things like that. So I had a basic understanding of basic rhythms to follow on. And not only that, I was always dancing. My my family was always encouraging me to dance, partner dance, solo that different types of dances. So by the time I was like, I’m in high school, I picked up I picked up the drums like, running, you know? But, uh, so going back to your question is, it was always a part of me. But when, during the hardest times, music was my therapy. It calmed me down. People do yoga. You know, people do exercise exercise, another big one for me. But music when I had a long paper to do or stay up all frickin night because I procrastinated, I listened to music. I always had music playing in my ear. Okay. And and, you know, you have to remember I you know, I come from the age where, you know, you would you would download a lot of stuff, peer to peer software, I had a collection of like, 12,000 or 12,000 songs at one point on my computer. I went through every single song that I can remember. And now now Spotify, loves Spotify. Again, just I remember something phone just get there. You know what I mean? I got my playlist and whatnot. So you and you said, What does music mean to you? Well, music Look, I didn’t choose music. Music chose me, meaning like it’s it’s it’s a it’s a it’s a vibration. You know, it’s a vibration. We gravitate we gravitate towards certain things. And I just realized that it took me a while to realize but it was it’s basically my life. Music is my life and it’s my therapy. And so and, and that’s it.
Teresa Hernandez 34:42
And um Josh, I want to pose the kind of the same question just curious to you so and we know that Ivan has his his all his knowledge and experience and talents, skills and music and like hearing his definition and you also you know, having like a passion for music as well. What What would be your definition of, of what music means to you? Or how would you? In your words, what does that mean?
Joshuah Whittinghill 35:07
Okay, well, thanks for asking. What does music mean to me? Yeah, it’s similar to what Ivan was saying a minute ago about, excuse me, music, not really I’m picking music, but music kind of picking me, in the sense that when I came to, to Chico State to study my undergraduate work, I always wanted to study English. And I loved I had a passion for writing lyrics and reading plays, and I didn’t like reading novels, that was always the one that I had a struggle with, but plays scripts, poems, music, lyrics, all that kind of stuff, right. And then I was about to become an English major. And then I realized, oh, if I want to study music, ever, in any kind of depth of it, and learn about and get get more connected and have a deeper relationship, I probably should do that as a student, when I have the access and the opportunity to do it. And so I changed my major to the Music Recording Arts and, and then, in doing that, it was at a transition in my life, where and I’ve been touched on a lot of his upbringing, what he saw and learned about addiction and drugs, and alcoholism, and abuse. And these kinds of things happening. And for me, it had was about, actually at the time when this happened was 25 years. Three months and 15 days ago that I checked myself into rehab. So I’ve been living sober since then. And music was, music was like, I haven’t said the Savior. It was this whole new world for me where I had a connection with, with not just the music, but the people around music. And it really changed my life. And I was able to learn how to be alone in different ways how to make different relationships, and hear the different messages that come around. Because I was terrible at playing instruments. I really didn’t even play instruments very well. And I was already in the music, you know, degree. But I wrote lyrics and I was really connected to that side of it. So just the messages that people need. So music was and music was and remains to be, you know, this this healing source. And we have an episode coming up in October, we’re actually going to record an episode and our topic is going to be music and language. So we’re going to have some good discussions there. But Music has always been that since then, before that music was sort of this this passing thing in the background, when I get in the car and hear the radio, it wasn’t really a huge thing in my family. And I think that was one of the things that pushed me to it was I was thinking, Oh, my family never really did much of this. But I wish that they would have, had more of a music influence around and play more music and those kind of things. And so as I move forward, to even further my connection with music and use an understanding of music, as I finished up my doctorate work in the last three or four years, my research has all been focused on students and people in general, but our relationships with music, and connections to social and emotional development, and how music really helps nurture that for a lot of people. And a lot of it comes from looking at being an instructor and an academic advisor and working in education for so many years. Not many courses, there’s not a lot of curriculum in higher education, or K through 12, for that matter, that really help people to look at social emotional development, and K through 12 has a lot more. But in higher ed, there’s really very little and so in, in researching and talking with students and interviewing students, and having focus groups and finding out that students are using music, to extreme extents, to help them develop their self awareness. Like Ivan touched on to help develop this social awareness of where do I fit into society? How do I fit into society? There are other people who have similar experiences to me, not just the musicians creating music, but other people listening to the same kind of music. And then how do I make, How do I build relationships? How am I even making decisions? Right? All of these sort of things. So music is this, you know, ubiquitous, never ending?
