Who is Jackson Michelson? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
“That’s what I love about country music today, it all comes together around the story and we have such a wide array of sounds right now which I think is really good for our genre.”
Today we are highlighting an artist who we have been loving lately. Jackson Michelson, a Curb Records recording artist, is one of those people that is simply made to be a musician. During our conversation, we learned that the singer has been writing and singing since he was a young kid. We also got to talk to Michelson about his journey into country music and his current radio single, “Tip Jar.”
For Michelson, music was everything growing up. The Oregon native shared, “I grew up in the church playing music. My older brother was ten years older than me and he played guitar and wrote songs,” adding, “So I remember for my 10th or 11th birthday, I asked for a guitar, learned a couple of chords, and I just started writing songs right away.” The singer found himself gravitating towards the music that his parents liked, recalling that his mother was a big country fan (Collin Rae, Tim McGraw) and his father was a huge soul fan, introducing him to artists like Sam Cooke and Earth, Wind & Fire.
“It was kind of like living in two different worlds growing up” shared Michelson, as he opened up about his parents getting divorced when he was young, “but what’s really cool about country and soul is that there are gospel roots between both of them.” Interestingly enough, Christian music is where he would first experience being a working artist.
Michelson’s older brother got a record deal as a Christian artist, and he soon found himself selling merchandise for his sibling. It wasn’t until one day when the band’s bass player couldn’t make it that Michelson started gigging with his brother. This led to the singer playing bass for his brother more frequently and eventually starting another band right alongside him.
“I was like 18 years old on the road, seeing all these places, just loving it,” he shares, reminiscing about his time playing gigs across the West Coast with his band, “And this whole time, I was writing my own songs and they came out country because I grew up in the Grass Seeds capital of the world.”
Still not realizing that what he was writing and recording was country music, Michelson just aimed to make good music that people would love. “I always wrote songs and I never called myself a country artist. I just would write songs and they would come out as a story. […] my friends started saying you should go get this played on the local country station, like this is really cool country music. I wasn’t even calling it country,” he tells us.
Once one of his songs got picked up by Sirius XM The Highway, the singer unexpectedly had record labels and executives calling him from Nashville. He ultimately inked a deal with Curb Records, leaving his band with his brother to pursue his country music career.
Now the singer has a song at country radio and is creating music that he always wanted to create. Laced with his pop-rock influences from his high-school days of listening to bands like Maroon 5 and his knack for story-telling, “Tip Jar” was a no-brainer to release for the singer. “I love catchy melodies and bringing that to country music,” he shares, “I still want to write in complete integrity of a great story, but I love how catchy a song could be.”
“Tip Jar” is exactly that! The song has heart, but at the same time is an absolute jam. Michelson shared that the song came to fruition last year when he was waiting for his writing partner on Zoom one day. While he was waiting, he started thinking about the title tip jar that he had in his phone for what seems like forever. Ultimately, he started playing a melody on the guitar, and the rest started flowing together.
“I started thinking about Nashville and how you want to request a song on Broadway, you throw out a $20 and put in the tip jar, and the band will play it. […] It’s a story about a guy who had his heartbroken who needs to make new memories with all these songs cause his girl broke his heart.” Michelson eventually added a bridge with his writing partner and re-wrote the 2nd bridge with another songwriter before deciding with his team that this was the song he had to release.
We ended our interview by asking Michelson what he has in store for fans as the year goes on. The singer promises that he will have more and more music coming down the pipeline, sharing that he will be putting out music consistently until October. It is important to him to “let each song be their own hero for the moment.” Of course, we will be able to catch Michelson back on the road sooner rather than later too.
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Jackson Michelson’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.