RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW AMERICAN ARTIST JACK DAWKINS
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
In many ways, it felt like the decision was made for me. In early 2020, I was performing a storytelling show that I wrote and produced. I was really starting to build some momentum, and then COVID dried up every stage in the world. I wanted to keep telling stories but do it in a way where I didn’t have to be on stage, so I found music.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
I grew up with what I would describe as how most people never get into music. I took piano lessons as a kid. Played the drums in the school band for a few years. But didn’t really come from a musical background or family. So, getting back into music did feel like an enormous “we told you so” moment from the universe, but I don’t mind.
What was life like for you before music?
My entry into music coincided with a lot of change. I had been married and living in Chicago in a very idyllic life. Nice house, wife, kid, two dogs, etc.. We hosted dinner parties and took family vacations and watched shows together. But we weren’t really happy. Now, I’m single, living in Colorado, pursuing music. I still have a beautiful relationship with my daughter and her Mom, but life is very different.
Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?
I feel appropriately small. I haven’t invested the time or energy to be a star or to be on everyone’s radar. I feel like I’m finding my voice and trying things out and starting to connect with fans in a much deeper way. I feel like I’m on the right path, just not far along.
What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
Comparison kills. It kills your joy, your creativity, and your drive. We have no idea what people are going through, or how they got to where they are. All we can do is focus on ourselves and continue to show up and do the work.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
My dream collaborator is Chance the Rapper.
My dream venue is Red Rocks.
My dream tour location is Venice.
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
Honestly, I wouldn’t. That’s a new answer for me. I might have said support with marketing or fans in the past, but now I’m seeing how wonderful it is to build relationships slowly. I know that good things will happen if I keep working, so I’m not in a rush, despite being 36 (ANCIENT for hip-hop).
What was the worst experience on stage?
The worst experiences I’ve had are a mismatch of the energy I’m putting out and the people in the crowd. I’m a really positive person, I like to lift others up and generally try to empower people. AND, I recognize that’s not the energy some people need or want when they’re out in the world.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.
I went to Harvard – that tends to surprise a lot of people. Obviously, given my age, that was a very long time ago, but my life was headed in very different directions for a long time before I arrived at music.
What makes you stand out as an artist?
I think my writing style is really unique. I write A LOT. Something to the tune of 600,000 words a year. I write long-form, I journal, I write stories and jokes and poems. And I think all of that writing has given me a pretty specific way of arranging words together. I
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
Yes! My debut album is on the way. It’s called Integration, and I’m really, really proud of it. It charts the evolution from feeling so much insecurity about “fitting in” in the music scene toward arriving at a place where I feel really excited about my path and my journey. There was a pretty important ceremony with plant medicine in the middle of that journey, too, and the album talks a lot about that experience.
What was the recording process like?
AGGRESSIVE. We recorded 95% of the album in 8 days. Just a furious streak of writing and getting in the studio. I wouldn’t do it that way again, but I also wouldn’t change it.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
The instrumentals on this album are all over the place. So many different styles and tempos. So the challenge was finding all of these different ways to shape my words to fit into these different landscapes.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Not a word.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I’m really grateful for this opportunity to share my story with you. I think storytelling is a critically important skill for all people. Feeling seen and understood is so important, and developing skills as a storyteller is an amazing way to make that happen more easily.