Joshuah Whittinghill 39:22
Powerful. Right? This powerful source that can just heal, bring people together, teach stories, learn lessons from, all those all those types of areas, just to even touch on it right? I mean, there are there are podcasts out there about the just music and they go on and have hundreds of episodes just talking about this topic, you know, okay, we’ve just transitioned from first generation one of many two first generation musicians. No. But please see the power of it. So that’s one thing that I Teresa, Teresa and I are going to venture into. She doesn’t even know this yet. I have an email I typed up yesterday to send to her to get her input on some of the feedback before we actually send it out. But we, I think just like having Ivan on here is reaching out to first generation students and alum. If you’re a musician, and you want us to, you want to share your music, we would love to hear from you, get your songs, and be able to use them as the backdrop to intro and outro to our episodes moving forward, would be a wonderful thing. So look forward to that happening soon. All right, so I know we’re running out of time. We have things and places to go. Unfortunately, it’s coming to an end. But Ivan, before we go, if you want to share, what is one recommendation you have for for people out there, they don’t have to be musicians just you know, people definitely help with you said, you know, exercising and music and things. But what’s one self care tip that you’ve been utilizing a recommendation that helped you that you want to share with people?
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 41:09
Self-care? I mean, I’ve touched up on a few but I would say health. Health is number one, mental health and just physical, physical health, like physical education like you have, you have to get out there and do something. Okay. I think stretching, you know, especially now everybody’s like, in front of a computer zooming on our phone sitting down over that get up. Yeah, you know, things like that. Um, but the Yeah, do it like I aside from music, even though I’m like, Oh, I’m into music. I do jujitsu. I do kickboxing. I go running. I you know, I do things like that. I think it’s very important to get your body going. Because it’s a natural. It’s a natural. Energizer. But it’s but another thing is like it’s arts, okay. Arts, I don’t care if it’s music, it could be, it could be painting it. I mean, it could be poetry can be free writing, I would say what changed my life was not just music. It was writing out my my issues, which is mental health, you got to release. So there’s one thing that I want to say is that you’ve got to release these things. Because, for me, what happened is it started writing. And that’s the most important thing that I could tell you is get a journal, write it somewhere, release all that garbage you have in your head, okay? Because that’s how my whole journey with music started. And like I told you, I did not know what I wanted to do. I didn’t I didn’t knew I needed to get the heck away so far away from the Imperial Valley from where I graduated. Even though I moved a lot. As far as I could be becuase it was was
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 43:05
Crazy, right? Because that, that turns into the end, it’s never ending, okay. Me. To tell you the truth. If you listen to my music, it’s hard like I have I have songs about all kinds of stuff like that have the most of my songs or life lesson. Most of most of my songs are stuff that I’ve grown up and I’ve been going through. So the number one thing that I tell you, is keep a journal write something, write it out. And then because when you have deep stuff that moves you, like, I did it through music, but that’s just because I went to school and I geeked out about it. I’ve been doing it for the past 20 years. You know what I mean? Like, but, but it’s but I, the one thing that I battled through a lot of inherited anger. And it wasn’t till I got educated, and I was able to write free write how I was feeling and it gave me a voice. Because before I did, I would use my fist. That’s why my brothers used to use so it’s like not it’s not what you should be doing as you usually use it, you add energy differently. And so for me, it was it was communication. I didn’t really know how to communicate too well. So that was that’s the number one thing as far as for health, mental health, like, right, and then do arts because arts arts are never ending, okay? Could be mixed martial arts, I don’t care, whatever, go run. Oh, another thing is, like I said those two things, the arts, and, and, um, and then exercise and then free and then within those two things you need to be writing. If you if you need to write out what you have in your head because if not, it’s gonna, it’s gonna, it’s gonna clog your mind. And it’s, I have to remind myself of that, especially now with this pandemic. Remind yourself those things.
Joshuah Whittinghill 44:58
Excellent. Thank thanks for Your passion and for sharing those those tips. It has been another wonderful episode. Thanks for joining us Teresa, it’s been great seeing you again.
Teresa Hernandez 45:12
Joshuah Whittinghill 45:12
And we’re looking forward to our next episode. Episode Five, Episode Four sorry, this is Episode 3.5. And an episode four coming up. We’re going to have a panel of guests, we’ll have some students, some staff, some faculty, and we’re going to kind of just talk and have discussions about what can faculty, staff and fellow students, what can we all be doing to help support each other and make sure this remote learning is meaningful, right. Especially the fall semester, and as we prepare move into the spring semester, with that, most likely looking to be very similar to the fall semester, with some odd. With a lot of online remote learning. So thank you again, thanks for listening to first generation one of many, and take care of yourselves. Bye.
Teresa Hernandez 46:12
Ivan Paredes/Jahny Wallz 46:12