Story by Mike Kilen
GCU News Bureau
The hits keep coming for the GCU Recording Studio. Another Grand Canyon University student and studio veteran earned national television play.
Jason Henshaw’s song played over the closing credits of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on Sunday. The Worship Arts senior recorded the vocals for the rap song “Calabasas Rose” in the GCU studio.
“It’s a big deal for any musician to get placement on a TV show,” said Eric Johnson, Recording Studio Manager. “From what I know, he is the first Worship Arts student to get placement on a TV show.”
Henshaw’s big moment falls during the same month that a former GCU student and campus studio veteran, Joseph Allen, earned national attention for his singing on “America’s Got Talent.”
Henshaw said it was a surprise that his song on CD Baby, an online music distributor, was chosen by the popular reality TV show, set in Calabasas, California. His cousin called to break the news to him. He doesn’t watch the Kardashians.
“It’s an extreme blessing, it still hasn’t sunk in,” he said. “Artistry is baby steps. Sometimes you have a big one.”
Henshaw said he moved around a lot as a child. He was a bull rider in the rodeo and played high school basketball in Seattle but eventually followed a passion for music that expanded during his senior year and led him to GCU.
Here he met Johnson and began to make music.
“To do what I do at GCU would cost thousands in a studio in L.A.,” he said. “And I can work with guys that are industry pros.”
Johnson said Henshaw didn’t follow the path of many other students in Worship Arts.
“He writes rap songs, he’s quiet and keeps to himself. He’s kind of an underdog story,” Johnson said.
Henshaw said every artist is “unique in their own way,” but he has navigated two worlds -- Worship Arts study and writing songs in the secular music industry outside GCU.
He felt like he was “bringing light” to places that need it.
“Calabasas Rose” is the follow-up to break-up song “A Song About Her.”
“It’s processing the aftermath of a relationship, exploring the dark feelings while still reflecting on good things that happened,” he said.
He hopes the placement will be a boost to his music. In turn, he hopes his music sparks self-discovery in listeners.
GCU Senior writer Mike Kilen can be reached at [email protected] or at 602-639-6764.