Trevor Jackson Gets ‘In His Feelings’
“I just don’t want to be selfish with what I’ve been given.”- Trevor Jackson
Spend five minutes with Trevor Jackson, and you’ll soon discover that he isn’t your average teenager. Sure, you can figure that out on your own by noting his stardom via Broadway’s “The Lion King.” You could also arrive at the same conclusion by Googling his Wikipedia page. But Jackson’s rising fame isn’t what I’m referring to.
The 18-year-old is well aware of the importance of his purpose, and that’s a feat many don’t arrive at until they’ve been hit with a life crisis or two. In this JET exclusive, Trevor talks about his rise to fame, quest for empowerment and his hope for the future.
JET: At just 18, you’re a singer, actor, songwriter, dancer and you’ve appeared on Broadway. You’ve been busy! What made you want to get into the field of entertainment?
Trevor Jackson: I would literally see people on TV, and I would say, “Why am I not on there?” I started tap dancing when I was about three years old, and I was going to a gymnastics class because I thought I was a ninja turtle (laughs). My mom wanted to take me to a place where I could learn professionally so I wouldn’t hurt myself. [One day,] I was walking through the hallway, and I saw people in a room tapping. I was like, “Really? That’s super dope.” So I started tap dancing at three, and that kind of led to the acting. I did a local show in Indiana, and that led to The Lion King [musical]. That was when I started taking it seriously and when I realized that it was my purpose.
JET: You did The Lion King at age 8. Some folks spend their entire lives trying to find their purpose.
Trevor Jackson: It’s why God put me here. To entertain. I remember when I was doing the [production], the whole front row was kind of smiling. I was like, “I’m just having fun up here,” you know? From [age] 8 to 11, I did that. I was just young and energetic, but I realized that what I was doing was affecting people in a positive way.
JET: I feel that. Now Trevor you dabble and do a lot. What’s your favorite way to entertain? Is it acting, writing songs, etc.?
Trevor Jackson: If I had to choose, I’d say making music, because when you make music, it’s from you. When you act, you know you’re another character. When I’m writing or singing, you know it’s all for me – who I am and what I experienced. It’s all a result of that. But I love it all.
JET: How important is it for you to share yourself with the world? Because that’s what it seems like you do with your music.
Trevor Jackson: Yeah. I feel that it’s very important. I feel like, our job, as people, is to make it easier for the next generation and to do our part, because the ultimate goal of course is peace. That’s all that we want and we want to live in the perfect place. For me, I want to help people to be able to do what they want to do. I feel that if you do what you love, you become a happier person. And I just don’t want to be selfish with what I’ve been given. I feel like it’s not given by accident. I just want to use everything I have while I’m here and show that it’s possible and show that doing what you love and making other people do what they love just makes the world go round.
JET: In addition to all that you do professionally, you’re also very active when it comes to giving back to the community.
Trevor Jackson: I feel like it’s my duty. I feel like a lot of people in my position are selfish with where they are, why they’re there and don’t realize the effects that they have on the youth or just the world in general. I feel like when you’re in the limelight or whatever you call it, people tend to want to be like you. So I just try to lead by example. If I am in front of a youth summit, I speak my mind. I keep it real. I do what I do based on the space I have and why God put me here. Also, I try to do the best I can as a person first, not as an entertainer. When people meet me, I don’t ever want them to feel like, “Oh, he’s a mean guy.” I always want to be that positive guy to be around. “He’s fun. He cares.”
JET: It sounds like you got it down-packed at just 18. While many teens, even adults in the entertainment industry think that it’s about them, you have the understanding that it’s about the world.
Trevor Jackson: They get lost. They forget. That’s why…and it’s not even just for the youth, it’s for people who may have not completely found their way. They may be the “greatest of all time,” but personally, they may have some issues they got to deal with and hopefully I can be an example of that too. I’m not saying I’m perfect. I’m not saying a single man can change the world, but I’m a single man who tries to.
JET: And that’s what actually matters. Let’s talk about the film. You star alongside Darin Dewitt Henson and other great talent in Sons 2 the Grave.
Trevor Jackson: The film is a coming-of-age story, and it’s really about choices. I play Marcus Jennings, who is a lead high school basketball player – best in the nation. And he made some decisions early on that will affect his upcoming decisions. You know going to college and I don’t want to get too far into it to give it away, but [the film] just really shows you how life is for some people, their circumstances and the things that they go through. At the end of the day, we all have a choice. It’s a really beautiful story, and it’s real and that’s why I love it. It is authentic to what is actually happening in the world. I relate to it. I have a family member who was a basketball player who had some issues with people around him and got into a little bit of trouble, so it’s pretty dope. It’s funny, because it kind of happened like right before they offered me the role. I was like, “Yo. Let me dive into this for a second to see what’s poppin.”
JET: Good. Now I know you just landing a spot on ABC’s American Crime, but what’s next for you?
Trevor Jackson: I will most likely tour for this new mixtape that I just dropped. It’s called In My Feelings. And it’s one of the first projects that I [could] really be the captain of. I was signed very young and kind of listened to everybody around me instead of really listening to myself, and I feel like I just finally had to grow as an artist. I just wanted to write for me and do Trevor, so I couldn’t be more proud of it. Tour dates are being worked on as we speak.
JET: Great. Anything else that you’d like to add?
Trevor Jackson: Here’s something that I’ve been saying since I was about 11 or 12. It’s something that I live by. “World domination leads to admiration. Admiration comes inspiration. Inspiration comes a whole new nation.” So to break it down real quick, dominate the world in whatever you do. It doesn’t have to be entertainment. It could be a doctor. It could be an architect. Whatever, but dominate the world [to the point] where people admire you, because when people admire you, they try to be like you. You inspire them. So everybody, let’s do what we’ve been put here to do – love one another, be peaceful, and yeah get In My Feelings and watch Sons 2 the Grave and Season 2 of American Crime and God bless the world! (Laughs)
Sons 2 The Grave is set to release in 2015. The film is written and produced by Lynne Stoltz of Have Faith Productions. Trevor’s mixtape, In My Feelings is available now. Check it out below.
Keep up with Trevor via www.officialtrevorjackson.com.