Thursday, June 23, 2011
Bedford native Griffin Jackson makes it big in gospel music
Jackson has sung background for established artists like gospel duo Ted and Sheri, Glenn Jones, and others.
Griffin Jackson, a Memphis native raised in the Fort Worth suburb of Bedford, is living proof that gospel music is not a thing of the past nor a secondary choice among today’s young aspiring Black singers behind hip-hop or R&B. Although only 25 years old, Jackson’s voice has developed a gripping and very mature sound that will be soon exposed to the public when his first album is released.
In the meantime, Jackson can be followed on iTunes for his new single, “How You Love Me.”
“God showed me that he will always be there for me no matter what I am going through,” Jackson told The Dallas Weekly. “I often express myself through music, and gospel music has been my filter of expression.”
When you hear of gospel music, you think of spirituals and music that speaks to your soul. That said, gospel music has made some substantial, maybe even drastic, changes over the last few decades. Thus it has drawn critics who say that today’s gospel sound is too commercial and emulates more like secular music.
Yet, many generations of gospel singers, including in today’s generation, commonly start with gospel music and branch out to secular music.
“I have tried to sing secular music, but it always seems as though I was missing something. When I was singing secularly, I felt emptiness,” Jackson said. “Gospel music is in my roots, I come from a long line of gospel singers.”
Jackson further credits gospel as having inspired him to minister through his music.
“It allows me to minister God’s love,” he said.
Jackson discovered his love for music at the age of 3 and started writing music when he was 12. He said his family taught him a lot about music in general, with his aunt and uncle being recording artists and his grandmother a pianist.
“Growing up in a musical family, I learned a lot about the rich culture of music and what music actually means,” Jackson said.
Growing up in Bedford, Jackson participated in several talent competitions, including for the Texas All-State Choir in 2002 and 2004. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Memphis to study classical vocal performance. There, he had the opportunity to sing background for established artists like gospel duo Ted and Sheri, Glenn Jones, and others.
Jackson, however, did not go straight into music professionally after college, becoming a flight attendant in 2007. The nature of the job still gave him valuable experience and infused a newfound commitment toward his musical interests.
“I traveled across the country meeting all sorts of people,” he said. “One day, when I was on a routine flight, I met some singers. One of them told me that, if singing is really what I want to do and if it is my passion, that I should go for it.
“I worked with vocal coaches between New York and Dallas trying to sharpen my craft.”
In 2008, Jackson enrolled at the University of Texas Arlington to continue his education and his now on the verge of receiving his degree in August 2011. In addition to looking forward to graduation, Jackson is also looking forward to the release of his first album, a double blessing for a persevering artist.
Pegasus News Content partner - Dallas Weekly
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