With over 30 years of experience in the industry, talented DJ/Producer Shawn Jackson has released over 200 chart-topping tracks and has been supported by some of the biggest names in the business.
In this interview, we dive into Shawn’s background and creative process, as well as his experience running his label, Tres14 Music, and launching Driven Recordings to showcase young talent. We also get a glimpse of what’s in store for the future, with exciting new releases and collaborations on the horizon. So, without further ado, let’s dive into our conversation with Shawn Jackson.
T.H.E – Hello Shawn Jackson! How are you?
Shawn Jackson – Good morning, I am doing great, thanks for having me.
T.H.E – Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got into producing and DJing?
Shawn Jackson – I am dating myself here, but I got my first taste of DJing back in the late 80’s, in high school with Miami Bass and Florida Breaks, through a few friends who were making mix tapes and DJing local house parties, and who let me hang out with them (they were the cool kids, I was the athlete). Production came years later, with some friends who owned the record shop I frequented and who also were a well-known DJ & MC act. I joined them in their studio one day where I was introduced to Cakewalk, sampling, and sequencing.
T.H.E – How would you describe your style of music, and what sets it apart from other DJs/producers?
Shawn Jackson – I was pegged as a Deeptech artist for years, mainly because that’s what I enjoyed producing, though my live acts are far from 122bpm and Minimal. Since taking more time to play out and road test all the projects I’ve compiled the last 2 years, I now play 100% of my originals and remixes in all my sets.
T.H.E – Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and how have they inspired your own music?
Shawn Jackson – Early on, it was Sasha and Digweed solely for the level of quality production “art” they were producing, they were telling a story with their music, which I admire.
T.H.E – You’ve released over 200 chart-topping tracks on various labels throughout your career. What do you think has been the key to your success?
Shawn Jackson – Simple, producing from the heart and what I feel rather than what’s popular just to appease others. Treating it as a business, pushing the brand to be relevant and respectable are also key ingredients to success. I know I have something special when my kids bounce to the beat.
T.H.E – How do you approach creating a new track or remix? Can you take us through your creative process?
Shawn Jackson – For me it’s about the quality of the percussion and flow. 90% of the time, the melody and hook are the last to come – which in most cases is backwards. A solid kick and bass will get anyone moving, the hook is the icing on the cake.
T.H.E – In 2015, you purchased Tres14 Music and quickly positioned it as a leader in its genre. Can you talk about your experience running the label and the vision you have for it moving forward?
Shawn Jackson – What many people don’t know is, I’m a successful serial entrepreneur with multiple businesses aside from the music industry. I’ve always had the knack for business and have been fortunate to have success, but also to help others succeed through my coaching and consulting experience. Acquiring Tres14 Music was an investment which would springboard not only plans for my musical growth, but a platform to build a massive network of artists, labels, and DJ’s who share the same views and passion as I do. This network and relationships have created career benefiting opportunities for many, and I am humbled to have played a part in that.
T.H.E – You’ve also launched Driven Recordings to showcase young talents. How do you go about finding and selecting the artists you work with?
Shawn Jackson – Driven Recordings continues to be a massive tool for young artists who have a great production base and creativity, yet lack the resources or connections to the bigger labels due to having no or minimal releases on unknown labels. Driven gives them that outlet, we do all the work to promote them as we would for my releases – same promo pool, same social media and posting efforts. Driven is a tool, not a revenue stream by any means – we use funds from Tres14 to make it run, which is ironic since all my other businesses are profitable. The reward is knowing we were able to help artists take the next steps in their career.
T.H.E – Which of your tracks or remixes are you most proud of, and why?
Shawn Jackson – Obviously, the ones that hit the Top 20 make me very happy, I would have to say the work I have done this past year, which has yet to be released are some of the best projects I have ever done – they represent who I am.
T.H.E – You’ve been in the industry for almost three decades. How have you seen the industry change over the years, and how have you adapted to those changes?
Shawn Jackson – Here I go dating myself again, but it has changed significantly and at a progressive rate, which is exciting for the industry, and everyone involved. I have to say, technology is the driving force for that, we are seeing advances on a consistent level which to some are viewed as taking the art out of DJing. I was that guy spinning records, and so against CDJ’s, let alone performing off a laptop. Today, it’s not about the flawless mix, it’s the performance, it the connection with the crowd from an audible and visual standpoint. Now, I am not one who will prerecord my set for a performance, I just can’t do it. The tools on today’s equipment and the level of expectation for a performance are so high, special editing is what allows performers to stand out.
T.H.E – What can we expect from you in the future, in terms of new releases, collaborations, and upcoming shows?
Shawn Jackson – I’m known for speaking my mind and making big statements which are not intended to be arrogant, I just believe in what I can do and the quality of my work (be it in music or business). I’ve spent the last year building a catalogue of projects, which as of today, exceeds 100 tracks. I have formulated a plan on how and when to release them, to achieve the highest recognition. I know my music will make a statement over the next year, turning heads and creating amazing partnerships and collaborations in the future.
We hope you enjoyed this exclusive interview with Shawn Jackson. From his early days in high school to running his own label Tres14 and launching Driven Recordings, it’s clear that Shawn’s passion for music and entrepreneurship runs deep. With exciting new releases on the horizon and a commitment to helping young artists succeed, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this talented producer. So, be sure to follow him on social media to stay up-to-date on all the latest news and releases.