Canada doesn’t produce many rap artists that can count support roles for global hip-hop artists like Naughty by Nature and (the king of double time) Busta Rhymes. Jackson however is looking to write a new Canadian rap history.
After spending time trying to build the infa-structure for brand Jackson, he steps out with his catchy single Miss Right featuring the Mighty Sizzla. With the pending UK release of his album just around the corner, Jackson has only one goal: global domination.
I hear you are touring right now, is it enjoyable?
It can be strenuous being away from family and friends and it can be hard on the body but I tell you now that I would much rather be doing this than working in a factory.
How did you start in the music?
It started for me when I was sixteen where I was just free-styling and stuff. When I was nineteen, I dropped out of college and basically everything else. I had to make a choice and I was not going to sell drugs and I could not have worked in a regular nine to five job. The only thing that I had was the music so I just got into the business of the music and started running my own shows and stuff and that is where it began really.
You spoke about the business of music do you think a lot of up and coming artist do not fully appreciate the importance of knowing the business of music?
A hundred percent. I do not thing people understand that you are on stage for like half an hour and there is still twenty three and a half hours that you use to push your music and work on your brand. That is what separates Jay Z from say Cannibus. Jay Z knows how to handle his business and make money from anything. You definitely have to brand yourself and branch out into different things like building your clothing line and so on.
So getting onto your track, I would never think that a big reggae artist would be dropping a collabo with a Canadian rap artist. Has Canada got a big rap game?
The industry in Canada is still new at the moment and at the moment the rap game is kept rather local in terms of Canada. People here just want to be a name in the neighbourhood but that is why I reached out to Sizzla because it opens me up to a whole new audience.
How did the hook up with Sizzla happen?
Well it was more of a thing where I had this record and I wanted to Sizzla to be on it because he is such a big a phenomenal artist. It took a long time though to get Sizzla we had to go through like six people just to try and get to talk to him but when w did get in touch, he showed me so much love it was unbelievable. Still to this day we are tight and I am up on his album and so our relationship can only grow from here.
It sounds like you were looking for a needle in a haystack.
Basically we hit everybody up and exhausted all options in looking for him. I mean a lot of people that knew him did not even know where he was some people were saying he was in Zimbabwe, Congo we just could not get him on the phone. Eventually we were able to get him and we just went out there straight away to get him on the track.
So was it always going to be Sizzla?
Yes definitely I mean we could have had a lot of people but it just had to be Sizzla.
What has been the biggest thing you have learnt in the business?
I think the thing that has been great for me is just being able to provide for my family and look after them well and that is what I want to keep on doing.
What have you learnt from some of the artists that you have supported like Busta Rhymes, Wu Tang?
Naughty by Nature and Busta definitely taught me about providing a spectacle and a real hot performance.
How difficult is it to open for such big names?
The support act for these people is probably one of the hardest things you can do because the people there are not there to see you and so you need to nail it from the get go. The artists are expecting you to get the crowd really warmed up they do not want to come out and get booed off so it has taught me to kill it every night.
And now you are making your own moves what you doing with your album?
I have my album out here in Canada called In My Life and I think it will be in the UK in the next four or five months. Other than that, I am working on a next mix-tape and a new album and getting my video game up with the internet.
I heard you had a big budget for your videos.
Yes, I will be working on a video with a twenty five thousand dollar budget so I just want to kill it with the whole video thing.
And I heard you have an amazing work ethic.
Definitely, I just want to keep pushing and pushing. I am not going to stop and drop something in a year no it’s about keeping the momentum going. I am not going to stop until I get that track that bangs and goes global.
Miss Right Out Now.
Words by Semper Azzez-Harris.