As talented as Trevor Jackson is, it would be easy for him to drop one of the many facets to his name and focus on one. There was a time where he almost quit acting before securing the role as Kevin LaCroix on the Emmy award-winning series, American Crime and now is the star of the box-office reboot film, Superfly, as kingpin Youngblood Priest.
The 21-year-old has also had battles with his past label, Atlantic Records, waiting years to be able to finally release a studio album. Trevor took matters into his own hands and created his album, Rough Drafts, Pt.1 with his computer, two speakers and a microphone in his crib.
Trevor is an artist that hasn’t let the industry stop him from one of his life’s purposes. Through self-doubts and voices telling him to quit his passions, Trevor has always pushed for greater in his artistry. His older brother Iyn described his work ethic and perseverance perfectly on “27:17”.
“When you start getting the notoriety that you know that you deserve, ‘cause I see it in you. You’re like, ‘Okay that ain’t it and I’m coming back harder with this.’ You’ve always had that mentality about you and you’re going to get rewarded for that.”
My question is: Why is his overdue recognition as a musician taking so long?
An answer may be because of the never-ending, limiting and damaging comparisons in the genre of R&B. It’s as if only three male R&B artists at a time are given the chance to shine while people attempt to push other talents into the shadows. But, the industry’s obstacles hasn’t stopped Trevor from being one of the most hardworking yet humble talents of this generation regardless of how many are cheering him on.
He’s been making bangers before his now signature rat tail. I instantly fell in love with his voice after “Like We Grown” back in 2013 and his potential was clear as day. From #NewThang, In My Feelings, and now to Rough Drafts, Pt.1, he has shown growth through his songwriting and has taken risks with new sounds to incorporate in his R&B background. He has also proven he is a visionary by directing every video for his album, drawing inspiration ranging from the Bible to his biggest musical influence Michael Jackson.
Putting aside vocals, lyrics and production, raw emotion is what produces quality music and Trevor’s passion for his craft can be felt from his guitar solos to his adlibs. I respect an artist that draws back the façade through their music that many create in the industry that they’re living perfect lives especially with the help of social media. The title Rough Drafts was given to the project because it “represents the unfinished product and how important it is.”
The album embodies how not trying to perfect our work can lead to the results we dream of because it’s our true self that we’re focused on instead of aiming to please the world. Trevor is far from a people pleaser and has continued to release what comes from his own vision whether or not if it appeals to the mainstream.
He has described Rough Drafts, Pt. 1 as “the truest version of Trevor”. I describe the project as the most musically elevated version of Trevor I’ve heard so far in his career because once again he further solidified my declaration that he is one of the most slept on forces in the music industry.
With each project, Trevor is continuously working towards what he rightfully deserves and I’m impatiently waiting for his major breakout moment, but it’s coming in due time.