JXON
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JXON

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Hip Hop Pop

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I'm a fan!! I dare you to listen to this track and not admit that it's hotter than Haiti in July.Midwestside is my closeout the summer joint that I'll have on repeat for the next 30 days.As a Midwesterner (Illinois boy) living in Atlanta, Georgia, this song made me feel proudof my home base. This is the first non faith-based HipHop record I've heard since 2012that I felt comfortable playing infront of my 8yr old son. There's not one "cuss word" inthis record (unless I missed it in the 17x I played it), which is proof that you don't have to lace your lyrics with profanity in order for it to be hot.

Darren Jackson and his featured guest, Chris Grindz, gave a flawless performance on top of Grammy-winning producer, J.R.'s, track. In full beast mode, both artists spit 100% Grade A #truth about life growing up in the Midwest, sparking nostalgia for those of us who have relocated to other regions. The beat is highly infectious, urging you to nod your head uncontrollably as the two artists paint vivid images of what it's like growing up in America's "Heartland". The Midwest truly is a unique place that pulls influences from all
over the U.S., and you can hear those influences throughout the entire song.

Midwestside put Darren Jackson on my list of artists to watch. If he keeps this up, and sticks to delivering true-to-life, profanity free lyrics that bridge with catchy hooks and dope beats, I'm going to have to put this guy's bid in for Artist of the Year at the 2015, I Am Entertainment Awards. I'd recommend this song to everybody who hails from the Midwestern states and is proud of it. Make sure you stop by his Soundcloud page (above) and get familiar with this talented young lyricist. - I Am Entertainment Magazine


(Article online and in print)

Spreading across the vast galaxy of the Internet one step at a time is a new rapper: Darren Jackson. The fresh young man doesn’t just perform; he is an artist, entrepreneur, musician, and already has started his own nonprofit organization (Director Job and Leadership Training) in his hometown of St. Louis. The organization empowers at-risk men and women.

Jackson forges his own path and doesn’t follow any of the rules. With only two released singles available, he already has picked up thousands of fans and has begun touring. He will be performing at Pop, Rock and Soul, presented by HEADSTORM Entertainment, at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater this weekend.

Jackson always has worked and been involved in efforts to aid his community, which forced him to put music on the backburner. “I really wanted to spend time giving back to my city,” Jackson tells. “It was lying there, dying, and I felt like I needed to be a part of the solution. I realized that since the nonprofit job already was started up and in full flow, I could start doing other things to support my home.”

At first he strayed from the touring life. Instead he focused on his community; however, after composing “Midwestside,” a song intended to rally his community together for a brighter future, his mindset changed.

“It really is a very interesting city, filled with beautiful people,” Jackson says, “but all anyone ever sees is the segregation and crime that is portrayed from the outside. After I wrote that song, I decided we should go on tour and make the focus ‘Midwestside’ and bringing people together. Then I realized it isn’t just the Midwest I was going for; it was bringing together people everywhere.”

Only a few months into his West Coast tour, life tried to slow him down. While cruising through California, the news began to spread about the chaos unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri, in response to the untimely death of Michael Brown. Brown was shot after being stopped by the police for walking in the street. Because Jackson was on the road, his home was too far away for him to support his community.

“It was and still is a huge mess in Ferguson,” he laments. “Right now it is a double-edged sword for me traveling as an artist, because on one end my mother, family and friends are right there on the front lines, trying to make a statement and stand up for each other. I feel like I need to be out there fighting with them. Normally, I’m the one out front screaming ‘let’s go, let’s go.’ Now I’m on the road with my sister and my girlfriend, and it is hard to make music and share with everyone what really is happening in Ferguson versus what the media is saying.”

From hearing the daily occurrences of violence between rioters and police officers from friends, Jackson received terrifying word that his mother, an African-American Methodist Episcopal church pastor, had been shot in the stomach with a rubber bullet by a police officer while standing in front of the protestors. “My mother is a good passionate lady, and she got shot,” Jackson states. “It didn’t make any sense to me!”

After finding out his friends and his mother were alright, he continued his tour. His mother encouraged him to continue spreading his message. Doing so with only two released hip-hop tracks didn’t prove easy, but Jackson got together his dream team, which he coined “Team Edge Life.” It comprises his sister, Chrissi, and his girlfriend, Danielle Elise.

