Troy Jackson
Gig Seeker Pro

Troy Jackson

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Pop Punk

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Jan
05
Troy Jackson @ Buddies In Bad Times Theatre

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Feb
26
Troy Jackson @ Art Gallery of Ontario

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jan
30
Troy Jackson @ Buddies In Bad Times Theatre

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Recording artist Troy Jackson calls for sassy, irreverent voices to join a chorus of queers, who demand justice and equality for al - Inside Out Film Festival


Toronto-based singer Troy Jackson has released the full video for his song "Batty Boy's Revenge" — a rallying cry for queers to unite against homophobic violence.
Among the images shown in the video: anti-gay newspaper headlines in Uganda, gay youth executed in Iran, as well as the faces of Puerto Rican gay teen Jorge Mercado (murdered in Nov 2009) and Toronto gay man Chris Skinner (murdered in Oct 2009).

Jackson spoke to fab magazine's Drew Rowsome last year about homophobia, race and music:

"In Vancouver I was spit on once, but Toronto was the first time I was called a batty man," notes Jackson. Being the recipient of the Jamaican homophobic slur was somewhat offset by witnessing what Jackson calls "a reverse gay bashing" where the gays, with the help of some straight girls, drove away would-be bashers by standing up and stating, "This is our neighbourhood." The events planted the seed for Jackson's song "Batty Boy's Revenge." (read the full interview at fabmagazine.com)

For more on Troy Jackson, check out enjoytroyjackson.com. - Xtra.ca


April 25, 2010

Bringing back true soul in our city, I had the chance to chat with one of Toronto’s best-kept secrets, Troy Jackson. A Recording Artist, community activist, and great spirit, Jackson has just released his video for “Batty Boy’s Revenge” and is eager to talk about his passionate journey growing up queer, black and native.

Tell me a bit about yourself?

I am a black, native, queer recording artist. I am a twin, a Gemini and one of three boys born to Annie Gibson and Bill Jackson in Ottawa. We grew up in small town Nova Scotia. From an early age, we were encouraged to express ourselves through art and dance. My Grandfather Charlie Gibson referred to our family as the "League of Nations." I grew up around a very big diverse family. I was jock in school, but always secretly wanted to perform.

Fast forward to Vancouver. I lived and performed there for many years doing stand-in work and background work in film and television to fund my art, still secretly wanting to be a singer. Then one day I was almost gay bashed and this shook me. I made a decision right then and there that I was going to make music that encouraged people to speak out and up. I performed at all the venues I could from club to coffee house and then decided to tour with Mikela Jay and went to live and perform in Berlin for a bit.

After returning home, I high-tailed it to Toronto after a generous invite from my sistah Mikela to come and check this city out! I haven't left.

What does music and art mean to you?

It Feels to me. It feels liberating and powerful. There is a definite energy shift when one sings. Singing makes me feel closer to God/Goddess.

Have you always wanted to be a musician?

Yes. I was always a bit out there and different. It took me a minute to respect the art of performance and step to the plate. Imagination gets expressed in various wonderful ways when you are a performer I am blessed.

Is there a difference between the music scene in Toronto versus the rest of the country and the world?

The music scene is colored by the "talent in your own backyard,” depending on the mix or influences. Then again, with technology you are not relegated to any particular scene. All I know is, when you give it, people feel it. I have had great receptions from audiences in Vancouver, Toronto, Amsterdam and Berlin.

Your recent video "Batty Boy’s Revenge" has been receiving great reviews. How did this song come together?

My Mom was here for Pride last year (yeah Mom!). We were at a Pride Uganda event with my partner El-Farouk Khaki. I was talking about the track and wanting to do a video when Alison Duke's partner told me, “go ask my partner. It will probably be something she would like to direct" and the rest is history.

I was compelled to write the track to purge some negative energy. I have only been called a "Batty Boy" here in Toronto by other men or boys of colour. It put me off a bit. Here I thought I was moving to an international city, then again, homophobia is everywhere like racism and misogyny. This is my response to that call. It is my response to the Church that perpetuates lies against the Homosexual. I was also tired of being scapegoated in the Black Community as something less than a man or something to not be acknowledged. I am stating my claim in this song. Calling out for the allies and the other Queers of the world to stand up and be heard. The revenge part of the track. This is why the song was written.

What makes a good music video? How much fun did you have with the video shoot of "Batty Boy’s Revenge"?

I can only speak about my own experience. What made this video great was the teamwork and the respect for all involved. The appreciation and the message. The ‘why’ made this video powerful and worth the whole day shoot. I was high from the amazing energy on the set. It kept me going from 7 p.m. ‘til midnight. I was tired, but still smiling when Alison yelled ‘Cut’ after the last scene. It was a pleasure! I love making music with a message! I love my Queer heritage!

For more information on Troy Jackson, check out: www.enjoytroyjackson.com. - torontomusicscene.ca by Tanya Bailey


This is one sweet idea. Take Euripides’ classic Greek tragedy about the conflict between reason and passion, repression and sex, restraint and wine-fuelled debauchery, and set it in a club to the pounding, hypnotic electronic beat of house music. Put the actors in among the audience and have them sing the story.

While uptight King Pentheus angrily shouts, “My kingdom is not a nightclub,” the god of ecstasy himself, Dionysus, invites us to “open up, open up” and dance. Yeah, we’re gonna fight for our right to par-ty! Meanwhile, Pentheus’ conflicted mother Agave chooses the way of funk and feminism. She joins the Bacchae, the followers of Dionysus, singing, “I made my choice, I found my voice,” but in the end inadvertently tears her own son to pieces.

