YPSILANTI – Two Eastern Michigan University sisters are lending their voices to support students' mental health through uplifting music. Jaida Turner, sophomore and Jessica Turner, senior, are using their musical talents to help those experiencing difficult times.
In their most recent song release, ‘Black Diamond,’ Jaida and Jessica crafted lyrics to address mental health and self-worth and reassure millennials and Generation Z they are not alone through their journey. The song is their third extended play (EP) release as new artists.
“Black Diamond is one of the many songs we created to help people understand that no matter what you go through, there is always someone there for support and there’s always tomorrow,” said Jessica. “We want to create music with a contemporary gospel sound where it gives a positive message but isn't traditional gospel because we are trying to connect to our generation in a way that allows them to enjoy and understand the music,” Jaida added.
Jaida and Jessica are Detroit, natives who grew up in a performing arts camp, singing, acting and dancing. After years of participating in the camp, the pair preferred singing, among others. After transitioning out of camp, they wanted to continue their love for singing and decided to sing in their church, following in their mother's footsteps. With their mom’s inspiration and support, she enrolled the pair in singing and vocal lessons.
“We’ve always known we loved singing more because it allowed us to be creative in our own way,” said Jaida. “We wanted to focus more on creating more songs the older we grew and decided to pursue a music career and also pursue our college degrees.”
They both decided to attend Eastern to help them prepare for their dreams of having a successful music career. Jessica, a marketing major with a minor in African American studies and Jaida, a major in art education and also a second-year Presidential Scholar, juggle hours in class and the studio to stay consistent with their dreams.
“I'm trying to get better with time management and not procrastinating because we only have so much time in the day,” said Jaida after reflecting on the countless hours they spend perfecting their craft in and out of the classroom. On the other hand, Jessica does well with time management and will help Jaida achieve the same. “I make sure to use my time wisely and I use a calendar, which makes it easy for me to stay organized and also help Jaida when she needs me,” added Jessica.
Jessica is expected to graduate in December 2023, and Jaida expects to obtain her degree in 2025. They hope their music can continue to encourage and inspire others. “We want to release an album and EP and eventually join a record or label company, in addition to obtaining more resources to grow our careers after we graduate,” said Jessica.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.