On the road to success: Music has always been the plan for Nathan JacksonBy Alejandra Tenorio | 10/20/2015 8:58pm
Photo courtesy of Nathan Jackson.
From the small town of Brookwood, Alabama comes 24 year old Nathan Jackson. With an eclectic music background that ranges from the styles of Christian worship songs to rock and everything in between, Jackson sits down to talk about what made him want to leave the band business and start his career as a solo artist.
Being part of a band comes with a lot of responsibility, not just musically but also being mature enough to realize that with any success, big or small, the band must continue being professional.
“That’s something we struggled with,” Jackson said. “The guys I was playing with got a taste of success and went off the rails.”
He said most of the time, especially with small town bands, a taste of fame and success causes bands to forget the real reason they even play music in the first place -- passion -- something Jackson said his bandmates forgot.
“I got tired of being the only one who took things seriously, I would sometimes show up and they wouldn’t be there even though we had a gig scheduled," Jackson said. "It was just very frustrating seeing how I was the only one putting in time and effort, so I just stopped.”
By stopping, Jackson does not mean music. For him, music has always been the plan, what makes him connect to the deepest parts of himself, helps him understand the world and those around him; and so he continued, improving his craft and began his career as a solo artist.
Music for Jackson has always come naturally. While many kids at the age of twelve are figuring out the ins and outs of sports and the transitions brought on by middle school, Nathan dedicated his every waking moment to music; learning to play the guitar, drums and keyboard.
“Any instrument with strings I made sure to learn how to play,” he said. “It definitely makes songwriting easier when you have the ability to play around with your sound.”
With an audition for "The Voice," a reality singing competition, under his belt and an album being released later this year, Jackson is taking the music scene by storm with no means to stop any time soon. Something, he said, has only been possible because of his work ethic and dedication to the craft.
His work ethic and skills have not gone unnoticed. Shay Dawkins, owner of High Tide Bar, said the singer built a relationship with the bar and always offered a helping hand, even when it wasn’t required of him to do so. When the idea of High Tide having an Open Mic Night on Mondays came up, Dawkins immediately thought of Jackson.
“At High Tide, our slogan is #WERISE because you can't rise by yourself, it takes a team, family mentality," she said. "Nathan has shown a willingness to grow and be a part of our #WERISE mentality at high tide and that is why he will host Open Mic Mondays as long as he wants to. Nathan has earned that right.”
Aside from hosting Open Mic nights at High Tide, Jackson is also a regular act on Thursdays, something Jackson personally loves.
“I love the atmosphere, being able to cover all genres of music as well as sing some of my originals," he said. "It’s a laid back, fun gig.”
It has been a journey unlike many others, as a graduate from Southeastern University in Lakeland Florida, Jackson got his degree in Theology, a degree that not only shaped his personal life and believes but also influenced both his songwriting and sound.
“It allowed me to get a better understanding of myself, [my] beliefs, and surroundings,” he said. “Now, I can fully open up when I’m writing a song and get all my feelings and emotions out in the open.”
Over the years, Jackson’s goal has remained the same: to make a living out of playing music. Though this is a dream thousands upon thousands of people all across the world have, he believes his work ethic and ability to fully commit to the craft will get him far in the industry.
If he’s not out playing at a local bar or venue, he’s in the studio rehearsing, recording, and writing.
“It’s my job,” he said. “it isn’t a hobby anymore or something I do on the weekends, it’s become a part of my everyday life, my way of living.”
For now, Jackson hopes to continue pursuing his passion here in Tuscaloosa, the place where he started his career as a solo artist. Although, he does admit he doesn’t see himself living here for much longer. His ultimate plan is Los Angeles.
“One year from now, five, or ten, I will be doing music," he said. "There’s no question about it. Now it’s in Tuscaloosa, one day it’ll be in Los Angeles. but for now, i’m just living.”
You can catch Nathan perfoming live at High Tide Bar on the Strip Mondays and Thursdays.