A Q&A with CMN music writer Jackson Adams
Nicole Poirier: What got you into music? Did you grow up surrounded by it, or is it just a hobby of yours?
Jackson Adams: For me, listening to music was always an escape. It allowed me to experience life from a different perspective. My dad, a Chicago native, is a huge fan of house music and neo-soul. I remember him always playing it from the basement or while hanging out around the house. When I was younger my mom, whose family is native to Mississippi, was a huge blues fan. Hearing blues music was exciting to me due to the sometimes risqué topics discussed on a song. Over the years I would listen to many genres including house, blues, rock, hip-hop, country and my favorite R&B.
NP: When did you start writing? Has it always been a passion for you?
JA: I started writing during my high school years as a form of self therapy that allows me to get my thoughts out. I found it easier to express my opinion on varies topics through word. Writing has been a passion of mine since I was a teen. I like the fact that when writing it leaves little opportunity for my opinion to be dismissed or talked over by others.
NP: Do you prefer writing about music, or do you have any other styles of writing that you enjoy?
JA:I enjoy writing about not only just music but also, human nature and psychology. I like to think I am more of a research oriented writer that likes to dissect the thoughts of others. This is a trait I do believe is valuable while doing music criticisms because it allows me to dive into the artist brain and pick apart hidden means within their songs / art.
NP: What do you like more, journalism or music?
JA:I like them both equally in different ways. I love journalism as an overall career field because it allows me to share my interests about the world with the world. I love music in the sense that it gives me that different outlook on life. Music Journalism allows me to share my interpretation of someone else’s art while offering my personally criticism. It’s the best of both worlds.
NP: Are you going to school for something journalism or music related?
JA: I actually attended Mississippi State University where I majored in Communications. This gave me the background to really form a more professional approach to sharing my opinion.
NP: Did you have someone when you were growing up that really moved you to do what you’re doing today? If so, how and why?
JA:I like to think I’m more of an independent individual. Growing up I was a shy kid that was more reserved. This lead me to internalizing a lot of my feelings. The need to really express myself is what lead me pursue journalism.
NP:What’s your dream job? Are you working to obtain that? How?
JA:My dream job is to be a reporter and a critic on my own terms. I have a goal to become not only a music critic but a critic of television shows, restaurants, movies and politics. I believe that small steps create a big move so I am starting with taking this course and then I am in the process of starting my own blog which will feature critiques of different restaurants, shows and films.
NP: Are you a musician, or do you strictly write? What instruments do you play if you do? Would you like to learn anything, writing or music wise, that you haven’t learned already?
JA: I am strictly a writer. Although I have an ear for music, I don’t quite have the voice for music (laugh out loud). I like to think writing is my vocal instrument. I would love to really learn the behind the scenes of the music industry so that I may take a new approach to music journalism and music criticism in general.
If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.