An independent voice that cannot be boxed in, Thunder Jackson‘s talent is the gift that keeps on giving. His broad vocal range is strong and heartfelt, immediately sinking its hooks into you, pulling you in to his often groovy soundscapes, and none has been as groovy so far as his collaboration with NYC electronic kings, The Knocks. in “Colors” the New Yorkers took Jackson’s vocals down memory lane and injected the track with vibrant Nu-disco instrumentals, elevating the whole song’s energy level all the way up to 11.
A while after the release of this powerful Remix, we got in touch with the very busy Thunder Jackson to ask him a few questions, mainly regarding his move from L.A. back to his hometown in Oklahoma, where he will continue to grow as a person and as an artist. Check it out:
First of all, I can’t start this without geeking out a bit over both the original version and the remix of Colors. Your vocals were absolutely brilliant from the start, and the way the Knocks came in and exploited that brilliance with nu-disco… it was all fate! Do you think you’ll be exploring that sound in the future?
It seems at this point, the world is bringing me closer to this sound. It was such a beautiful feeling to hear something created years ago, have such a different sound and bring a new meaning. I’m looking forward to diving a little deeper into a world of disco. After all, I do adore dancing and glitter.
Earlier this August you had an awesome show in @towertheatreokc which you described on your Facebook as “The greatest night of [your] life…” Is that what sparked your desire to return fully to Oklahoma or has this been brewing for a while now?
I have had this feeling for quite some time now, that the place I always wanted to leave was the place calling me back. I used to dream of these bright lights in the horizon, dreaming of something new, dreaming of a place I could reinvent myself. Those lights, and those dreams, like all things, started to fade away. The second I started to self-reflect, I started to find the light again, and that light was this new and also familiar world, the world where I began. Oklahoma has some of the best musicians and one of the best up-and-coming music scenes in the world. I am inspired here, this place is beautiful. Coming back here has given my art a new look, a new story, I have found Thunder Jackson again.
Distance creates longing and absence makes the heart grow fonder, is that part of it too?
I’d like to think so. You have to leave and in my case, destroy and construct something new. Go through the ebbs and flows of life so that day when you are back to the place that you began, you realize how beautiful it was all along.”
Loved ones aside, what did you miss the most of your Hometown?
I used to come back here from time to time and every time I would leave with a story of inspiration. It could be a night out at a studio late at night in OKC and I would see my friends write some of the most authentic and profound music at 4 in the morning. The funny thing is, they would forget what they even wrote and I would be sitting in my studio the next day trying to write a song better than they did at 4 am. Every time I would go back to LA I would miss that feeling every time.”
“You never know what you have until it’s gone” is an obvious lesson that sometimes we need to learn the hard way, what other important lessons are you bringing home with you from your time spent in the City of Angels?
Los Angeles will always be a home to me and will always be the place I discovered what it meant to live. I was there for 8 years, I wouldn’t be who I am without that place. My first love was there, my first heartbreak, pretty much my first everything. It raised the child that was me. I never lost that either.
I think that’s what I bringing back. The child, the freedom of living everyday authentically me.
What’s next for Thunder Jackson? any idea of when we can expect more material?
New material is on the horizon. I am currently working on second album and am really excited about the direction I am taking. I also have a really special cover of a really special song to me coming out soon.”
What do you feel like this move means for you, musically speaking?
A new story, a new character. The lipstick cowboy is being created.
SEP 29 THE HIFI, DALLAS – TICKETS
OCT 9 MERCURY LOUNGE, NYC – TICKETS
OCT 19 MOROCCAN, LA – TICKETS
OCT 21 RICKSHAW STOP, SF – TICKETS
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photos / Daniel Mudliar
story / Samuel Aponte