“I just asked them: ‘If we are going to do the ‘Midwestside,’ tour, how are we going to get this stuff out?’” Jackson explains. “Then everyone started putting out their ideas. Forget trying to do this the way you are supposed to do it, we are Team Edge Life. So we started coming up with ideas of like, ’Yo let’s just make everything on our own, book our own [shows] and build our own crowd.’”

Using all the big social media sites, the small team began tackling the difficult tasks of being a band on the road with only ta few contacts. “We hit up all of our friends in all the cities we wanted to visit and worked with them to help us book shows,” Jackson informs, “We got our friends to be our booking agents instead of hiring one.”

In Wilmington, Jackson knew the talented musical family, the Burnettes, including dad O’Bryan and daughter LaRaisha. The Burnettes reached out to the hip-hop artists—who they say is like part of their family—to join the bill.

During Jackson’s upcoming performance, he may be dropping a few new tracks. It will offer him a way to test out his new EP, which he plans to release come spring 2015. “I promise it is going to be an authentic and relatable project, that will hopefully inspire people to live on the edge,” he says, “because that is where people find themselves, and that is where people are most happy.”

This happiness excels for Jackson personally thanks to sheer determination to do everything independently. This inherent drive led him to found his own record company at beginning of 2014.

“I wanted to make this work for myself and others, so we really can be heard,” he informs. “Everyone laughed at the idea. Everyone said: ‘Don’t do that; you don’t have the money.’ But I prayed about it and worked my ass off.”

Eventually, Jackson had the opportunity to present his record company to a potential investor. The investor liked his music and gave him the money two weeks later, along with a connection for another investor. Edge Life Records was born.

“After we had the money to start getting everything together, we had nothing stopping us,” Jackson says. “I was able to get back into music full-force, playing piano and writing more songs. We eventually got hooked up with Grammy Award-winning producer J.R. [a.k.a. Courtney Orlando Peebles], who really helped us dial everything in exactly the way we wanted it. I also am touring with one of my very best friends, Chris Grindz, and he will be performing in Wilmington with me. He is an awesome rapper, who randomly came into the underground scene [in St. Louis].”

DETAILS:
An Evening of Pop, Rock & Soul
Featuring Darren Jackson
Saturday, August 30th, 4 p.m.
Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
1941 Amphitheater Dr.
Tickets: $20-$35 - Encore Magazine


We got a chance to Interview Rising Rapper Darren Jackson as part of our Villain Voice Series. Darren Jackson’s latest video to his single “MIDWESTSIDE” ft Chris Grindz & produced by Grammy Award winning producer J.R just dropped and we got the chance to hear more about it. Check out the Interview below.

1. What city are you in right now?

Los Angeles!! I just came from an 8 city tour in the Midwest then hit up Utah and Vegas on the roadtrip here. It was awesome.

2. How long have you been on tour? How many cities?

2 weeks and 8 cities

3. What has the response been like?

It’s been amazing! People are grabbing ahold to my #TeamEdgeLife movement and showing a lot of support. Oh, and they’re loving the single, “we got the people going crazy every time we do a show”

4. What all are you guys playing at the shows? Any new stuff?

Yeah I have 3 new songs I’ve been performing from my EP “Cool Kids Paradise”

5. Where are you at on an EP or new video?

My video just dropped last week and it’s doing great! It’s my first music video and it was an incredible experience.
My EP is in the works. I’m planning retreat where we plan to go into the mountains in LA to work on the project… We’re looking to release it Spring 2015

6. Who did the video?

Space Cherry Films were the videographers/cinematographers. Chrissi J was the Director and Producer. Danielle Elise was wardrobe and I wrote the script and was the creative director.

7. What kind of response did you get from the people you recruited to be in the video?

Wait till you see the video…they went crazy.

8. What was your favorite part of filming the video?

Seeing my vision come to life! That was an incredible feeling and seeing all of the people who came out to support. - Music Villain


I first wrote about St. Louis native Darren Jackson back in March when he released his first single, the inspirational “Imaginary Stage”. Jackson released his first music video today, this one for his second single “MidwestSide”.

