UH is the house of the innovators: An interview with Jordyn Chaffold

Jordyn Chaffold has made being a public figure at UH a key for him. Whether it’s with Uncommon Colors, an artistic student organization he helped to found, or through campaigning to be SGA President, Chaffold is a public face that is continuing to gain popularity. But aside from being a student and a leader, Chaffold is an artist.

I had the chance to ask Chaffold a couple of questions to find out more about his musical career, his drives for being the best student leader he can be and his goals for the future.

Bryce Dodds: How did you get started in music?

Jordyn Chaffold: In 4th grade, I was in choir and I loved to sing. Then in 8th grade, I used to write these poems and put them on MySpace. There was this guy though who rapped at my school and it just wasn’t good at all. He was dating this girl I had a huge crush on, so one day I told him, ‘Dude I just sing and make poems and I bet I could rap better than you.’ I got out my Rock Band mic wrote some rhymes and the rest is history.

BD: When did you know that you wanted to keep making music?

JC: In 2013, I dropped a 5 song EP called GREAT. It was really a promotional tape for my Presidential Campaign in high school, but I felt like I could do better and I didn’t have a job, so I spent the entire summer making a 13-track mixtape called TOO GREAT. From there, I just loved making songs and continued making projects at about 1-2 per year.

BD: What artistic project, no matter the medium, are you most proud of?

JC: I don’t care what anybody says, I love Sorry For The Blaze. The story behind it, the passion put into it, they are all timeless. I made the entire project in under two weeks and thematically it is the most cohesive EP I’ve ever dropped. Granted CHAFF 2 was my masterpiece album, it was perfect, but I’m really proud of SFTB.

BD: Tell me about the Snakes EP. How did you get the idea and how did you turn it out so fast?

JC: Tom Herman left us. I knew that I was done with Chaff 2, but I wasn’t ready to put it out yet. It’s kind of hard to explain, but when you know you worked extremely hard to create something over the course of a year and there’s a good chance that nobody will listen. you’ll be a bit hesitant to give it out. I knew that I had a little bit more left in me, I also knew that I would be running for President this semester so I wanted to give people just a little bit more before CHAFF 2 came out.

So on Sunday, November 7, I sat down and made 3 songs, and on Monday, November 28, I made 3 more, and thus the Snakes EP was done. I’m really proud of that tape too because, thematically, it’s about much more than just Tom Herman, it’s about personal experiences I’ve had in the student government, as well as personal experiences I’ve had dealing with people who weren’t very transparent with me.

BD: What’s one thing you aspire to do as an artist?

JC: I want to inspire, but I also want to be recognized. Several people here at UH and in my organizations tell me I’m one of the best rappers they know, people say that my performances are the best ones at shows I perform at. Yet, when I drop an album, I get 40 listens? Not to sound unappreciative of the 40 people who admire me, I just feel like if I work on a body of work for over a year and one of my best friends tells me that he hasn’t even listened to it all the way through, it hurts, and it makes me question why I’m even wasting my time.

BD: You’re running for SGA Student Body President. What made you want to do that? If elected, what do you want to do with your position?

JC: I made an entire Facebook post about this. I planned to run for student body president before I even got to UH, but you’ll notice when you get to college that there are more involvement opportunities than there are hours in a day. I got caught up in Coog Radio for a year and got caught up in Uncommon Colors for another year. Next thing I knew, I was a junior and there was no time like the present. My party, the House of Innovation, is looking to innovate on the current SGA template and make the organization more appealing to students, educate students on the organization, increase the level of communication between students and the government and create an environment that’s sustainable for students and welcoming.

BD: You’ve done a lot already in college: making music, started Uncommon Colors, involved with SGA and now running for president. What’s the goal? To just do as much as you can? Or is this focusing you up toward something bigger? What’s the dream end goal?

JC: Let’s be honest, everybody has their own personal agenda. However, I’m not focused on that right now. My realistic end goal? Move to California and live a successful life. But that has to wait. Right now, I’m focused on leaving my stamp on the University of Houston. Why? Because it’s something I care about, it’s something that 44,000 students are paying for. Unlike presidents before me, I didn’t survey over 400 schools, I didn’t have 25 to pick from. I chose UH because I saw it was a school that was about improvement. When I came here in 2008, it was a completely different school, unrecognizable. To say that they were able to do that in less than 6 years is impressive. I want to leave this school better than what it was when I got here.

BD: Last question: When people talk about you down the road, what do you want to be the legacy you leave behind, both in college and out in the professional world?

JC: I want to be known as a creative, an innovator. People think that because I started an arts organization that I’m going to get into art when I grow up. I created Uncommon Colors because there was a gap in information that was available at the University. I was looking for an organization that rappers, artists, singers, photographers etc. could join but such an organization didn’t exist. There was clearly a need for it, so I filled that need. That is what it means to be an innovator. Innovators and creatives end up being the head of the Fortune 500 companies. The world is run by innovators and creatives, not by businessmen in suits.

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