(AllHipHop Features) In today’s entertainment world, an artist’s success usually depends on his or her ability to juggle more than one medium at a time. While it usually takes a performer several years to crossover into different art forms, one teenage star-in-the-making is already committed to reaching great heights in television, film, plays, dancing, and music.
As an actor, 16-year-old Trevor Jackson has been featured in the Disney Channel’s Let It Shine, CBS’ Criminal Minds, and in The Lion King on Broadway. The Indianapolis, Indiana bred triple threat got his start in show biz as tap dancer studying the greats like Gregory Hines and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. His dedication to making people happy though entertaining eventually led to his exposure to acting, but now Jackson is ready to concentrate on his career as a singer.
“I’ve been somewhat successful with the acting career with different jobs, different guest roles, but I realized that the time for music is now,” says Trevor. “If you go to an [acting] audition, you can get a job. In the music industry you really have to find the right people to work with. Find the right album. Find the right manager, label. All these things. It takes a lot more time. So I figured the younger the better. That might even help my acting career to be able to move on to bigger feature films and throughout all entertainment.”
Jackson is currently putting the finishing touches of his Atlantic Records debut album set for release in the first quarter of 2014. In the meantime he has been dipping his feet in the musical waters with several tracks. He recently released the song "Drop It,” and in February his first official single “Like We Grown” hit the airwaves. But what does a kid who is not even old enough to go an R rated movie without parental consent know about being grown?
“I’m young, but I also know how to be grown. I just kind of fluctuate between the two,” explains Trevor. "I feel like that song kind of represented me. It’s young and fun. All teenagers want to be grown. I love the record. I think it’s a great kick back and chill record.”
While “Like We Grown” has already crossed the 1.4 million view mark on YouTube, it is Jackson’s latest single "Drop It" that is likely to reach even more ears over the next few months. The song is being used in McDonald’s “Monopoly Summer Joyride” commercial.
“I actually met the whole McDonald’s team when I performed at the McDonald’s All-American game halftime. They enjoyed it, and they said they wanted to do a project, so I was able to do the commercial. McDonald’s has been really supportive of me,” says the avid basketball player.
With a major corporate partnership under his belt, Jackson is ready to push forward with his as-of-yet titled full length LP. The Underdogs, Rico Love, and Stargate are just some of the producers who contributed to the project that Trevor expresses will be a mix of slow jams and upbeat tunes.
“It’s definitely more traditional R&B. There are some slow songs, but it’s still high energy so that you could play them in the club. There are slower songs for when you’re with your girl,” reveals Trevor. "Every song is so unique and can work in any type of situation. I feel like a lot of people will be able to relate to it.”
If Trevor's brand of R&B reflects some of his musical influences many music fans most likely will connect to his style. He names some of R&B/Soul’s greatest superstars like Chris Brown, Usher, Brian McKnight, Ray Charles, and Stevie Wonder as inspirations. Jackson also lists country performers like Hunter Hayes and Rascal Flatts as his favorites, but it is the King Of Pop that Trevor sees as the ultimate model for his career.
“Michael Jackson is number one. When I was really little I use to think I was him when I would see him on tv. I’d be like 'that’s me',” says Trevor. “If I’m anywhere near Michael’s level while I’m still alive then I plan to go beyond that, but right now he sets the bar.”
Besides country, soul, and pop, Trevor regularly listens to Hip Hop as well. Kendrick Lamar’s good city, m.A.A.d. city, A$AP Rocky’s LONG.LIVE.A$AP, and J. Cole’s Born Sinner stay on regular rotation with him and his friends, and if he could pick one emcee to appear on a track with him it would be his all-time favorite rapper Eminem.
As a Slim Shady fan, Trevor may have to wait awhile for the Detroit lyricist to reemerge on the music landscape, but supporters of the young singer may be gifted with a pre-album Trevor Jackson project sometime this fall.
“Definitely going to drop an EP, because the fans are begging for some stuff,” announces Trevor. “They deserve it. They’ve had my back since the beginning.”
Trevor’s career appears to be on a path toward being a tour de force in entertainment, but like many teenage stars before him, the time will come where has to face the traps of being young, rich, and famous. According to Trevor, he has the backing of his love ones and his faith in Jesus to guide him in the right direction.
“I always have support from all my family. That’s one of the important things that always keeps me going in what I’m doing,” says Trevor. “Keeping the Lord Jesus Christ above me. That’s all I need. You’re here for a reason and to do a job. Your job isn’t to be better than anybody else. It’s to be your best self and make the people around you better.”
It’s that positive mind set and immense talent that Trevor hopes will help him make a valuable impact on the world musically and socially. It’s further illustrated in the personal mantra he created with his mother.
"With world domination comes admiration. With admiration comes inspiration. With inspiration comes a whole new nation. When you dominate the world people pay attention to you, and then they start to admire you. Then if people admire you they become inspired by you. If everyone inspires each other then a whole new nation is formed," shares Trevor.
"I want to touch as many people as I can, and not just in entertainment. It’s bigger than us. We have to do our part so the betterment can come later, even after us.”
You can follow Trevor on Twitter @trevorjackson5
Watch the new video for Trevor Jackson's "Drop It" below.