I caught up with Jackson while he was in Chicago earlier this week. It was the fifth stop in two weeks on a eight-city tour with Chris Grindz, who joins Jackson on “MidwestSide”, and Jackson’s wife, Danielle Elise. The trio is touring in early support of the music as well as their startup record label, Edge Life Records. They’ve dubbed it the “Team Edge Life” movement.

Jackson himself has been performing “MidwestSide” and “Imaginary Stage” as part of his sets as well as three new songs he’s written for his upcoming EP, Cool Kids Paradise. I asked Darren how the response has been on the road. “It’s been amazing! People are grabbing hold of the Team Edge Life movement and showing a lot of support. Everyone is loving the single “got the people going crazy every time we do a show” he says with a smirk.

Darren says his favorite part of touring thus far has been meeting people in each city they go to. “It’s been amazing watching the Team Edge Life family grow”, he says. After the tour wraps up, Darren and Danielle will be residing in Los Angeles. They plan on working on a few projects there, including Darren’s EP. “I’m planning a retreat where we plan to go into the mountains in LA to work on the project. We’re planning to have it drop in the spring of 2015,” he says. Jackson also says they want to collaborate with some new artists and “grow the Team Edge Life family.” He also has a Youtube project in the works.

This tour has not been without its share of bumps, however. Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shortly after Darren, Grindz and Danielle set off on tour. The resulting turmoil hit close to home for the trio. Jackson considered coming back to St. Louis, especially after his mother was wounded by a rubber bullet while protesting on the front lines in Ferguson. I asked Darren how she is doing now and what thoughts were going through his head at the time.

“She’s great! She’s still doing a lot of work in Ferguson and trying to make a difference. I was worried and my heart was broken for the community but I was encouraged to continue to stay focused and use every platform I’ve had to perform to spread awareness about what was happening back home. Before my show in San Francisco I spoke about it and people stood and clapped symbolizing their unity with Ferguson. It’s been awesome.”

Space Cherry Films handled the videography for “MidwestSide” and Chrissi Jackson, Darren’s sister, was the Director and Producer. Danielle Elise did the wardrobes while Darren handled the script and acted as Creative Director. The people you see in the video are all friends of those involved with making the video. Jackson and others sent out emails asking if any of their friends wanted to hang out and make a video for the song. Darren was touched by the response and had this to say when asked what his favorite part of making the video and what kind of response he saw on the set:

“Seeing my vision come to life! That was an incredible feeling and seeing all of the people who came out to support. Wait ’til you see the video….they went crazy!”.

And on that note, here it is. The music video for “MidwestSide” from Darren Jackson featuring Chris Grindz and Danielle Elise. Filmed right here in the City of St. Louis - Real Life StL


Discography

"Makeup This Love"
"MIDWESTSIDE"
"Imaginary Stage"

Listen Here:
https://soundcloud.com/jxonmusic

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Bio

JXON is an American hiphop/soul recording artist, songwriter, and producer from St. Louis, Missouri.  A product of unstable and humble beginnings, JXON struggled to find a way to express himself. By age  14 he began writing poetry as a release. Heavily influenced by hiphop culture, naturally his spoken-word style evolved, and it's been a rap ever since. After high-school, JXON attended The Art Institute of Los Angeles for audio engineering but returned home after the fast California lifestyle made it difficult to focus on school.


Back in St. Louis JXON was able to buckle down and find mediums to express his love of helping others and encouraging people to follow their passions. By age 20, JXON was teaching several more college classes than he attended in California. He started a non-profit Jobs & Leadership Program at Mission St. Louis which helped ex-felons reemerge into the work force. In the meantime JXON also taught himself how to play guitar and piano.

By age 24, JXON decided to take his own advice and pursue his passions- in music. His first mission: Starting a record label which he could sign himself to. Once Edge Life Records was created, he got into the studio and immediately released his first single Imaginary Stage followed by his single and video MIDWESTSIDE. This December JXON released the first single, Makeup This Love, from his upcoming mixtape. Make sure to stay on the look out for more singles, a mixtape release in Spring of 2015, and energy charged performances from JXON coming soon!

Band Members