Studio Visits | Trevor Jackson Preps for ULTRAVIOLET Tour
Trevor Jackson wants to move to Hawaii and live on the beach. Understandable; When working as hard as he currently is, sipping drinks under sun rays and the gust of ocean air is a picturesque daydream. Jackson's Rough Drafts, Pt. 1 mixtape just dropped and he is now preparing for a 10-city U.S. tour on Justine Skye's ULTRAVIOLET trek. I arrive at the tail end of his dance rehearsal at Amp in North Hollywood but am still greeted warmly. In fact, Trevor is full of a stunning bright energy, erupting into laughter at my timing and pulling me in for a big hug.
He’ll soon star in the forthcoming Future-produced Superfly, a remake of the old '70s classic and currently is a lead on television show Grown-ish, a spinoff of the hit sitcom Black-ish. Trevor does not like to be restricted to one genre or form.
Drafts is his passion project, a culmination of personal, sanguine songs the young dancer and actor has been waiting to bring together since being signed to Atlantic Records at age 15. He wrote the entire set, directed the video for the album’s first single, "Apocalypse," and plays guitar throughout.
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, the heart of the Midwest, he started tap dancing at age 3, packed up for Broadway’s The Lion King shortly after, and was split between the east and west coast for a moment before deciding to move to the sunshine of The City of Angels in 2008. It hasn’t been an easy journey for Trevor, though. After two years of spotty commercial work, Jackson was ready to give up acting.
“I was like, ‘I just want to do my music, I don’t want to act anymore I don’t like it.’ My mom told me to just go to this last audition. I was like, ‘Alright.’ I didn’t even look at the script beforehand, I just read it.” That audition was for the reoccurring role of Kevin LaCroix on American Crime, which led to more gigs. Trevor now testifies to the old sentiment, "You get what you want when you stop looking for it."
He thinks that growing up in the Midwest bestows certain moral codes upon you at a young age. “You value different things,” he says. “The way that people look at life is so shallow sometimes.” I segue to talking about upcoming Superfly, filmed in Atlanta and set to release this June.
He compares the seriousness involved in making the film to the light fun of making Grown-ish, which gives him a chance to just be himself. He drags his hands dramatically over his face, “I’m so thankful that I get to work with people that I love and be funny and not have to get into a character of someone who’s been beaten or abused, I just get to be myself.”
Jackson has a certain laid back nature that no doubt is the inspiration behind the 15 songs on Drafts. He goes through the track list with me. “My House” is an introvert’s anthem about choosing to party at home and avoid the club. “Lituationship” is about the toxicity of relationships that revolve around alcohol.
In the past, Trevor Jackson made music to prove himself. Not this time. “This is more for myself,” he says, “to prove to myself that I can make music that’s real to me. I couldn’t care less about what people have to say about it. I just want to be honest. To me it’s the best music I’ve made, because it’s the realest music I’ve made.”
Written by Anna Peluola