Judah Esparza is a senior at Grand Canyon University. He was born and raised in LA County and moved to Phoenix for college. He currently studies in the Colangelo College of Business and aspires to one day own his own successful company. When he is not at work, Judah enjoys spending his free time by goofing off with friends, playing basketball or working out in the gym.
Grand Canyon University’s worship arts program is proud to turn their spotlight on rising talent and GCU student Joseph Allen! Joseph is sophomore at GCU and originally from Killeen, Texas.
Throughout Joseph’s life, he was always interested in and inspired by the music of others. As he started growing in his own musical talent, he became intrigued by the response that people had to artists and their music. Joseph realized that this response is what he loved about music – when a musician takes the stage, people don’t just listen, but they sing along and take time to learn the lyrics of each song as well. Music goes far beyond entertainment; rather, it moves people’s hearts and inspires their dreams.
Joseph specifically remembers speaking to a young teenager whose favorite artist was Lil Wayne. This young teen, no older than 13, was inspired by someone who sang about a “rich, gang lifestyle” and glorified a life that Joseph did not agree with. This encounter and realization is what motivated Joseph to strive to inspire others through his own music, which people could relate to at any stage of life.
The Start of an LP
Joseph spent most of his first year of college, the following summer and even into the fall 2016 semester writing, producing, recording and mastering his own 10-song LP. When he first started, Joseph did not know anything about recording or producing music. Instead, he jumped right in by watching videos online and learning new information from different websites. Joseph even used the closet in his own dorm room to record! With towels, jackets, blankets and anything else he could use, Joseph engineered the small space to mimic the standards of a recording studio. He said that the feedback of his roommates and family is what motivated him to keep working and finish this project.
The End Product: The College Lifestyle LP
Joseph mastered and mixed the album himself by comparing the sound quality of his album to other music that played through his car audio system. After fully mastering and mixing his album by himself, Joseph visited the GCU Recording Studio. The first day Joseph visited the studio, he realized that there were some things he would have to sacrifice in order for his album to meet the standards of the music industry today. This is how he met John McJunkin.
While in the studio, Joseph gave full license to John to adjust whatever he needed to, to make it sonically and melodically correct. Although changes were necessary with Joseph’s album, John also knew that he had a vision with his music. For the most part, John kept the album aligned with how Joseph envisioned it and wanted it to sound.
Finally on Oct. 4, 2016, the “College Lifestyle” LP was officially released. This LP contains 10 songs that are a mix of pop and indie music, and speaks to a variety of different crowds. The finished product sounds beautiful, and is exactly how Joseph wanted it and dreamt of when he first began this project.
Joseph’s Personal Statement and Life Philosophy
Joseph lives by the belief that anyone can live and create the life they want, but only if they are willing to make the sacrifices and decisions to see it happen. He also believes that everyone is worth more than they picture themselves as, and with hard work and dedication, we are all capable of living whatever lifestyle we want.
Joseph’s LP is a perfect example of making his dreams a reality! He began this project with no previous knowledge on production or music-related work, yet he was able to fully produce, record and master his entire album in just a year and a half. Joseph believes that God has provided to him the life he wants live, but it is up to him to keep working hard in order to fully live it!
To purchase Joseph’s LP, visit itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-college-lifestyle/id1157968193
To stream his LP on Spotify, visit open.spotify.com/album/0vlT2yQ823ONSq6zIIXIbq
Interested in learning more about our worship arts program and recording studio? Visit the GCU website or use the green Request More Information button at the top of the page.
Written by Judah Esparza, a junior majoring in business management at GCU.