JCSU Alumnus “Ready Like A Freight Train” Singing With Alicia Keys

By the time Taequan Owens ’20 was 8 years old, he was being paid to perform, playing the drums and singing in churches throughout the area. He continued to be involved in music throughout high school and college, and left Johnson C. Smith University with several collegiate choir accomplishments.

But the young JCSU alumnus didn’t realize that his lifelong passion would lead him to opportunities to meet and sing with Grammy award-winning artists Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz.

While he gives all honor and glory for his opportunities to God first and foremost, he also credits McGinnis alongside Dr. Shawn-Allyce White, director of Choral Activities, and Dr. Frank Williams, another University accompanist, for helping him hone his craft and continuing to be mentors who say his name in rooms crowded with important people.

“I’ve very grateful to God for his guidance and his blessings, and I don’t know what I’d do without Him,” he said. “I’m grateful to all three of my mentors. It’s these types of leaders who help push another generation into excellence to give us opportunities to work with people in the industry. It takes a network to get where you dream to be.”

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