Jennifer Dixon comes from a musical family. Growing up, her father taught her everything he knows about singing, from the three-part harmony to tenor to soprano and alto.
“As a child he (her father) used to teach my sisters and I songs that he sang while growing up,” said Dixon. “Singing brings me peace. If I had a busy day and want to unwind, I start singing. It relieves stress, and it is very relaxing.”
Her grandfather also sang and performed in a group back in his day. The combination of her family’s talents has allowed Dixon to develop her own tastes in music, whether it be R&B, pop or gospel. Those genres have helped shape who she is today.
Dixon is 25 years old, and currently studies English as a graduate student at Governors State University. Since the days of singing with her sister, Dixon has found a broader interest in writing.
“I love all styles of writing. I think that the key that people miss when it comes to writing is that you have to be passionate about what you are writing about,” said Dixon.
In 2018, she specifically began focusing on music journalism during a digital portfolio project while at school. After watching an Aretha Franklin documentary, Dixon established a thorough understanding of what music journalism is, and how it functions.
From there, she began to do research on possible internships within the profession, and stumbled upon College Media Network. Now, she focuses on developing her skills for future endeavors. For CMN, she’s written about Keyondra Lockett and Bebe Rexha among others.
For Dixon, music and writing professionally is something that goes hand-in-hand. Her favorite artists, Franklin, Whitney Houston, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard, and MAJOR, all have powerful voices with strong hearts, which is something Dixon strives to acquire in her own field.
“They (the artists) all have a pivotal message or a lesson to follow within their songs,” said Dixon. “I listen to their music to be inspired or uplifted, and all of these artists fulfill that category.”
Her favorite albums, I AM MAJOR (MAJOR), Heart. Passion. Pursuit. (Cobbs-Leonard), and The Other Side (The Walls Group), all have empowering qualities that motivate Dixon’s own life. Positive aesthetic is common in the R&B and Gospel genres.
She’s had the luxury of seeing some of her favorite artists in concert: Cobbs-Leonard, Syleena Johnson, Toni Braxton and Janelle Monae. All of these artists are representatives of strong and powerful women. It’s great to see Dixon highlight their positive attributes in her writing.
Outside of studying for her English degree, Dixon enjoys shopping, going to concerts, and spending time with family. Her dream is having the opportunity to spend one day with Grammy-award winner Erica Campbell.
“She is always so positive, and seems to have a sweet spirit. We would go shopping, eat at a restaurant, and record a song in the studio,” said Dixon of her theoretical experience.
In the meantime, Dixon remains focused on her path to music journalism. She credits CMN for introducing other styles of music to her palette, and hopes that inspiration continues to come from her day-to-day experiences with the program.
“CMN is currently helping strengthen my writing, and introduce me to other genres of music,” said Dixon. Her writing could be the key to finding her own powerful voice in the future.
If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.
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