Hot stuff, aided by some great voices and DJ Tracey Draper’s wicked beats. So why doesn’t it work better?

For all their smart choices, director Ilena Lee Cramer and her company with its Dionysian name, Screaming Weenie, have made some serious conceptual mistakes in remounting this show (previously produced at Sonar in 2003) for the PuSh Festival. The Bacchae remains the most adaptable of the great Greek plays because its central conflict is so familiar and contemporary. The clash between social order and personal liberation is directly embodied in the figures of Pentheus and Dionysus.

But here, the two remain on opposite sides of the room, never interacting. Dionysus seems almost a secondary character. The focus is more on Agave and the androgynous seer Teiresias, who regularly interrupts the main action to point out how it resembles other Greek stories, stories that are nearly impossible to follow. Even knowing the myths and their characters, I found it hard to figure out what was going on.

As well, the six actor-singers are constricted in steel cages around the perimeter of the room, elevated above the dance floor, isolated from each other and the audience. So there’s no transfer of Dionysian ecstasy—the emotion, not the drug—despite the powerful music. The night I saw it, hardly anyone was even dancing.

Deanna Teeple’s Agave gives the god a good run for his money, powering righteously through her songs. The other singers (Rachel Flood, Brendan McLeod, Christine Stoddard, RC Weslowski) provide effective counterpoint, and the DJ and her crew in the centre of the floor pump out the volume. Together they almost, but not quite, get us boogying with the Bacchae.

Jerry Wasserman - vancouverplays.com


The Batty Boy's Revenge
Troy Jackson refuses to accept hatred of any race, colour or creed. Drew Rowsome talks to the up-and-coming singer and finds an expansive pride set to an infectious rhythm.

Troy Jackson finds it difficult to sit still as there are so many thoughts and musical beats coursing through his veins. His close-shaved mohawk and skin-tight white wifebeater contrast sharply with the heavy hip-hop style bling around his neck. The oversized letters, strung on large links of silver, spell out “love.”

At 19 Jackson fled from Truro, Nova Scotia, a town he claims is known for “the highest tides in the world and the Stanfield’s underwear factory,” to Vancouver in order to come out far from the watchful eyes of his large family. Jackson worked in film doing background and extra work but also began developing his musical performance chops with the help of the House of Venus. “Vancouver is a beautiful city but has a seedy underbelly,” says Jackson. “I was dressed in my red platform pumps going out to dance when a guy asked me for a cigarette and then threatened, ‘Nigger faggot what are you thinking in the last five minutes of your life?’ Fortunately I was rescued by a bouncer I knew from the clubs. I’m from the east coast, I had to fight growing up in a small town but…” Jackson promptly moved to Toronto.

“In Vancouver I was spit on once but Toronto was the first time I was called a batty man,” notes Jackson. Being the recipient of the Jamaican homophobic slur was somewhat offset by witnessing what Jackson calls “a reverse gay bashing” where the gays, with the help of some straight girls, drove away would be bashers by standing up and stating, “This is our neighbourhood.” The events planted the seed for Jackson’s song “Batty Boy’s Revenge.”

Jackson is blunt about the dangers of homophobic music, and he doesn’t excuse dancehall. He remembers riding in a cab on the way to his first recording session, “I had just said to the Jamaican cab driver that it was a ‘great beat’ when the chorus sang ‘kill the batty boy.’ I told him, ‘You’ll have to turn that off. As a proud gay black man I have a problem with that music. And as a black man you have to think that you’re advocating killing your own.’” Jackson doesn’t believe that censorship is an issue as, “There is freedom of speech but when it’s hate speech, we have laws. We don’t allow anti-Semites or white supremacists but we do when it’s hate towards gay people. The government should take a stance but I don’t think they will.” Jackson is utterly disdainful of the excuse that “it’s from that culture.” He believes that is “a colonial attitude and we need to take a look at that culture.”

Jackson is heavily involved in the committee organizing the urban-centric Blockorama festival at Pride. “It’s in a better place this year,” he enthuses about the location in George Hislop Park. “It’s green instead of pavement. Last year people hit the pavement just before my set because of the heat. I had to follow ambulances and medical crews.”

Pride is busy for Jackson as he is also performing on the Pride parade float of his partner and grand marshal El-Farouk, an after-party at Lula Lounge and then is off to Vancouver for its Pride. Jackson admits his music is heavily ’80s influenced which helps account for the upbeat tone and catchy hooks. He also doesn’t flinch when asked if he and El-Farouk’s relationship resembles that of JKF and Marilyn Monroe or JFK Jr and Madonna. It is the ’80s icons that he hopes to emulate.

“And Prince is a genius of course,” Jackson continues. “And Grace Jones. There’s a YouTube video of her singing with Pavarotti. When she comes out the audience boos. Then she performs. At the end they’re not booing.”

Troy Jackson performs at Blockorama at 7pm on Sun June 28 in the George Hislop Park and at the Blockorama after-party that evening at Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St W. Info: myspace.com/enjoytroy

Drew Rowsome is an associate editor at fab and believes that all batty boys should practice reverse gay bashing. - Fab Magazine


Discography

Slide
WHO
Glamorous
Surface
Forgetful Nefertiti
The Batty Boys Revenge

Photos

Bio

Having surve! Jackson is a self-professed funk-gospel, punk.

His 2nd music video “The Batty Boys Revenge” (Directed by Alison Duke) has won powerful reviews for addressing the issue of homophobic violence, with screenings at The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Inside Out Film Festival, Image Nation Film Festival, The Regent Park Film Festival, Omni Television and the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

Join The Pop-Music Re-Evolution!

www.enjoytroyjackson.com