Listen

Music Journeys: The Paragon Project

Feb 20, 2019

The Paragon Project celebrates its third full-length music release this weekend. Based at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, high school students write and record their own songs to communicate about issues in their lives and foster dialogue for listeners. 

For the very first true podcast edition of Music Journeys, it's all about the Paragon Project. You'll hear samples from the latest release and students describe why they wrote them. The Paragon Project's creator reflects on how it all started and shares some of his incredible experiences in music. And we'll have a little fun at the end with a handful of song questions in a segment called Foley's Fast Five. I hope you give the full podcast a listen and tell me what you think. You can also find links to the features on the current release and the project’s second collection from 2018. Thanks for checking out the Music Journey’s podcast. Maybe one day, we'll chat about your journey. 

Here’s the full podcast audio and a brief timeline of what you’ll hear.

Opens with a general introduction

1:45 - A feature on the Paragon Project's 2nd release with samples and comments from Delaney-Rose Ramsey, Ivan Saez, Faith Pendleton, and Mykesha Corbin

9:05 - Live From Studio A performance at WCBE from 2018 of Free

11:45 - Tony Anderson on the first edition of Paragon followed by the track I Matter 

16:45 - Anderson shares his own music experiences, including how music changed the lives of kids, the first song they created that served as the foundation for the Paragon Project, and his connection to the Roots 

25:35 - A feature on the Paragon Project's current release with samples and comments from Deshawn Goncalves, Cierra Pace, Jasmine Sy, and Kaylah Linkiewicz 

33:42 - Foley's Fast Five, a handful of fun music questions   

38:50 - Wrap up and preview of the next Music Journeys podcast

Here's the feature on the Paragon Project's current release, Note To Self. 

Listen + Grow plays...

If there's a theme to the Paragon Project's third release Note To Self, it's the track Listen + Grow. Designed to give listeners some space to think about the experiences shared in the songs, Anderson and his students see the music as a bridge to communicate and connect on a meaningful level.  

"We want people to hear the music, to have dialogue about it, and to create inter-generational conversations about the topics that are represented on the album," Anderson said. "We want to make music that's for the majority of young people out there who are not into negative behaviors. Their ultimate goal is for their music to be respected and listened to with the same ears as you listen to something else, the only difference being the content. So, yes it is made at a school. Yes, it is a group of teens. But at one point, Ray Charles was a teen musician. Stevie Wonder was a teen musician. Michael Jackson was a teen musician. So there are people out there with those kind of talents. We are just fortunate to have a lot of them at Fort Hayes. Now I'm not saying that they are the next Michael Jackson, but you never know."

Time Is A Teacher plays...

"My name is Deshawn Goncalves, and I'm a senior here at Fort Hayes. My song, Time is a Teacher, addressed a feeling that I believe that everyone has had at a point in their life of feeling no hope and feeling down. So I wrote the song to let people know that through time, things will eventually be alright. So basically keep going, and then you'll start to see the brighter side of every situation."   

Rise Above plays... 

"My name is Cierra Pace, and I have a song on the album called Rise Above. It's about when people are talking about you, and you can't really do anything about it. You need to be the bigger person and not let those words tear you down. Don't go down to their level and try to talk back. It's just at a point of when you're higher than everybody else, and you know it."

Word Of Advice plays...

"My name is Jasmine Sy. My song is about how there's a double standard between females and males in society, what they wear, how they speak, and the choices that they make on a day to day basis. It's also how the rest of society views it and judges it. Even if you go with what society says, it's still a problem. So basically the message of the song is just do what you feel."  

In My Mind plays...

"My name is Kaylah Linkiewicz. I wrote a song that talks about the adoption process in America. I wrote the song that I needed to hear when I was going through it as a child. I talked about the frustration of going from home to home and all of the emotions tied with that. Being in the Paragon, I get to be a part of a really close-knit group of talented individuals that actually want to do good in the world and put positivity out in a world that normally is so negative."

The Paragon Project has also started holding focus group listening sessions with high school and college students outside of Columbus to find out what they think of the content. Members of the Paragon Project will perform at WCBE Live From Studio A on Thursday morning. A celebration release event takes play Saturday night at the King Arts Complex. More information about the Paragon Project can be found at the group's Facebook and Instragram pages.