Quad Citizen: Tayvian Johnson

Quad Citizen: Tayvian Johnson

Data Analyst, Music Producer, Augustana College Graduate

Quad Citizen Profile

From data analytics to hip hop? It’s just one more transition for Tayvian Johnson. Born in East Moline, Johnson is the oldest of four children, and says they moved around a lot in his youth. He graduated from United Township High School and then went to Augustana, completing his pre-med bachelor’s degree in 2016. The original plan was to be a doctor, but then he wasn’t sure he wanted the “wins and losses” to be people’s lives.

Johnson’s life includes many wins and losses. Coming from a one-parent family, he said there were bad times. But in retrospect, the worst times, like when his family ended up sleeping in their car a few times after being evicted, didn’t seem all that bad. He and his siblings are all doing well now; his younger sister just made the National Honors Society, and he and his two brothers all graduated from or are in college.

During his time at Augustana, Johnson was president of his fraternity and helped bring the Vikings men’s basketball team to the Division III national championships. After graduating he first worked with the Boys and Girls Club, and then was hired at a new startup in the Quad Cities, DivvyDose, doing data analytics for the last 18 months. Now he and his brother Avery Pearl are working on creating a new recording studio, Eastside Sound, in East Moline—building the desk, creating their own logo, soundproofing and painting the space. He continues to become more proficient with a variety of audio and video editing programs.

Johnson knows his life could have taken him in a different direction. He can point to countless people who have helped him along the way, and he wants to “pay it forward.” One way he pays it forward is by assisting with raising funds for Hoops for Hope, and this is the fourth year he’s been involved.

“The music thing” is important to him, as he seeks to make an impact on the community. In high school, he recalled, “my friends started making music and I made fun of them.” But that soon changed, and by the time he got to college he was writing poetry and making music recordings. Self-expression is important, he said, and “there’s a lot of power in it.”

Johnson finds it interesting that there are high-profile colleges in the Quad Cities, because it doesn’t feel like a typical college town. But he believes the schools here are great, and combined with the affordability of living in the Quad Cities, plus the arts and other attractions, he said “you can get a lot of [wonderful] things here that you would want from a big city.”

Along with music, his interests range from the animated robot Voltron to reading philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. He describes his personality as “processes-oriented,” and that plus his love for learning serve him well every day.

Submit Your Story

Make it Here is a celebration of who we are as Quad Citizens. We are entrepreneurs and volunteers, innovators and collaborators. No matter what your passion, you can make it here.  We hope you’ll join us by sharing your story.