Cortni Jordan is the first artist profiled in a new FVSU Review feature called “Just DoU“. Interesting people, on campus and off with unusual, out of the box, cut-from-a-different-cloth lifestyles will be showcased. Cortni is the sultry and sassy radio personality heard weekdays on Fort Valley State University’s WFVS LP-104.3 FM. When she’s not playing the best of old school and R&B, the Wildcat alum takes on an entirely different persona as an up-and coming pop artist, Elise 5000.
Born and raised in Warner Robins, Ga., Elise 5000 and former group members signed their first music deal with a small, independent record label, Urban Dynasty at the tender age of 17. Now the solo artist is turning heads with her unique sound, bold style, and radical approach to creating music. The multi-talented diva is a one-woman, music making machine, who writes, produces and records her own projects.
So let’s jump right into it. How did your music career start?
I used to be in a group and we would write our own songs. So one day I met an in-house producer and I said, “play the keys like this” and do the drums like this, so he finally got tired of me and said “you’re going to make this beat right here”. So he showed me how to do it and ever since I’ve been making beats and writing songs.
What happened to your group?
(Laughing) They’re all mothers, now. Proud mothers! We still talk on Facebook from time to time; but we’ve kind of grown apart over the years.
So what’s a typical day like for you, juggling two careers?
I wake up, eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with some milk, go to the station and do my show; commercials, catch the feeds, edit them and do whatever Ms. (Shirley) Ellis says. When I go home I start recording. I start working on the music or I might listen or mix.
How long does it take you to create a song?
If I’m making the beat it’s hard to tell. I’ve been working on one song for two years. It depends, because I want to make sure that it’s good and it’s right and because I am the only person. Other people have large teams, but I’m the only one so I want to make sure everything is good and clean.
So you handle the creative side. Do you handle the business side as well?
Yes, but I do have a publicist, Lila of LBPR. She’s great, but I do most of it. I had a couple of managers but I fired them because we didn’t see eye to eye, but we’re going to get it popping. I do have some management prospects.
Do you want to keep it independent or are you trying to get signed to a major label?
I think I do want to be signed to a major label because I want to get some money. But at the same time, I kind of want to keep it indy (independent) until I can get myself to a certain point because I’m creating and developing right now. When I had the manager before, it was stifling my development. He made little comments and was constantly telling me to do this and do that.
What’s been the highlight of your career thus far?
When I won the song writing competition for Cakewalk. I won $3,000 in studio equipment.
So that’s how you got the studio in your house?
Yes. I also got studio equipment with my financial aid refund check. FVSU has helped me out. That was the saving grace. I have a great studio.
Have you experienced any low points in your career that have taught you a major lesson or made you re-evaluate your path?
I’ve had people telling me not to be an artist because it’s unrealistic. So I decided that I’ll be a radio personality. I’ll just be a really famous one, so get really good at that. Then I had a boyfriend, who has a reality-star little sister. I wrote a song for her and everybody was like “wow you’re so talented”, then I was like I’m going back to music. And radio has been downsizing with all the syndication, so I said, “I’m just going to be a pop star”!
So people are telling you that the dream isn’t realistic, did you develop a fall back plan?
No, I don’t have a fall back plan. Elise 5000 does not fall.
Where do you see your career in two or three years?
Girl, I’m glad you asked. It’s hard to say, but I do see some Grammys. I see number one records, really good sales and body guards; huge body guards everywhere!
What sacrifices have you made for your career?
Love. Being in love with a dude. Maybe I want to have kids, but I’m not doing that right now. I don’t go out much. I can’t hang out with my family like I want to.
What advice would you give someone aspiring to be an artist?
Practice, practice, practice. Focus, focus, focus. Get your own so you don’t have to depend on anyone and you can do it. People will say you can’t write, produce, make beats and record yourself. Yes you can!
So we’ve covered a lot over dinner. What more can you tell me about your career?
I have a record deal in Europe with Oxid Records, with this group called LMN project. They do progressive house tunes. I’m working on that which is pretty cool.
How does that work with you being in the states?
It works really well, actually. I just send them vocals and they remix it, change the beat and put it out as progressive house. We try to get on the charts. LMN have had number #1’s over there on the dance charts, so we’re trying to get something they’ve done with me on the charts.
Where can someone go to get more information Elise 5000?
I’m all over the internet. My Web site is http://www.elise5000.com. I’m on twitter athttp://twitter.com/elise5000, Facebook and YouTube. You can Google me and my album is on iTunes. I’m out there.