While everyone had the choice to bring their own dessert for this virtual installment of the weCreate® Center’s Deep Dive & Dessert series, the online setting couldn’t diminish the talent Jonah Kagen ’18 brought to everyone’s screens.
A graduate of both the Shattuck-St. Mary’s Boys Soccer and Engineering Centers of Excellence, Jonah is currently a sophomore at Cornell University, where he plays soccer, studies psychology, and pursues his ultimate passion: music. While he had hoped to return to weCreate in person, he hosted the Deep Dive & Dessert over Zoom, to talk about the journey with music he began right here in the weCreate recording studio.
Jonah began playing guitar when he was just six years old, but it wasn’t until he got to SSM that he started performing in earnest. After playing an original song, “Uprising,” at one of our Family Weekends and putting on concerts in Newhall Auditorium (featuring the powerful vocals of our own Father Maltbie), he discovered the impact that music can have on people and has been chasing that feeling ever since.
After sharing his story with the eagerly listening students on Zoom, Jonah discussed his musical writing process from the brainstorming phase all the way through recording and production. He taught himself much of the production process in the weCreate recording studio as a student and weCreate leader and advised the students to try as many things as possible in their time at SSM. “What’s one thing that’s going to bring you together the most?” he asked them. “For me, that’s music, especially in unpredictable times like these.”
“Play as much as possible. Do it as much as possible,” he said simply, when the students asked for his advice on pursuing music or their passion in general. “And don’t stress too much about knowing everything. Knowing theory doesn’t help your creativity; creating helps your creativity.”
The full recording of Jonah’s talk is available here. To listen to Jonah’s music, you can find him on Instagram and Tik Tok. Thank you for your story, Jonah, and those words of wisdom in this uncertain time.