Today we’d like to introduce you to Haskel Jackson.
Haskel, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I actually didn’t start pursuing music until college. I attended CSUN. I had a couple of roommates that used to sing around the dorm for fun. One of them was an artist and took singing very serious. He would always tell me that I should consider pursuing it because he felt that I had a dope tone to my voice and that I sing with passion. I took his word for it and we formed a group to enter into a talent show. We won the talent show, and I was like, whoa…. we really won. I started getting excited about where this thing was going so I mentioned to them that we should start a group and name it Strate Vocalz (Because we sang a lot without any music accompaniment). They agreed and we started the group.
There were three of us. One of the members had to stop singing with us due to his schedule so we had to find other members. We decided to bring two additional singers that fit in pretty well. We went from singing R&B music to becoming a gospel group. One of our really good friends started managing us. he had an uncle that was President of Motown records at the time, Gerald Busby. We auditioned for him and he loved us. He introduced us to Frank Wilson that had a gospel division under Motown.
Frank signed us to his label and we went on to record two songs for a compilation album called Motown Comes Home which included (Boyz II Men, Smokie Robinson, Shanice Wilson, Howard Hewett, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and more). This album went on to get nominated for a Grammy award. This was the start of my musical journey.
Along the way, I found that I was becoming a really good songwriter. I received the opportunity of a lifetime to start writing for other artist. My big bro Deric “DOA” Allen gave me that chance. I started writing for artist such as Smokey Norful, Wayman Tisdale and Marvin Sapp to name a few. I started singing background for gospel great, Helen Baylor. I saved my money from traveling to buy my first piece of equipment which was a keyboard from Tony Maiden (Guitarist from Rufus and Chaka Khan).
I then bought my first drum machine (Akai MPC 2000). Then I purchased my first computer (Mac Desktop). This is when I began producing my own records. My production Company, Genesoul Productions, was birthed from this entire experience. I started producing a group out of Austin Texas called Tortilla Factory. We got nominated for multiple Grammy awards, including a latin Grammy.
In the midst of learning the ropes as a producer, I got an offer to run the Kanye West Foundation. I ran his foundation for six years where I built studios for kids and taught them how to run them and produce original music. I started putting on showcase for up and coming artist. I truly loved creating opportunities for artist.
I then started my own entertainment company called Haskel Jackson Entertainment. I has 5 entities under it (The Genesoul Music Lab, Genesoul Productions, PAI Stations, UTL Music & The Score Keeper). The Genesoul Music Lab is my recording studio. Genesoul Productions is my artist development and production arm. PAI Stations is my music education curriculum. UTL Music is my publishing company. The Score Keeper is my TV Show which you will hear about very soon.
I am now in the midst of building a team around music therapy to help artist cope with life through music.
I am about to be married to the same woman for 22 years and I have a daughter attending UCLA as a regent scholar. I am blessed.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It was not a smooth road at all. I started out as a singer but had to stop because I began to have throat complications which actually catapulted me into the life I live now. more business, development, and music consulting. Navigating through this music industry was difficult because I was creating a path that hadn’t been paved yet. This was before social media so in order to be seen and heard, you had to be good. I lost my mother at 6 years of age and my father wasn’t in my life at all so growing up sort of difficult.
My granny raised me in a loving home but I saw and heard things from my uncle and aunts that were too adult for me. Drugs and alcohol swept through our home like a rushing wind. I decided to never drink or smoke because of what I saw. And to this day I have never drank or smoked. I was afraid of what it would do to me. So being that my story was clean, I didn’t fit in any of the trends because it wasn’t popular. I had to tread my own way, and I’m grateful I did. My journey was unorthodox.
All I knew to do was be the best me I could be. God was my guiding light every step of the way. He showed me that I was loved through all that I had experienced. The road became smoother when I accepted my journey and not compare my journey to anyone else’s.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
My entertainment company is a God-driven vision. It’s what sets me apart from everybody else. I help artist become who they were created to become. I help them navigate their paths. I am blessed to be positioned in such a way that will impact this world in the long run. I specialize in music production and artist development. I’m known for being authentic, honest, creative, before my time, musical, ambitious and a family man.
My company is a great resource for networking. I’m always trying to connect people together. I’m a connector. I’m a visionary. I’m an honest businessman. I’m patient. I’m real and transparent. I’m a protector. I’m a prayer warrior. I’m a father. I’m a husband.
The Genesoul Music Lab is my recording studio. Genesoul Productions is my artist development and production arm. PAI Stations is my music education curriculum. UTL Music is my publishing company. The Score Keeper is my TV Show which you will hear about very soon.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The fact that I was able to maintain a 22-year marriage in an industry that doesn’t show much respect for marriage. They are getting divorced over the smallest things nowadays. I am proud to be Christian doing what I do. I am proud to be a black father that has been consistent in my daughter’s life. I am proud to be a multi-Grammy nominated producer. I am a proud entrepreneur.
- Address: 9550 Crenshaw Blvd. Inglewood, Ca 90305
- Website: Haskeljackson.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/haskeljackson/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/haskeljack
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/haskeljackson?s=09
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/haskel-jackson-8b92488/