I first wrote about St. Louis native Darren Jackson back in March when he released his first single, the inspirational “Imaginary Stage”. Jackson released his first music video today, this one for his second single “MidwestSide”.
I caught up with Jackson while he was in Chicago earlier this week. It was the fifth stop in two weeks on a eight-city tour with Chris Grindz, who joins Jackson on “MidwestSide”, and Jackson’s wife, Danielle Elise. The trio is touring in early support of the music as well as their startup record label, Edge Life Records. They’ve dubbed it the “Team Edge Life” movement.
Jackson himself has been performing “MidwestSide” and “Imaginary Stage” as part of his sets as well as three new songs he’s written for his upcoming EP, Cool Kids Paradise. I asked Darren how the response has been on the road. “It’s been amazing! People are grabbing hold of the Team Edge Life movement and showing a lot of support. Everyone is loving the single “got the people going crazy every time we do a show” he says with a smirk.
Darren says his favorite part of touring thus far has been meeting people in each city they go to. “It’s been amazing watching the Team Edge Life family grow”, he says. After the tour wraps up, Darren and Danielle will be residing in Los Angeles. They plan on working on a few projects there, including Darren’s EP. “I’m planning a retreat where we plan to go into the mountains in LA to work on the project. We’re planning to have it drop in the spring of 2015,” he says. Jackson also says they want to collaborate with some new artists and “grow the Team Edge Life family.” He also has a Youtube project in the works.
This tour has not been without its share of bumps, however. Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shortly after Darren, Grindz and Danielle set off on tour. The resulting turmoil hit close to home for the trio. Jackson considered coming back to St. Louis, especially after his mother was wounded by a rubber bullet while protesting on the front lines in Ferguson. I asked Darren how she is doing now and what thoughts were going through his head at the time.
“She’s great! She’s still doing a lot of work in Ferguson and trying to make a difference. I was worried and my heart was broken for the community but I was encouraged to continue to stay focused and use every platform I’ve had to perform to spread awareness about what was happening back home. Before my show in San Francisco I spoke about it and people stood and clapped symbolizing their unity with Ferguson. It’s been awesome.”
Space Cherry Films handled the videography for “MidwestSide” and Chrissi Jackson, Darren’s sister, was the Director and Producer. Danielle Elise did the wardrobes while Darren handled the script and acted as Creative Director. The people you see in the video are all friends of those involved with making the video. Jackson and others sent out emails asking if any of their friends wanted to hang out and make a video for the song. Darren was touched by the response and had this to say when asked what his favorite part of making the video and what kind of response he saw on the set:
“Seeing my vision come to life! That was an incredible feeling and seeing all of the people who came out to support. Wait ’til you see the video….they went crazy!”.
And on that note, here it is. The music video for “MidwestSide” from Darren Jackson featuring Chris Grindz and Danielle Elise. Filmed right here in the City of St. Louis
Brought to you by Mills Properties.