Cordero Ross’ dreams were once shattered into pieces.
His hopes of making his mark as an engineer in the music recording industry were all but lost, due to circumstances he could not control, but out of that, he has rebounded by being one of the most recognizable voices in the Delta, and he has launched a music career he hopes will last a lifetime.
The son of Ross Ministries founders Charlie and Shirley Ross, the 2006 Gentry High School graduate started his college years like many others do.
He went to Mississippi Delta Community College and studied Music Theory, before leaving early to attend Mississippi Valley State University on a choir scholarship.
“I left there right before my last semester, because I ended up getting a scholarship at Valley,” he said. “When I got the scholarship at Valley, they didn’t have an engineering class…I was forced to study Music Education, but that’s not something I wanted to do. I wanted to be more on the recording side.”
The following semester, Ross left to pursue his dream, and he was dreaming big.
He was accepted into the Los Angeles Recording School.
Ross departed for Hollywood with all of the pomp and circumstance deserving of such an accomplishment.
But after a short time in California, Ross came to a crushing reality.
While he had enough money and loans to cover his tuition, he could not afford to live in LA.
“I couldn’t stay in LA,” he said. “I had to come back here and start all over.”
The devastating trip back home left Ross broken.
“I cried on the way back, on that bus,” he said.
Ross went into a depression that would last two Continued From Page 26
Then he took an everyday job at Double Quick, which would turn his life around.
Ross said his boss at Double Quick knew about his musical background, and after he worked there for seven months, she introduced him to the marketing department.
He was connected with Damon Cranford, who decided to use Ross’ gifts in Double Quick’s radio commercials.
Ross wrote a jingle for the company, and it was an instant hit.
“Damon called my phone, and he sounded kind of jittery, and he said, ‘Cordero, we need to have another meeting, and we have to get into the studio and do some more jingles” Ross said. “I was like, ‘is everything okay?”
Ross said that several businesses had reached out to Double Quick, impressed with the jingles, and they wanted to know where the singer came from.
Over the course of the next three years, Ross recorded 10 jingles for the company, and though listeners probably don’t know what he looks like – yet – they know his voice, and they know he has talent.
The jingles were just a starting point for Ross, though.
The Creative Process
Ross started writing his own music, more serious in nature, and he has recorded five songs for an upcoming album he expects will have eight songs when all is said and done.
The album, he said, will feature several musical genres, including R&B, Pop and Blues.
“It’s a new world now,” Ross said. “You can’t be one dimensional. You’ve got to do what other people aren’t doing. Thirty percent will be R&B, 40 percent will be pop, and I’ll put a blues and a rock song on there. It’s all about marketing at the end of the day. People have to be able to identify you.”
Ross, who listens to everything from country to rap, said he hopes to reach a broader audience with his music.
“You really need to aim for everybody,” he said. “Aiming for one crowd of people is okay, but you’ll never be as big as Michael Jackson or somebody like that. They made music that everybody likes.”
One song in particular, which has been issued as a single, is called Elevators. It’s about a period in Ross’ life when a relationship was on the rocks.
“Me and my girlfriend were both cheating on each other, and we both knew it,” Ross said. “I’m comparing elevators to a relationship. The goal of a relationship is to go up. Elevators go up and down, and relationships go up and down. I say in the song that relationships are like elevators. They can get too crowded. You can’t keep adding people or you’ll never get to the top.”
Ross has recorded the songs, thus far, at his cousin Charles Ross’ studio. Charles Ross, a Delta State graduate, also does the instrumental music for the Double Quick jingles, Ross said.
Ross said he wants to keep his album at eight songs, because he doesn’t want to force anything.
“I don’t want to do a long album,” he said. “For some reason, I don’t know how to water down my music. I try to make every song a hit. Every song isn’t going to be a hit, but that’s how I think. Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and all those people inspired me, and I thought they were on another level. If you want to be remembered, you have to be elite. You can’t just throw stuff together.”
A Journey Comes Full Circle
Ross didn’t have a chance to make his mark on LA, but he’s content with that now.
He feels like everything happened the way it was supposed to.
“So many people were expecting me to get done with school in LA,” he said. “It was like a big thing to people, and to have to come back that way, it hurt me man…Everything played out. God always has a plan. You can never give up. You can’t pray and worry. If you’re going to worry, why pray.”
In the past couple of years, Ross has increased his live performances on stage, and he has even returned to LA to attend the BET Awards,
His stage name is Chord Ross.
Through all he has accomplished, and has yet to achieve, he says, the biggest high for him thus far is still the radio jingles.
“Thousands of people know about those jingles, but a lot of them don’t even know how I look,” Ross said. “They’re going to know now…I’m a grinder. I want more, but if I never do anything else, that’s an achievement. You don’t just come into a business like that, a million dollar business, and they make you the creator of their radio broadcasts.”
Ross has come a long way from his early days of studying Music Theory in Moorhead, but it has always been music, and it will probably always be music that drives him.